Displaying items by tag: food shortages

Friday, 03 December 2021 09:46

Global: food shortages

The world is in a critical hunger situation. The global prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in 2020 was equal to the previous five years combined. Nearly one in three people globally (2.37 billion) did not have enough food in 2020. Moderate or severe food insecurity affects over 30% of the world. Covid-19 had a devastating impact on the global economy, triggering an unprecedented recession not seen since the Second World War, and the food security and nutrition status of millions of people, including children, will deteriorate if we do not take swift action. We can pray for God to inspire united humanitarian and peacebuilding policies in conflict-affected areas that will ease blockages to food distribution and develop avenues of safe transit of all aid. Pray for the UN to intervene in food supply chains so that costs of nutritious foods are lowered.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 22 April 2021 21:51

North Korea: Kim warns of hard times ahead

Speaking at a party conference, Kim Jong Un has told citizens to prepare for hard times ahead, following warnings from rights groups that the country faces dire food shortages and economic instability. North Korea has shut its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic, and trade with China, its economic lifeline, has come to a standstill. This is on top of existing international economic sanctions over Pyongyang's nuclear programme. In a rare admission of looming hardship, the authoritarian leader of the single-party state called on officials to ‘wage another, more difficult Arduous March in order to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little’. The Arduous March is a term used by North Korean officials to refer to the country's struggle during the 1990s famine, when the fall of the Soviet Union left the country without crucial aid. The total number who starved to death is not known, but estimates range up to three million.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 21 January 2021 21:07

After-Brexit hiccups: NI food shortages

The international trade secretary, Liz Truss, has admitted Brexit led to food shortages in Northern Ireland after weeks of disruption. Her cabinet colleague Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, had argued that the coronavirus crisis was solely to blame for the shortages, but Ms Truss contradicted him, blaming both issues. Meanwhile, a row broke out between the UK and EU after the Foreign Office refused to grant the bloc’s ambassador in London the same diplomatic status afforded to representatives of individual nation states. Also, anger is building among manufacturers as EU customers cancel orders due to Brexit red tape.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 02 April 2020 23:29

Feed the nation

Coronavirus restrictions affected farmers who supply the likes of McDonalds. Half of farmers’ orders came from out-of-home eating and three meals per week per person need to shift from outside to inside the home through retail. On top of this is panic buying. Pray for the National Farmers’ Union as it works with the Government to keep UK food supplies flowing to where they are needed. Farmers also face a huge shortfall of EU seasonal workers. By the end of March 10,000 people had signed up to harvest fruit and vegetables but over 90,000 jobs need filling. Pray for an increase of ‘land army’ recruits in the coming weeks. The first crop, asparagus, needs to be harvested in April, and there will be no seasonal EU workers available. Pray for students and unemployed to make themselves available to be trained and relied on to put food on our tables, now that we are out of the EU. See also the Europe article ‘Shortage of fruit and veg’, and here

Published in British Isles
Saturday, 29 February 2020 04:06

East Africa faces new locust threat

The locusts are swiftly breeding and their numbers could increase 400-fold by June if the infestation is left unchecked, the UN has warned.

Countries in East Africa are racing against time to prevent new swarms of locusts wreaking havoc with crops and livelihoods after the worst infestation in generations.

A lack of expertise in controlling the pests is not their only problem: Kenya temporarily ran out of pesticides, Ethiopia needs more planes and Somalia and Yemen, torn by civil war, can't guarantee exterminators' safety.

Locust swarms have been recorded in the region since biblical times, but unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change have created ideal conditions for insect numbers to surge, scientists say.

Warmer seas are creating more rain, wakening dormant eggs, and cyclones that disperse the swarms are getting stronger and more frequent.

In Ethiopia the locusts have reached the fertile Rift Valley farmland and stripped grazing grounds in Kenya and Somalia. Swarms can travel up to 150 km (93 miles) a day and contain between 40-80 million locusts per square kilometre.

If left unchecked, the number of locusts in East Africa could explode 400-fold by June. That would devastate harvests in a region with more than 19 million hungry people, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned.

Uganda has deployed the military. Kenya has trained hundreds of youth cadets to spray. Lacking pesticides, some security forces in Somalia have shot anti-aircraft guns at swarms darkening the skies.

Everyone is racing the rains expected in March: the next generation of larvae is already wriggling from the ground, just as farmers plant their seeds.

"The second wave is coming," said Cyril Ferrand, FAO's head of resilience for Eastern Africa. "As crops are planted, locusts will eat everything."

The impact so far on agriculture, which generates about a third of East Africa's economic output, is unknown, but FAO is using satellite images to assess the damage, he said.


This month, Kenya ran out of pesticide for about a week and a half, he said. Farmers watched helplessly as their families' crops were devoured. In Ethiopia, the government can only afford to rent four planes for aerial spraying, but it needs at least twice that number to contain the outbreak before harvesting begins in March, Zebdewos Salato, director of plant protection at the Ministry of Agriculture, told Reuters. "We are running out of time," he said.

Meanwhile, locusts - which have a life cycle of three months - are breeding. FAO says each generation is an average of 20 times more numerous. When eggs hatch, as they are doing now in northern Kenya, the hungry young locusts are earthbound for two weeks and more vulnerable to spraying than when they grow wings.

After that, they take to the air in swarms so dense they have forced aircraft to divert. A single square kilometre swarm can eat as much food in a day as 35,000 people. FAO said containing the plague will cost at least $138 million. So far, donors have pledged $52 million. Failure means more hunger in a region already battered by conflict and climate shocks.

Since 2016, there have been droughts in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, then floods, Ferrand said. In South Sudan, more than half the population already faces food shortages.

By Omar Mohammed and Dawit Endeshaw
More at: https://news.trust.org/item/20200227122340-3t5r8

Pray: that sufficient resources, pesticides and planes will be made available to tackle this problem before it escalates or spreads further.
Pray: for a divine intervention that will stop the breeding and spread of these swarms in their tracks.
Pray: into this prophetic word from David Sseppuuya that these nations will seek repentance that will lead to restoration.
Pray: for the Church to rise up in these countries and to take a spiritual lead. (Joel 2:15-17)