“Breaking the cycle of unsustainable food systems, hunger, and debt” Report
The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems recently released a report titled Breaking the cycle of unsustainable food systems, hunger, and debt. The report highlights that many countries are currently facing catastrophic levels of debt distress and rising hunger. Despite food prices being at their lowest level in a year, countries are having to choose between repaying debts or feeding people.
21 Countries facing catastrophic levels of debt distress and rising hunger:
According to the report, at least 21 countries are facing catastrophic levels of debt distress and rising hunger. Many of these countries are already struggling with poverty and economic instability. The COVID-19 pandemic has further worsened their situation. These countries are now struggling to repay their debts and feed their populations at the same time.
Food prices at their lowest level in a year:
Despite food prices currently being at their lowest level in a year, many countries are still struggling to provide adequate food to their populations. The report suggests that this is mainly due to the rising debt levels in these countries.
Countries having to choose between repaying debts or feeding people:
The report highlights that many countries are having to choose between repaying their debts or feeding their populations. This is particularly challenging for low-income countries that are already struggling to meet the basic needs of their citizens. With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating the situation, many countries are now facing a severe crisis.
High risk of debt distress:
As many as 60% of low-income countries and 30% of middle-income countries are at high risk of debt distress or already in it. This means that these countries are likely to default on their debt payments, leading to severe economic instability.
Urgent action needed:
The report calls for urgent action to provide debt relief and development finance to meet the needs of COVID-19 recovery, sustainable development goals, and climate-resilient food systems. The report also emphasizes the need to address the root causes of debt distress and food insecurity, such as economic inequality, unsustainable food systems, and climate change.