Editorial: Extreme weather events could lead to increased hunger

10 November 2022

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There are four main drivers of global food insecurity: economic shocks, illness and disease, conflict, and extreme weather events.

Now researchers from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)  have predicted an “increased frequency of extreme weather events” that will worsen the ongoing global food crisis.

These include a worsening of the severe droughts and heatwaves that are “contributing to rising prices of some foodstuffs”.

Drought in the Horn of Africa has already placed more than 20 million people in that region at risk of starvation [Image credit: UNICEF]

“The world could face a prolonged period of crop shortages and skyrocketing prices,” states the EIU report, “raising the risk of food insecurity (or even famine).”

Researchers also believe that extreme weather events and natural disasters can lead to an increase in disease, another of the four main factors that contribute to food insecurity and famine.

“Increases in temperature and rainfall,” according to one recent study, “have expanded the range of mosquitoes and contributed to outbreaks of dengue fever, chikungunya and malaria. At the same time, heatwaves draw more people to water-related activities, leading to a rise in cases of waterborne illnesses, such as gastroenteritis.”

Illness can prevent people working in agriculture; widespread disease can lead to lockdowns or quarantine measures that disrupt food cultivation and shipping; and some conditions prevent the body from absorbing the full nutritional value of what little food is eaten.

The Bible calls us to do what we can to help alleviate the suffering of all, especially of our Christian family. This is the calling we must honour, and all the more if the global food crisis continues to worsen.


Visit food.gives to find out more about how you or your church can help hungry Christians in lands of poverty and persecution.

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