Beijing issued an orange alert over air pollution Saturday night. The air pollution is to last from Monday to Wednesday, Xinhua quoted Beijing’s air pollution emergency response office as saying.
The central part of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is forecast to see moderate to severe air pollution during the period, with the air quality index (AQI) in some regions to exceed 300, according to the China National Environmental Monitoring Center.
A new report by SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, finds conflict and climate change are largely responsible for rising global hunger.
More than 800 million people around the world are going hungry. SIPRI reports 60% are in conflict-affected countries. It says political instability and conflict-related displacement generate food crises.
The Stockholm research institute says food is often inaccessible to people caught in conflict. It says limited supplies of these commodities cause prices to spiral, making food largely unaffordable.
Climate change it says is worsening the ability of people to get enough to eat. It says hunger is growing as crops and livelihoods in impoverished countries are wiped out by extreme flooding and drought.
The U.N.’s World Food Program reports Yemen suffered the worst food crisis last year, followed in order of severity by DR Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan and northern Nigeria. WFP spokesman, Herve Verhoosel says these eight countries account for two-thirds of all people facing acute hunger.
“Even in conflict-affected areas with limited access such as South Sudan and Yemen, when we can do our job safely and have consistent access to people in need, we can prevent the worst forms of hunger,” he said. “We only see famine now when our staff are not able to reach the food-insecure people due to insecurity or where our access is blocked.”
Verhoosel says more than 113 million people in 53 countries suffer from acute hunger and are in urgent need of food, nutrition and livelihood assistance. He notes conflict and insecurity are the main drivers of hunger in 21 of these countries.
WFP is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. Each year it provides food assistance to nearly 90 million people in areas affected by conflict and natural disasters. (VOA)