The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) is united with the United Nations and the farmers and peoples of the world in raising the alarm over the famine in South Sudan and the grave food insecurity in Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria.
These food crises deserve the urgent response of governments and their organizations all over the world. After UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres announced the famine and the grave food insecurity in these countries on February 22, the Somali government has announced that 110 people have died of hunger in just two days. Thousands of Somali are travelling to the country’s capital Mogadishu in search of food and water.
Knowledge of the severity of the food crises needs to be spread all over the world. The drive for humanitarian assistance for the said countries needs to be hastened, as no less than actual lives are at stake.
Even as we contribute to these efforts, the farmers and peoples of the world are called upon to examine and act upon the systemic causes of these food crises.
(1) These food crises further highlight the destruction of food systems because of climate change brought about by global warming. Bold and coordinated efforts by various countries led by the most developed ones is needed, especially towards reducing carbon emissions. US President Donald Trump’s statements denying climate change definitely bodes ill for such efforts.
(2) These food crises further highlight the need for governments to take on a leading role in advancing their countries’ food sovereignty. Big foreign corporations’ plunder of developing countries’ natural resources must stop, and so does national elites’ plunder of their countries’ national coffers. The situation where the latter passes on the task of bringing “development” into their countries into the former is most untenable and must end. Centuries of colonial and neocolonial plunder, the latter pursued through neoliberal economic policies in the past decades, should end.
(3) These food crises further highlight the need to end US militarism in Africa and the Middle East. US militarism has worsened these food crises by undermining countries’ sovereignty and wittingly or unwittingly worsening conflict in the region. It has buttressed colonial, neocolonial and neoliberal plunder and has therefore worsened the material conditions for poverty and conflict in these countries. The election of Trump as US president means worsening US militarism the world over.
Towards attaining these ends, we are calling on the farmers, indigenous peoples, small-scale food producers and peoples of the world, especially of countries facing food crises, as well as their advocates to unite and strengthen their movements for national sovereignty and development, of which food sovereignty is a crucial component.
We have to strengthen the demand for solutions to climate change, for food sovereignty, and against US militarism. We have to force governments to heed our calls and we have to bring about national and international governance that truly serves the interests of the farmers, indigenous peoples, small-scale food producers and all the hungry peoples of the world.###