Climate crisis aggravates 'acute hunger' in countries most at risk

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The climate crisis is worsening “acute hunger” in the countries most at risk

Guatemala, badly hit by drought, is one of the countries where hunger is increasingly threatening.

Extreme droughts, devastating floods, desertification: in six years, “acute hunger” has more than doubled in the countries most exposed to climate disasters, according to the NGO Oxfam, which calls on industrialized states to massively reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and repair the damage caused.

In a report published on Friday, the NGO estimates that acute hunger has increased by 123% since 2016 in ten countries among the most exposed to climate risks.

In these states – Somalia, Haiti, Djibouti, Kenya, Niger, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Madagascar, Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe – 48 million people suffer from acute food insecurity and require emergency assistance to survive.

Eighteen million of them are even considered to be on the brink of famine.

While conflicts and economic crises remain the main causes of hunger, the phenomena extreme weather events, more and more numerous and violent, also reduce the ability of poor populations to counter hunger and cope with future shocks, underlines the NGO.

Somalia, which is one of the least prepared countries to face the climate emergency, for example, is facing the worst drought in its history, with one million people having already fled their homes.

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In Guatemala, the lack of water also led to an 80% loss of the corn harvest and decimated the coffee plantations, leading many inhabitants to leave the country.

For Oxfam, the fact that the states least responsible for the climate crisis are those who suffer the most from it is glaring proof of the existence of global inequalities.

Industrialized countries and in particular those of the G20 are responsible for more than three quarters of global carbon emissions, while these ten vulnerable countries collectively emit only 0.13%, underlines the NGO.

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In less than 18 days, profits from fossil fuel companies would be enough to fund all of the UN's humanitarian appeals for 2022, which amount to $49 billion , she also calculates.

During the 2022 UN General Assembly which opened on Tuesday and the COP27, scheduled in November, world leaders must pledge to massively reduce their emissions and offer compensation to the countries most affected for the damages they suffer, argues Oxfam.

The cancellation of the debt of these vulnerable states would also allow them to invest in the fight against the climate emergency.

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