Ground Report | New Delhi: children with hunger crisis; The 70% of the water consumed by humans goes to the field of power, a figure that highlights the link between the two terms and the fragility of the first because without the liquid element nobody could have at your fingertips food available currently.
This catastrophic scenario, far from being an assumption, is a reality when climate variability comes from the hand of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to the Pacific Ocean. During their presence, the rains in Asia become a wish, while during La Niña, the rains disappear to a greater extent from the peaceful facade of the American continent.
children with hunger crisis
These hydrological changes are fatal for crops that only in the 2015 El Niño episode unleashed a massive reaction that led to more than six million children suffering from malnutrition, according to a study published in the journal Nature. For its authors, that figure represents at least 70%, and perhaps up to three times, of the children who have suffered hunger due to the pandemic.
“It would have been very difficult to prepare the world for a pandemic that few saw coming, but we cannot say the same about El Niño events that have a potentially much greater impact on children’s long-term growth and health, ” he says. Amir Jina, author of the study. “Scientists can forecast an approaching El Niño up to six months in advance, allowing the international community to intervene to prevent the worst impacts. Our study helps to quantify these impacts on child nutrition to guide global public investments in food-insecure areas ”, adds the expert.
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To reach their conclusions, the authors compiled data that covered about half of the more than 600 million people under the age of five worldwide. With them, they discovered that warmer and drier El Niño conditions increase malnutrition in children in most of the tropics, where the World Health Organization (WHO) already considers that 20% of children have a much lower weight to normal.
food to 72 million insecure children food
According to experts, the ravages of the 2015 episode subtracted one year of progress from the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and that, to compensate, it would be necessary to provide micronutrient supplements to 134 million children or food to 72 million insecure children food. “Since scientists can pinpoint which places will experience drought and which places will flood months in advance, the international community could act proactively to prevent millions of children from falling into malnutrition,” says Gordon McCord, co-author of the study.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the impacts of droughts fall almost exclusively on agriculture, especially in countries with lower incomes and that cannot easily adapt to this climate scenario.
“Drought causes short- and medium-term water shortages and extreme heat stress on livestock and crops (including forage), which can be detrimental to yields. In the case of prolonged or recurrent droughts, longer-term impacts can occur, such as land subsidence, intrusion of seawater along with river systems with reduced water flow, and damage to ecosystems ”, says the FAO.
Faced with these extreme situations, saving, efficiency, and reusing water becomes imperative. However, the problems that coexist around water and the challenges it faces still remain invisible, which is why the authors warn of the need for swift action to avoid a future collapse due to lack of water.