Headline, June 29 2022/ ''' '' MASS STARVATION MAST '' '''


 MAST '' '''

HOW BAD WILL THE FOOD CRISIS GET ? : THE world could experience the once unthinkable; a true shortfall of food. This year's price crisis could be succeeded by a genuine supply crisis.

BEFORE THE WAR, ''I was already warning the world that 2022 and 2023 could be the worst two years in the humanitarian world since World War II,'' Mr. Beasley says. ''I'm trying to tell everybody how bad it is - how bad it's going to be. And then, the next week, I'm like, you know, wipe that clean -it's worse than what I was saying.''

They were calling it a crisis even before the war began : more than 800 million people in a state of chronic hunger. But, as you may have heard, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia - two countries that were estimated to produce enough food -

To feed 400 million people, and to account for as much as 12 percent of all globally traded calories - has made the hardship considerably harder and the hunger considerably more acute.

The Times for story covered the effects the war of global hunger in early March, barely a week after the conflict began ; in May, the U.N. secretary general was warning of ''the specter of a global food shortage,'' and The Economist put ''the coming food catastrophe on its cover.

A lot of that coverage looks almost comfortingly cold : charts of the prices of various staple commodities, all rising up and to the right. Such a perspective suggests the crisis is just a form of inflation, though it is illuminatingly given the American debate about the rise of  domestic prices that these spikes are so global.

A closer look at the scale - the cost of cereals is up 69.5 percent, according to Reuters, and oils, up 137.5 percent, with the overall food price index up 58.5 percent - suggests the effect might well be more significant, particularly if you know about the violence that has accompanied smaller recent food price spikes [such as when more than 40 countries went through riots, political destabilization and outright was in 2008].

But one thing charts like these do not obviously signal is mass starvation. And yet according to David Beasley, the former Republican governor of South Carolina who now leads the U.N. World Food Program, that is what they imply :

The possibility that, as a result of ongoing food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, climate change and the continuing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, 323 million people are ''marching towards starvation'' as we speak, with 49 million ''literally at the famine's door.''

The World Food Program, like much of the United Nations, is in part an advocacy group, engaged in near constant fund-raising - in this case a breakneck form designed to rally money to avert the most acute hunger.

As an organization, it is essentially built to err on the side of hair-raising estimates and alarm : In October, it warned that more than half of Afghanistan could face life-threatening hunger this past winter alone.

But the job of an organization like this is not to predict what will happen but to warn about what is possible - and then try to avert it. This is the inherent reputational dilemma : Do what you can to alleviate the crisis, and the initial alarm seems foolish.

Half of Afghanistan didn't die this winter, but approximately one in 10 babies born there did, and the local food problems are still ongoing. Hunger is a spectrum, not a binary, and globally, Mr. Beasley estimates, the agency already feeds 125 million people a day.

Mr.Bealey is hoping to increase that number to 150 million people this year. The gap between those two figures is 25 million hungry people.

And it is worth keeping in mind that 49 million people is not the number facing ''acute food insecurity,'' to use the program's technical category distinction.

That number is the much higher one : at least 323 million people, which is up, Mr. Beasley says, from 276 million people before the war, 135 million people before the pandemic and 80 million people when he joined the organization in 2017 - a fourfold increase in a single leadership term.

Forty-nine million is just the number of those at most immediate risk of death.

Climate impacts are now a perennial disruption as well. The Economist summarized the state of global agriculture on the eve of the war this way :

CHINA, the largest wheat producer, has said that, after rains delayed planting last year, this crop may be its worst-ever.

Now, in addition to the extreme temperatures in INDIA, the world's second largest producer, a lack of rain threatens to sap yields in other breadbaskets, from America's wheat belt to the Beauce region of France.

The Horn of Africa is being ravaged by its worst drought in four decades.

The Worry and Sadness of this publishing continues. The World Students thanks author David Wallace-Wells.

With respectful dedication to Leaders, Mankind and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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