Climate change, COVID-19, and the war in Ukraine are just some of the crises that have exposed an unfortunate new reality — our global food supply is perilously insecure. Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, whose food exports directly and indirectly impact almost two billion people, has impacted many in the poorest countries.
Inflation that has been attributed to the war and to supply chain disruptions hasn’t helped. Climate change and the resulting impacts on extreme weather patterns of drought, flooding, forest fires, water shortages and unprecedented temperature conditions have impacted agriculture and growth across more and more of the world.
And yet, this crisis — per the eternal aphorism — also presents an opportunity for Canada to take its place as a global food superpower. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reports that a record 349 million people across 79 countries now face acute food insecurity – up from 287 million in 2021.
“This constitutes a staggering rise of 200 million people compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels,” per the WFP. “More than 900,000 people worldwide are fighting to survive in famine-like conditions. This is ten times more than five years ago, an alarmingly rapid increase.”
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