Starving in the age of artificial intelligence: Why 839 million people can't eat with delight (El Pais)
- Impact Area
Armed conflicts, climate change, and the increase in the cost of inputs exert great pressure on the food chain, writes El Pais in an extensive article on global hunger. In the middle of the 21st century —the century with the greatest technological development we have ever seen–we have not yet found the key to preventing millions of human beings from going to bed with an empty stomach.
Some 839 million people on the globe could not feed themselves with dignity last year, and there are 10.7 million more than in 2021, according to the first forecasts made by the FAO. The FAO Food Price Index, in March 2022 showed the weighted average of export imports of meat, dairy products, cereals, oils, fats, and sugar. The most significant increases occurred in sunflower oil, wheat, and corn.
“Fears of a period of sustained high world food prices have diminished a little,” says Rob Vos, director of the Division of Markets and Trade at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
“Restrictions increase the cost of food and the poorest countries are the ones that suffer the most,” explains Vos. Some 26 economies (such as Uruguay, Norway, Colombia, Albania, Brazil, Mexico, Guinea, Congo, Mozambique, and even the European Union as a whole) depend on Russian inputs for 20 percent or more of their imports. The most extreme cases are in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Serbia, Honduras, and Ghana, which buy more than 50 percent of this product from Moscow.
“Food affordability continues to be a macro challenge, but also among households,” Vos emphasizes.
Republished in Limited Times.