- Oxfam's Africa official, Parvin Nkala, has sounded the alarm, warning that the famine caused by the global food crisis will not this time remain confined to countries that are accustomed to experiencing the scenario of hunger, but will reach new countries outside the African continent.
The world is in a state of anxiety due to the crisis caused by the difficulty of obtaining food, which has made a number of countries suffer from hunger and others are actually threatened with famine.
The official in "Oxfam" (the largest international federation of charitable organizations focusing on relief and development in the world) reveals the expected hunger map during the current year and next.
In this interview with Al Jazeera Net, I talked about the reasons that led to the return of the specter of starvation with force.
Oxfam's Africa official, Parvin Nkala, talks about the increased risk of famine in East and West Africa, especially (communication sites)
Is the world really standing in front of a global famine?
We are facing an alarming situation of global famine;
There are millions of women and children currently heading to a situation of acute hunger. In the East African region, especially, we are talking about 25 million people suffering from starvation.
Currently, there are many countries that are already suffering from famine, but they have not been declared as countries facing this phenomenon.
Movements are slow to save her, as if some are waiting to watch children starve to death on TV screens until they are moved to save them.
Going back to history, in the year 2011, thousands of children died of starvation before the famine was declared in Somalia. We do not want to repeat the same mistake this time. Currently, there are countries that are currently suffering from real famine, such as Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
What is the expected famine map?
In East Africa, there are many countries that suffer from the manifestations of famine or the threat of it, such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan, and we know that in the west of the continent also there are about 7 million people who need food and suffer from hunger.
Wars and armed conflicts further complicated the situation, especially with the Ukrainian war which had an immediate impact on the food supply in the world.
For example, 90% of wheat imports in East Africa depend on the Ukrainian market, and the current war has made the price of this grain in the countries of that region double, which makes millions of people unable to provide the necessary food.
If the regions of East and West Africa suffer the most from the threat of famine, this time the matter extends to the Middle East and Latin America, and it may spread more and more if the matter is not dealt with with the required seriousness.
Wars and global food shortages increase the risk of famine in Ethiopia and East African countries in particular (Getty Images)
What are the reasons behind this famine?
There are immediate causes such as the current war in Ukraine which has caused a global lunch crisis, from which poor countries suffer more than rich countries.
The second reason is climate change, as a lot of agricultural land suffers from desertification, in addition to long droughts and high temperatures, all of which have contributed to the decline in agricultural production in a number of African countries in particular.
The third reason is the Corona epidemic, which left a global crisis in the supply of basic materials, and we were hoping to gradually recover from it, but the war showed that recovery would not be soon, and this complicated the task of governments in poor countries.
Are rich countries making any efforts to help poor countries?
At the present time, rich countries must do more, and this is for several reasons, the first of which is that they are responsible for climate change, because all of Africa contributes only 4% of carbon emissions, while the contribution of countries such as China and the United States reaches 46%.
On the other hand, the continent most affected by climate change is Africa.
That is why we are pressing for the rich countries to be convinced to help the poor countries to overcome the hunger crisis, and so far our assessment is that the rich countries are not doing what they should.
We do not have to deal with the matter as charitable aid, because when we look at the situation of women and children suffering from hunger, we are talking about the justice that these people deserve, as they have no guilt in climate changes or in the release of wars.
Is the world really able to provide the necessary aid to poor countries?
Ironically, the United Nations launched a campaign to collect aid to East African countries worth $ 4.4 billion, to face famine in this region, and so far only 5% of the required amount has been collected.
In contrast, the Western world collected more than 16 billion dollars in humanitarian aid in one month to confront the ugly war in Ukraine.
These countries have also pumped about $16 trillion into the global economy to confront the Corona epidemic, so it is not about the capabilities or the ability to raise funds, but there is no real effort.
Animals died due to drought in Gedo Governorate, southwest Somalia (Al Jazeera)
What solutions can be used to help these countries?
Among the solutions that we proposed to the rich countries is to abandon their debts to the countries facing the threat of starvation, as paying interest on these debts exhausts the treasury of the poor countries.
According to our estimates, the abandonment of the debts of the East African countries by the rich countries will provide these countries with incomes estimated at 65 billion dollars, with which they can face the threat of famine and climate change.
Who are the most affected groups by famine today?
Unfortunately, children are the biggest victims of starvation, as they suffer from a lack of food and safe drinking water, which affects their normal development and leads to their infection with many immune diseases.
For example, in northern Ethiopia, more than half a million children suffer from starvation, in Somalia, about half of children (aged less than 5 years) suffer from malnutrition, and in Kenya 715,000 children of the same age suffer from the same problem.
And if the world does nothing, some 360,000 children will die of starvation in East Africa.Keywords: