Posts tagged food security

G-20 Summit Simulation

Earlier this semester, my POL 103 class had a UN Security Council simulation (dealing with a crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh). The next two weeks, they’ll be simulating a G-20 summit on climate-related matters. We’re going to focus on food security, energy security, and natural disaster preparedness. It’s the culmination of our “Apocalypse, Now!” series (cyborgs, aliens, and environmental catastrophe).

As part of their briefing packet, I’m asking them to read the following articles:

BTW, if you’re interested, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) brought in security & environmental experts to play out a “climate change war game" in 2009. The results were interesting. The war game was included in a larger package on an ABC series called "Earth 2100" (subtitled: "Is This the Final Century of Our Civilization?").

From theweekmagazine:

One is seven U.S. citizens now receive aid to buy food. The food stamps program has become a flash point since GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said “more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” That’s true — however, others have pointed out that the number of recipients grew by a higher percentage under George W. Bush’s administration, with much of the expansion coming as the country sank into recession.
Republicans across the nation are calling for new restrictions to limit benefits. Here, a guide to America’s growing dependency on food stamps

To help give some context, Brazil has a similar program called Bolsa Familia. It is probably the largest program of its kind in the world, and it covers about 22 percent of Brazil’s population with food assistance. That’s only 8 percent more than the share of people on government food support in the US (1 of 7 = 14.3 percent).
I should also point out the number of people on food support in Brazil has been going down in recent years, not up.

From theweekmagazine:

One is seven U.S. citizens now receive aid to buy food. The food stamps program has become a flash point since GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said “more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” That’s true — however, others have pointed out that the number of recipients grew by a higher percentage under George W. Bush’s administration, with much of the expansion coming as the country sank into recession.

Republicans across the nation are calling for new restrictions to limit benefits. Here, a guide to America’s growing dependency on food stamps

To help give some context, Brazil has a similar program called Bolsa Familia. It is probably the largest program of its kind in the world, and it covers about 22 percent of Brazil’s population with food assistance. That’s only 8 percent more than the share of people on government food support in the US (1 of 7 = 14.3 percent).

I should also point out the number of people on food support in Brazil has been going down in recent years, not up.

160 plays

From publicradiointernational:

Over 148 million acres of farmland in Africa have been purchased by Western hedge funds in the last three years—an area larger than California. Often times in famine areas, food is being exported for profit the same time its being imported by aid organizations.

Read more…

Perfectly illustrates Amartya Sen's argument (see this 1998 Time article) that famine is a distribution problem, not a supply problem. And that there are no famines in democracies, whatever else their limitations (see this 2003 New York Times article).
Also interesting that Somaliland—the unrecognized secessionist region that has been a de facto independent state for two decades (see this 2010 Christian Science Monitor article)—seems to even do a better job of food security than Ethiopia, the regional power.
From ilyagerner:

newsflick:

Somali famine spreads to three more areas, says UN

Definition of Famine
More than 30% of children must be suffering from acute malnutrition
Two adults or four children must be dying of hunger each day for every group of 10,000 people
The population must have access to far below 2,100 kilocalories of food per day (source)


 I like this from Ed Carr (Via Daily Dish):

Famine stops at the Somali border.  I assure you this is not a political manipulation of the data – it is the data we have.  Basically, the people without a functional state and collapsing markets are being hit much harder than their counterparts in Ethiopia and Kenya, even though everyone is affected by the same bad rains, and the livelihoods of those in Somalia are not all that different than those across the borders in Ethiopia and Kenya.

A food “emergency” and food “crisis” sound like terrible things to experience but it says something about the importance of functional governance that “famine” stops at the border’s edge.
Drought might be the proximate cause of the crisis. Politics is at the root. Afterall, there are plenty of dry places in the world where drought conditions are not synonymous with starvation, with investment in irrigation, government relief efforts, and access to global markets making the difference.

Perfectly illustrates Amartya Sen's argument (see this 1998 Time article) that famine is a distribution problem, not a supply problem. And that there are no famines in democracies, whatever else their limitations (see this 2003 New York Times article).

Also interesting that Somaliland—the unrecognized secessionist region that has been a de facto independent state for two decades (see this 2010 Christian Science Monitor article)—seems to even do a better job of food security than Ethiopia, the regional power.

From ilyagerner:

newsflick:

Somali famine spreads to three more areas, says UN

Definition of Famine

  • More than 30% of children must be suffering from acute malnutrition
  • Two adults or four children must be dying of hunger each day for every group of 10,000 people
  • The population must have access to far below 2,100 kilocalories of food per day (source)

 I like this from Ed Carr (Via Daily Dish):

Famine stops at the Somali border.  I assure you this is not a political manipulation of the data – it is the data we have.  Basically, the people without a functional state and collapsing markets are being hit much harder than their counterparts in Ethiopia and Kenya, even though everyone is affected by the same bad rains, and the livelihoods of those in Somalia are not all that different than those across the borders in Ethiopia and Kenya.

A food “emergency” and food “crisis” sound like terrible things to experience but it says something about the importance of functional governance that “famine” stops at the border’s edge.

Drought might be the proximate cause of the crisis. Politics is at the root. Afterall, there are plenty of dry places in the world where drought conditions are not synonymous with starvation, with investment in irrigation, government relief efforts, and access to global markets making the difference.

Economist Daily chart: where the world’s livestock lives. There are three times as many chickens as humans, according to new statistics from the UN. China has more chickens than any other country, yet tiny Brunei boasts 40 birds per citizen.

Economist Daily chart: where the world’s livestock lives. There are three times as many chickens as humans, according to new statistics from the UN. China has more chickens than any other country, yet tiny Brunei boasts 40 birds per citizen.

A very interesting way to look at human development indicators, in comparative perspective, across the US. Via newshour:


…for households living in food deserts, what are the options?
These numbers suggest that in America’s battle for healthier living, some types of community start at a distinct disadvantage. And all the food plates in the world can’t fix that.

America’s battle to lose weight and eat healthy has many fronts. But for some people and some communities, the battle is about having access to healthy food. Patchwork Nation looks at food deserts around the country.

A very interesting way to look at human development indicators, in comparative perspective, across the US. Via newshour:

…for households living in food deserts, what are the options?

These numbers suggest that in America’s battle for healthier living, some types of community start at a distinct disadvantage. And all the food plates in the world can’t fix that.

America’s battle to lose weight and eat healthy has many fronts. But for some people and some communities, the battle is about having access to healthy food. Patchwork Nation looks at food deserts around the country.

The Future of Food Production | The Economist

Short video podcast about changes in international food production, which is becoming an increasingly important issue as the world’s population continues to grow rapidly.

The New Geopolitics of Food | Foreign Policy
This issue’s cover story in Foreign Policy is about “food security” around the world. An interesting look at the geopolitics of an issue we rarely consider: food & food prices.

The New Geopolitics of Food | Foreign Policy

This issue’s cover story in Foreign Policy is about “food security” around the world. An interesting look at the geopolitics of an issue we rarely consider: food & food prices.

Infant malnutrition across the globe

Infant malnutrition across the globe

This cartoon from La Razón pretty much sums up Bolivia’s food security dilemma (via westernhemisphereanalysis).

This cartoon from La Razón pretty much sums up Bolivia’s food security dilemma (via westernhemisphereanalysis).