Famine is the condition of widespread scarcity of food, often as a result of several factors. These factors include wars, natural disasters and crop failure. These factors could cause widespread suffering and, consequently, a crisis that causes famine. This is why is important to know how to prepare for a food shortage. Although each cause is different, the most common causes are conflict, climate changes, and population imbalance. The last of these factors is the result of government policies.
The most vulnerable will be hardest hit in the event that there is a global financial collapse. A food shortage will affect the poorest countries most. History has shown how deadly famine can be. In Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Yemen, for example, food shortages are already starting to affect the population. Protests have been sparked by rising food prices in many countries. While the exact consequences of food shortages may vary from country-to-country, there are several reasons why these crises could prove to be so dangerous.
The global economic crisis is also threatening to decrease the import capacity of many lower income countries, and this could have disastrous effects on food security. The crisis has already cut export earnings as global demand has contracted, and foreign capital inflows and remittances from relatives working abroad have dropped. These factors can limit a country’s ability import the food it needs in order to avoid a recession. The IMF warns that an international economic collapse could pose a serious threat to food safety.
As the world faces increasing hunger and resource scarcity, it is crucial to understand the causes of conflict. Violent conflict is one of the leading drivers of global hunger and malnutrition. As the number of active conflict grows and becomes more severe, conflict is likely only to increase. Conflicts are also more likely to occur two to three year after a major economic shock such as the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis or the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. This pattern of increased conflict is very similar to the one that occurred after the mid-70s oil price shock.
Conflict has a profound economic impact on food supply and distribution. Armed conflicts disrupt the functioning of formal markets and national governments in conflict-affected areas. In addition, they affect the purchasing power of importing countries, and they impair the ability of international food aid to meet growing food needs. Armed conflict also causes disruption in the flow and distribution of agricultural inputs from one nation to another. They also damage water and food infrastructures, which can limit consumers’ access to food.
Weather extremes are already leading to a rise in food prices, if you haven’t yet heard. According to a recent report from Swiss Re, the largest reinsurance company, these extreme weather events have already contributed to $40 billion in natural disaster losses, the second highest on record. Already, sugar and coffee commodity prices have risen 50%. The Bloomberg Commodity Index tracks food, energy, and material prices.
Recent climate change has led to an increase in extreme weather events like droughts and floods. These events have already impacted key agricultural regions, driving down output and pushing up commodity prices. Already, political unrest has erupted in Madagascar over food and water shortages. This is threatening to worsen the misery of millions. These events could have dire consequences if they continue. The rise in food and water prices could lead to civil unrest or even war.
Supply chain issues
Supply chain disruptions are a problem that affects all industries and have become a regular topic of conversation. They can be caused by labor shortages, transportation problems, or even inflation-fueled cost increases. The recent pandemic has seen supply chain issues get out of control, and many industries were affected. Many products and services saw their demand plummet. Retailers and consumers are both affected by supply chain disruptions.
Food producers are also facing challenges in maintaining their supply chains due to labor shortages. Asparagus growers in Europe are suffering from a lack of labor and border restrictions that prevent them bringing in migrant employees. Food transport is also becoming a logistical nightmare. International transportation of fresh goods is becoming more difficult and expensive due to restrictions on air freight and border controls. Food processors are struggling to keep up with the production, which is limiting their ability to deliver nutritious meals to customers.