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Global hunger crisis ‘exploding’ exacerbating the 25% spike before Ukraine War

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The Global Network Against Food Crises sent out a dire warning that the world’s hunger crisis is about to “deteriorate further” this year alone. Chief economist at the World Food Programme (WFP) also says the global hunger crisis is “exploding.”

“The world is exploding with food insecurity” stated Arif Husain of WFP at a Wednesday press briefing. Global economic recovery from the pandemic has been slow and thwarted by many catastrophes.

World food prices have reached record highs from the disrupted harvests and exports from Ukraine due to the Russian invasion. The invasion of Ukraine “is also sparking a wave of protectionism as some exporters curb overseas crop sales to ensure local supplies” reports Bloomberg.

The war will have “severe consequences” on global food security, as millions of Ukrainians are displaced and many import-dependent countries can’t get staple crops or fertilizers from Ukraine and Russia.

Bloomberg reports:

Almost 193 million people across 53 countries or territories suffered acute food insecurity in 2021, meaning their lack of meals posed an immediate threat to their lives or livelihoods…That’s up from 155 million in 55 countries for the prior year…

Additional conflicts such as those in Afghanistan and Ethiopia have worsened crises there, and economic shocks from the Covid-19 pandemic curbed food access in almost two dozen nations, the international alliance said in a report. “Extreme weather, like severe drought in Madagascar, is also exacerbating the problem” adds Bloomberg.

“A gauge of world food prices has soared about 75% since mid-2020 — eclipsing levels seen in 2008 and 2011 that contributed to global food crises — piling pressure on governments from Sri Lanka to Peru.”

 

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Economy

Austin become first Texas city to approve pilot ‘Guaranteed Income Program’

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Austin, Texas has approved a pilot ‘Guaranteed Income’ program joining other liberal cities. The program will give 85 families $1,000 per month for an entire year. The program’s $1.18 million in  funding will be handled by a nonprofit and recipients can spend the money however they wish.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who belongs to a coalition called Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, said it will prevent homelessness; it’s not a “giveaway” but rather, “it is investing in ourselves.”

“We can find people moments before they end up on our streets and prevent them, divert them from being there. That would be not only wonderful for them, it would be wise and smart for the taxpayers in the city of Austin because it will be a lot less expensive to divert someone from homelessness than to help them find a home once they’re on our streets,” said Adler.

Atlanta, Georgia also announced it was launching a similar pilot basic income program in January. 300 residents will receive $500 each month for a year. NBC DFW5 reports that “Across the country, dozens of cities and counties — some using money from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package approved in March 2021 — are giving some low-income residents a guaranteed income of $500 to $1,000 each month to do with as they please, and tracking what happens.”

The Mayors coalition will use its data –collected by a University of Pennsylvania-based rrsearch center — to lobby the White House and Congress for a federal guaranteed income.

 

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