09/05/2022 by Zara Tehal 0 Comments
A world hunger crisis is slowly materialising... how can we help?
Hunger crises are an inevitable consequence of conflict. Countries like Afghanistan have been subject to war for so many years now; people’s access to food and supplies has recently decreased even more as a result of the war in Ukraine. Right now, 95% of people in Afghanistan are not getting enough to eat; rates of severe malnutrition are skyrocketing and children are starving to death.
The Global Network reported that 193 million people faced extreme hunger last year, with over half a million currently on the brink of famine. John Sifton, advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, talked about the economic aspect of Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis: “Afghans see food in the market but lack the cash to buy it.”
Afghan civilians either lost their jobs or receive little to no wages. Since August 2021, when the Taliban took over, the country’s economy has stagnated further. Salaries of teachers, health workers, and other key workers also decreased, which has denied many Afghans their rights to a basic livelihood.
The hunger crisis and worsening economic climate has also had a profound social impact - specifically on women and girls. Their rights to education, healthcare, freedom of movement and speech have all been hindered by the authorities.
Currently, the war in Ukraine has caused the food prices to become higher than ever. Ukraine is one of the most prominent grain and oil suppliers; however, the war has caused disruptions to this trade and sparked a global food crisis. This acute food insecurity has driven the fears of civilians’ worsening livelihoods.
According to Sifton, “pledges of aid and authorization for humanitarian work will not be sufficient to feed the entire nation,” and the only way to avert a disastrous worsening of the situation is to restore economic activity in Afghanistan.
The Global Network Against Food Crises is part of a charitable coalition with the European Union, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. All these organisations are collectively seeking to fight world hunger and prevent the crisis from worsening. By contributing to these charities - getting involved, raising money, and even donating food and clothes - we can help those who are less fortunate. It’s also a good idea to align ourselves with companies - such as the US and World Bank - who have authorised Afghan banks to be used in trade, and who also implement their own humanitarian efforts.
Although pledges and donations will make a difference, if you’re not in the position to spare money, don’t worry, as there are other ways to help. Volunteering is one of them. Charities like Paiwand provide stability, hope, guidance, and a new pathway to life by helping those who had been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disasters. We do this by assisting our clients with advocacy and legal issues, helping them access work and education, and make sure they receive care for their mental and physical health. Dedicating a few hours of your week to lend us a hand would make tremendous difference in our clients’ lives – so if you can find the time, consider volunteering with your local charity.
Alternatively, you can also use whatever platforms you have to raise awareness. The issue of a hunger crisis is one that still needs to be addressed, so the more people learn about it, the better our chances of combating this crisis.