“Climate change will affect all four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food systems stability. It will have an impact on human health, livelihood assets, food production and distribution channels, as well as changing purchasing power and market flows. Its impacts will be both short term, resulting from more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, and long term, caused by changing temperatures and precipitation patterns. People who are already vulnerable and food insecure are likely to be the first affected” – FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS ROME, 2008 .
More than 2.3 billion people live on less than USD 1.90 a day, those very people depend on agriculture to sustain their livelihoods. Climate changes have led to major food insecurities in the developing world which put billions of lives at risk. Availability and accessibility to food is taken for granted when resources are present to sustain us (e.g. fully stocked supermarkets). Agricultural based rural communities however, do not have the luxury of accessibility to resources in the wake of climate shocks and variability. Climate change is problematic on the global front as the warming of the earth has repercussions that will affect us all, and nobody is safe from the consequences…
What is global warming and what are the impacts?
Imagine living in a house without heating during the harsh winter nights without blankets. Our blankets help our bodies trap heat and keep us warm. Greenhouse gases like carbon, act as blankets in the atmosphere; trapping heat that warms the earth. Because of excess greenhouse gases this leads to melting glaciers, which raise sea levels, leading to floods. Floods can leave behind stagnant water which breeds mosquitoes, which increases risk for diseases such as Malaria. More importantly climate changes resulting from global warming lead to floods, uncertain rains lead to droughts and minimum rainfall patterns affect the growth of crops causing hunger and food insecurity.
There are three different case studies of climate change affecting food security which found:
- USAID indicates that in 2009 food production in Niger fell well short of meeting human and animal feeding needs.
- Heavy rains wash out rice fields in Rural South Asia causing food shortages and hunger.
- Ethiopia is ranked one of the most hungriest countries in the world, with more than 5.2 million people needing food assistance.
Lack of resources that provide innovative farming methods to subsistence farmers means 3 days work on a field could be damaged after 30 mins of rain. Imagine that! Children and women in rural communities are on the front line of hunger resulting from food insecurity. In 2015, no one should have to go hungry because inconsistent weather patterns pose a threat to food availability.
Why should we care about food insecurity in the developing world?
Have you ever been so hungry that you feel nauseous and lightheaded? Luckily for you, you can purchase food because you are in a position that makes you financially able. Your livelihood doesn’t depend on a monthly harvest.
Imagine the guilt of knowing your mom hasn’t eaten because the little food she has, she has sacrificed for your siblings. Or watching your little brother die from starvation. These tragedies are ongoing realities for billions of individuals in the Global South.
“Hunger and malnutrition are the number one risk to global health, killing more people than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.”– www.care-international.org
Hunger kills more people than three different diseases tallied up. Meditate on that.
Doesn’t the notion of love of your neighbor mean that we care about how our actions and mismanagement of resources affect our global counterparts?
What you can do ?
Mitigate the use of fossil fuels. By diminishing the use of fossil fuels found in carbon and other greenhouse gases, and using green sources of energy, we can alter climate changes providing consistency to farming communities. Communities affected the most by climate change do not contribute to it. They are sadly at the receiving end of it and must bear the brunt.
Raise awareness of the direct correlation global warming has to the lives of others and promote clean sustainable energy.
Support resilience initiatives that promote innovative and prudent farming practices that will empower families and reduce food insecurity.
Pray passionately for our earth as we are the stewards of it.
Become a Climate Caretaker and join thousands of Christians who are praying and acting on Climate Change.
Stephanie Fordwor is from Ghana, West Africa and is a recent graduate of Lawrence University, a liberal arts college in Wisconsin. She graduated with a BA in Political Science on the International relations track. Stephanie began her internship with Micah Challenge this year as the Policy Researcher. In her free time she loves to brunch, explore new thrift stores, kayak and hang out with friends and families.