Tuesday, May 24, 2005

War now number one cause of hunger

To paraphrase Mark Twian, everybody talks about War, but no one ever does anything about it. So it has now become the number one cause of world hunger, beating out weather and natural disasters, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. In a report presented at a food security meeting Monday, FAO pointed to a dramatic increase in food emergencies in the period of the nineties compared to the period of the late eighties. Most of the countries with a third or more of their populations under nourished were in states of armed conflict in that period.
"Armed conflicts are now the leading cause of world hunger with the effects of HIV/AIDs and climate change not far behind," the FAO said in a statement.

It added war "contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS through displacement, rape or commercial sex."


"The impact... is not limited to the conflict area. It diverts resources from national development programmes and weakens government capacity, indirectly affecting the provision of services to the whole population," the FAO said. (via Reuters Health)
Of course you might say we are doing something about both war and the weather: we are making both worse.