16 October is world food day. It was established by the UN in 1979, but, frankly, over the past decade, a national holiday clearly did not. Moreover, the word “holiday” to this day do not apply — rather, it is appropriate to call it a day of pain, sorrow, and shame for humanity. In the second decade of the XXI century 815 million people on Earth starving.
Such discouraging data are contained in the latest report of FAO (food and agriculture division of the United Nations), released just on the eve of world food day. The authors are sounding the alarm: after a steady decline over the past ten years, global hunger is again on the rise and covers 11% of the population of the globe. Over the past year the number of hungry people in the world grew by 38 million, largely due to the increase in the number and magnitude of armed conflicts and natural disasters related to climate change.
In the report a lot of truly shocking data. About 155 million children under five years are stunted, and 52 million suffer from wasting. Of course, this statistic is typical especially for the poor countries of Asia and Africa. But the population of the most prosperous States — their problems. A serious concern of the FAO expert cause mass anemia, which affects 613 million women and obesity, which covers 13% of the adult population.
The situation on the global food market is aggravated by the fact that global food prices are rising continuously. FAO experts estimate that the average index of food prices (which the organization regularly computes based on data from around the world) increased over the month by 0.8%, and the year — by 4.3%. Increase experts attribute the sharp rise in price of vegetable oil and dairy products.
There are, however, good news. For example, wheat prices in the last month decreased mainly as a result of increased production forecasts in the Russian Federation. References in a similar vein, our country the FAO report, of course, flattering. And the threat of mass starvation in Russia, fortunately, is not relevant. But other problems associated with food security, we have more than enough. Key among them is high prices and low quality products offered to Russian consumers.
Since the beginning of the economic crisis in the second half of 2014, the price of food as the chain broke. Since then, the food on the shelves in the domestic average rose by more than 35%. And although this year’s statistics on food inflation seems quite prosperous, it is the high growth of prices for food products, as documented summer VTSIOM poll, remain the most exciting topic for Russians: she cares almost a quarter of all respondents. Which is not surprising: real incomes fall for the fourth consecutive year, a decrease of about 15%. As a result, 40% of the population does not have enough money for food, and 10% are forced to save even on the simplest of foods.
Critical experts attribute this to the fact that more than three years Russia lived in conditions of food embargo. “After the introduction of grocery sanctions on Russian shelves filled fake that should not be sold, with the range of products was reduced in the absence of quality food from EU and other countries”, — says the Chairman of the Board of the International Confederation of societies of consumers (Konfop) Dmitry Yanin. He believes that the lack of competition from Western producers turned to the population not only by rising prices but also a decline in the quality of the food.
And as a result of sanctions from August 2015, the Russian authorities have destroyed about 11 thousand tons of prohibited to import into Russia products. And this burned in ovens, and crushed under the treads of bulldozers, the food was neither counterfeit nor defective nor overdue: all of her “guilt” was in the “wrong” country of origin.
Of course, wanton destruction in Russia products, whether they are used as intended, would not solve the problem of hunger in the world. But, given the fact that per day people consume 2-2,5 kg of food would be quite enough to make 5-6 million hungry at least one day ate his heart’s content. Maybe in the future our officials to think about how to arrange people in need this holiday at least in the world food day…
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