Fighting the Hunger War
Simultaneous geopolitical, economic, and climate crises are fueling food shortages around the world – and also risk relegating the problem to the sidelines. But policymakers’ failure to address increasing hunger and build a more sustainable and equitable food system will invite an even greater catastrophe.
In this Big Picture, the University of Munich’s Hans-Werner Sinn recalls the 2007 “tortilla crisis” and warns that even more acute food shortages this fall and winter will most likely trigger widespread social unrest. Likewise, Seta Tutundjian, a member of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group studying food systems, argues that escaping destabilizing cycles of hunger, migration, and violence will require considering the needs of communities living in marginal environments.
Policymakers are not without effective, affordable options. Biniam Bedasso of the Center for Global Development calls for international support to expand school-based nutrition programs in developing countries. And Cornell University’s Kaushik Basu thinks that India’s system of minimal food guarantees could serve as a model for future global agreements and buffers to mitigate food crises.
Likewise, Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition and Oliver Camp of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition argue that more sustainable food production will yield environmental, health, and economic benefits that far outweigh the costs, and requires only the political will to act now.