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COP26 climate change summit must respond to droughts threatening famine on unthinkable scale – Scottish commentary


This extraordinary drought means most crops simply won’t grow and as a result, more than a million people in the Deep South region are living on emergency food aid, according to a Reuters report.

Others are forced to exist on locusts and cactus leaves – when they can find them. A mother of three told the BBC her husband died of starvation and is now caring for two more orphaned children following the death of a neighbor.

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The United Nations has said Madagascar is on the verge of a “climate change famine” in a chilling warning about the future of many parts of the world. Because this island in the Pacific Ocean is far from being the only one.

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Climate change: Humanity risks boiling like the proverbial frog as the world s …

Much of southern Africa has seen temperatures rise to about double the average rate of global warming and light rains are becoming more frequent in the eastern part of the continent, with particular concern over the situation in Ethiopia.

Earlier this month, the United Nations warned that a total of nearly half a million people “were living in conditions of famine” in Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen, with populations in parts of Burkina Faso and Nigeria also in the same situation.

The UN has urgently appealed for $ 6.6 billion to help a total of 41 million people worldwide who are currently facing “emergency levels of food insecurity” and at risk of starvation .

An intense drought in southern Madagascar has resulted in widespread famine and malnutrition (Photo: Rijasolo / AFP via Getty Images)

This number can only increase as the world heats up. According to an analysis by the World Food Program, if global warming reaches an average of 2 ° C, it would result in “a staggering 189 million more people struggling with hunger.”

“Vast areas of the globe, from Madagascar to Honduras to Bangladesh, are in the grip of a climate crisis that is now a daily reality for millions of people,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “The climate crisis is fueling a food crisis.

So when world leaders gather for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in less than two weeks, they will not face a distant threat, but a threat that is already bringing death and despair to the inhabitants of vast areas. of the planet.

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