“Acute hunger” greatly aggravated by the climate crisis in the most exposed countries

Acute hunger


Extreme droughts, devastating floods, desertification: in six years, “acute hunger” has more than doubled in the countries most exposed to climate disasters, according to the NGO Oxfam, which calls on industrialized states to massively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and repair the damage caused.

In a report published on Friday, the NGO estimates that acute hunger has increased by 123% since 2016 in ten countries among the most exposed to climate risks.

In these states – Somalia, Haiti, Djibouti, Kenya, Niger, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Madagascar, Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe – 48 million people are acutely food insecure and need emergency assistance to survive. 

Eighteen million of them are even considered to be on the verge of starvation.

While conflicts and economic crises remain the main causes of hunger, “extreme weather events, which are increasingly numerous and violent, also reduce the ability of poor populations to counter hunger and cope with future shocks” , underlines the NGO.

Somalia, which is one of the least prepared countries to face the climatic emergency, faces, for example, the worst drought in its history, a million of people who have already fled their homes. 

In Guatemala, the lack of water has also led to the loss of 80% of the corn harvest and decimated coffee plantations, leading many inhabitants to leave the country.

For Oxfam, the fact that the States least responsible for the climate crisis are those who suffer the most “is glaring proof of the existence of global inequalities”.

Industrialized countries and in particular those of the G20 are “responsible for more than three quarters of global carbon emissions”, while these ten vulnerable countries collectively emit only 0.13%, underlines the NGO.

“In less than 18 days, the profits of fossil fuel companies would be enough to finance all of the UN's humanitarian appeals for 2022”, which amount to 49 billion dollars, she also calculates.

At the 2022 UN General Assembly, which opened on Tuesday, and COP27 scheduled for November, world leaders must pledge to massively reduce their emissions and “offer compensation to the most vulnerable countries”. affected for the harm” they suffer, argues Oxfam. 

The cancellation of the debt of these vulnerable States would also enable them to invest in the fight against the climate emergency.