To mark World Food Day this year, Concern put a spotlight on one of the biggest drivers of food insecurity and hunger - climate change.
With global temperatures rising, climate related shocks becoming ever more frequent and the world’s population set to reach 10 billion by 2050, it has never been more important to galvanise action.
On 17 October, Concern hosted an event with leading experts in nutrition and climate change discussing how we can nourish the world’s poorest people while protecting the planet.
To discuss this topic, we were joined by Clare Shakya (International Institute for Environment and Development), Alan Dangour (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Jason Hickel (author and anthropologist) and Amina Abdulla (Concern Kenya Director) on the panel. Guardian environment journalist, Fiona Harvey, chaired the event.
Underpinning the discussion were new figures published in the Global Hunger Index (GHI), produced yearly by Concern and Welthungerhilfe, which revealed worrying trends. While there has been a slight improvement in global hunger levels since the 2018 report (a GHI score of 20.0 instead of 20.9), the total number of people going hungry has increased and now stands at 822 million.
Many countries are seeing higher levels of hunger now than in 2010, driven primarily by conflict and climate change.
- Hunger levels in the Central African Republic are at an extremely alarming level.
- Chad, Madagascar, Yemen, and Zambia are seeing alarming levels of hunger.
- A further 43 countries report serious levels of hunger.
- There are 9 countries where measurement is not possible but which may be experiencing significant levels of hunger. These countries include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, South Sudan, Somalia.
But within countries too, there can be significant disparity. Amina Abdulla, Concern Country Director for Kenya, highlighted how climate change is affecting food security for people in Northern Kenya:
Amina also highlighted how solutions can be found by drawing from local knowledge: