Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hunger in the Sahel

Source: The Economist
I quote from an article in The Economist:

NEARLY 19m people are short of food in the Sahel, the vast stretch of dry land on the southern fringe of the Sahara desert. According to the UN, more than 1m children under the age of five are at risk of dying; another 3m, it says, are “acutely malnourished”. On June 19th it asked the world’s richer countries to find $1.6 billion to help keep starvation at bay. 
This is the third big food crisis to hit the region in seven years. This one has been triggered by drought, a poor harvest last year, high food prices, and insecurity in Mali, one of half a dozen Sahelian countries (see article). The reasons were much the same in 2005 and 2010. Even in non-crisis years, Unicef, the UN’s children’s agency, says it deals with 870,000 cases of extreme malnutrition in the region.

One wonders whether this is a result of global warming. Certainly the average global temperature has been going up for decades and many of the warmest years on record have occurred since 2000.

One also wonders whether the environmental disaster going on in the Sahel is leading to more migration in search of survival, and whether that movement is leading to increased conflict. Check out this posting from last month.

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