Millions Go Hungry, While Billions Worth of Food Go Into Landfills
Thalif Deen - IPSNews
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August 26, 2022

Feed People Not Landfills (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

The ominous warnings keep coming non-stop: some of the world’s developing nations are heading towards mass hunger and starvation.

The World Food Program (WFP) warned last week that as many as 828 million people go to bed hungry every night while the number of those facing acute food insecurity has soared — from 135 million to 345 million — since 2019. A total of 50 million people in 45 countries are teetering on the edge of famine.

But in what seems like a cruel paradox the US Department of Agriculture estimates that a staggering $161 billion worth of food is dumped yearly into landfills in the United States.

The shortfall has been aggravated by reduced supplies of wheat and grain from Ukraine and Russia triggered by the ongoing conflict, plus the after-effects of the climate crisis, and the negative spillover from the three-year long COVID-19 pandemic.

While needs are sky-high, resources have hit rock bottom. The WFP says it requires $22.2 billion to reach 152 million people in 2022. However, with the global economy reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap between needs and funding is bigger than ever before.

“We are at a critical crossroads. To avert the hunger catastrophe the world is facing, everyone must step up alongside government donors, whose generous donations constitute the bulk of WFP’s funding. Private sector companies can support our work through technical assistance and knowledge transfers, as well as financial contributions. High net-worth individuals and ordinary citizens alike can all play a part, and youth, influencers and celebrities can raise their voices against the injustice of global hunger,” the Rome-based agency said.

In 2019, Russia and Ukraine together exported more than a quarter (25.4 percent) of the world’s wheat, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

Danielle Nierenberg, President and Founder, Food Tank told IPS the amount of food that is wasted the world is not only a huge environmental problem–if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions.

But food waste and food loss are also moral conundrums. It’s absurd to me that so much food is wasted or lost because of lack of infrastructure, poor policymaking, or marketing regulations that require food be thrown away if it doesn’t fit certain standards.

This is especially terrible now as we face a worldwide food crisis - not only because of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, but multiple conflicts all over the globe.

Read the rest at IPS

Related: Five Innovative Tech Solutions to Help End Global Hunger (Responsible Business)

  Learn about Families at the Dump

  Learn about Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Vallarta

  Learn about John Ozzello Memorial Food Bank

  Learn about Organismo de Nutricion Infantil A.C.

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