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Climate change, hunger and war: A devastating combination

Geneva, Feb 13 (Prensa Latina) The climate change-hunger-war combination is devastating, the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) António Guterres said ahead of current conflicts and the increased military expenditures.

In 2022, climate and wars were considered as major causes of acute food insecurity for 174 million inhabitants around the globe, Guterres recalled.

“An empty belly is fuel for unrest,” said Guterres in Tuesday´s debate promoted by the UNSC.

While hundreds of millions of people “go to bed hungry every night,” a third of food produced globally continues to be wasted, Guterres stated.

According to Guterres, it is also distressing that some governments are presently spending more and more on armaments, while leaving food security, the crackdown on climate change and sustainable development in general with no budget.

“The message, Guterres said, is clear: we can break up the deadly nexus of hunger, climate chaos and conflict, and quell the threat they pose to international peace and security.”

Whether forecasts come true, 10% of global area suitable for major crops and livestock could become climatically unsuitable by mid-century under high-emissions scenarios, according to FAO Assistant Director-General Beth Bechdol.

Such a behavior would further reduce the already small area used for crops and livestock, Bechdol said.

Regarding aggressions, Guterres expressed his deep concern about the deteriorating situation in Gaza following Israel’s announcement that it will conduct an “all-out attack” on Rafah, which would have devastating consequences for the Palestinian territory.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, on the other hand, warned Monday that a full-scale military attack over Rafah, where some 1.5 million Palestinians are being overcrowded, would be “terrifying”, given the likelihood that an extremely high number of civilians, mostly children and women, would be killed and injured.