Today, the warning signs on food insecurity are increasing more or less all over the world, giving rise to concerns from specialized international organizations and the release of emergency funds.
On 28th January, a representative of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) warned from Dakar of a severe food crisis that threatens 2.7 million people within the Sahel, poor rains have caused a deficit of one million tonnes of cereals. Not to mention that 5 million more people may be affected. According to the Nigerian government, whose country is the most affected, $220 million will be needed to combat food insecurity in 2010.
On the other side of the planet, in Mongolia, it is not drought but the cold that endangers the population: temperatures dropping to -50 °C have decimated 1.7 million heads of livestock at 31st January. This is a disaster for this country whose population, mainly nomadic, depends entirely on livestock for survival. Emergency assistance of some $6 million will have to be mobilized by the FAO during the next three months to help these people survive the winter.
In addition to this, according to the FAO, in Haiti, rebuilding after the damage caused to local agriculture by the earthquake will require $700 million.
This year as every year, the food situation in several countries around the world is threatened. It is urgent to build a sustainable global agricultural system which, based on local competitive agriculture, ensures food security for as many as possible, avoiding the massive but cyclical release of funds by the international community.