The whole world is suffering because of the “US+” economic procedures against Russia. There are countries that will starve. But all countries of the world suffer due to inflation, an unprecedented rise in food and energy prices, serious damage to production and manufacturing, and global recession. That may lead to widespread protests and political instability in many countries throughout the world, writes Valdai Club expert Nourhan ElSheikh.
The global food crisis grew during the last decade as a result of climate change and global population growth. The Covid-19 crisis deepened it. The pandemic had already caused mass layoffs and closures, as well as prompted massive dislocation among small businesses. The “US+” economic procedures against Russia exacerbated it and overthrew all hopes of containing it. Russia is a pivotal country in the supply chains of grain, raw materials and energy sources.
According to the FAO report “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021” :
Ever since mid-2010, the hunger index has been rising.
With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, the world witnessed a huge increase in the number of people facing hunger around the world.
Nearly 9.9% of the world’s total population (811 million) suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition, as of 2020. More than half of them are in Asia, and more than a third are in Africa, while Latin America and the Caribbean account for about 8%.
The ten countries which rank worst in the world are Congo, northern Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Sudan; three of these are Arab countries.
Unfortunately, the global goal of ending hunger by 2030 is unprecedentedly elusive.
The whole world is suffering because of the “US+” economic procedures to varying degrees. There are countries that will starve. But all countries of the world suffer due to inflation, an unprecedented rise in food and energy prices, serious damage to production and manufacturing, and global recession. That may lead to widespread protests and political instability in many countries throughout the world.
How can it be overcome?
There is a need to work on three pillars: global, country and people; and on both short- and long-term, as follows:
The inevitability of separating what is strategic from what is economic through the lifting of those procedures against Russia. These “US+” procedures do not harm Russia as much as they do the rest of the world. They’re also illegal, because they’re imposed by countries individually outside the UN.
Investing in the popular movements in Europe to denounce these procedures, and demand an end to them as they affect the whole world, including the European and American people themselves.
States and governments in the Middle East and Africa should support those who depend on agriculture and temporary work, and establish and support community plans and programmes to assist the most vulnerable and those who have lost their jobs, so that they can obtain sufficient, safe and nutritious food.
Strengthening partnerships in the field of food and grain production by using multinational companies similar to those in other fields. There are countries that own land and water, others own the labor force, and third countries possess the necessary technology, such as Russia. A partnership among them would be effective and important.
Accessibility and availability of land for those who want to farm. The alleviation of restrictions imposed on the use of land by citizens in agriculture is needed to expand the agricultural area and production.
Improving the image of farmers and working in agriculture through media and drama, and improving their standard of living to encourage more people to do it, and to stop the reduction of those working in the agricultural sector.