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Friday, June 14, 2024

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Friday, June 14, 2024

Precious Food

By the editor

Millions of people globally do not get enough food to eat and the crisis is generally because of wars and conflicts with the worst sufferers being women and children. The United Nations (UN) which looks after general welfare of people throughout the world is in great dilemma due to shortage of fund and has been forced to cut food, cash payments and assistance to millions of people in many countries. The situation is so bad because donors like the United States (US) and rich European countries have become reluctant due to reasons best known to them. Moreover due to two years of Covid–19 pandemic the humanitarian needs went sky – rocketing. Carl Skau, deputy executive director of World Food Programme (WFP) said recently that at least 38 of the 86 countries where WFP operates have already been much affected including Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and West Africa.

The UN is a voluntary association of nations formed after Second World War (1939 – 1945) to keep peace, to promote general welfare of people, and to gain respect for individual liberties and the right of people to determine their own future. It depends very much on the willingness and cooperation of the member nations for execution of its various programmes. The major military powers like the US, UK (United Kingdom) and the Russian Federation have greater influence. The League of Nations which was established after the First World War (1914-1918) was a precursor of the UN which was in some ways effective for about 20 years from 1919 to 1939 when Second World War began. From the beginning the UN has been greatly concerned with human rights and fundamental freedoms and hence adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. As the years passed by the UN has been expanding its role in not only maintaining peace and security but also in improving the lives of the weak and underprivileged peoples of the world. Therefore whenever conflicts and problems arose the UN was always ready to intervene for the good and welfare of the human race. Obviously funding by rich nations is a necessity which keeps on rising every year.

It is estimated that WFP requires 20 billion US dollars annually to deliver aid to everyone in need but in the past few years it could manage between 10-14 billion US dollars and for the current year it has received only 5 billion US dollars which is too less. However it is optimistically expected that funds will improve otherwise WFP will face much inconvenience in extending assistance to the ever – rising hungry people across the globe the figure this year being 345 million. The problem is further compounded by climate change, national disasters, inflation in food prices and mounting debt stress. In conclusion the WFP had no alternative but to cut rations.

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