MADRID, July 1 (IPS) – As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit ended in Madrid on June 30 with net pledges to double arms spending and eightfold the number of troops in Europe, the total of hungry people worldwide now marks an unprecedented record.
As explained by IPS in its: NATO summit set to further militarize Europe, expand into Africa? The statement of the Western Military Alliance states that its member states continue to face various threats from “all strategic directions”.
“The Russian Federation is the most important and immediate threat to the security of the Allies and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.”
Militarizing migration policy?
In addition, the NATO Summit Declaration emphasizes that terrorism, “in all its forms and manifestations, continues to pose a direct threat to the security of our people, and to international stability and prosperity.”
The Summit therefore decided to step up military deployment in Southern Europe, in particular in Spain, and at its request as a means of preventing and combating terrorism.
The decision was taken by NATO leaders just four days after the massive entry of migrants into the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, both in northern Morocco, which was brutally stopped, killing around 30 migrants.
“Instability beyond our borders also contributes to irregular migration and human trafficking,” the statement says.
In short, NATO has opted for further militarization of the migration policies of the US, Canada and the European countries, which they continue to claim to be based on international law and human rights and so on.
Cyber, space threats?
The Madrid Declaration also says that NATO members “are faced with cyber, space and hybrid and other asymmetric threats, as well as the malicious use of emerging and disruptive technologies.”
As expected, the NATO statement emphasizes that the Russian Federation poses “the most important and immediate threat to the security of the Allies and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area”.
At the same time, NATO leaders have clearly referred to China.
“We face systemic competition from those, including the People’s Republic of China, who challenge our interests, security and values and seek to undermine the rules-based international order.”
Any word on hunger?
Unless hunger has been treated by the Western Military Alliance as a “top secret, confidential” topic, the NATO statement makes no clear reference to the current unprecedented hunger crisis. Perhaps NATO is including the deadly hunger as part of its package of “threats” to their safety and security?
The fact is, 811 million people currently go to bed hungry every night, warns the Peace Nobel Laureate World Food Program (WFP).
The number of people with acute food insecurity has soared since 2019 – from 135 million to 345 million. A total of 50 million people in 45 countries are teetering on the brink of famine.
Money for guns, not to save lives
While needs are skyrocketing, resources have bottomed out, WFP warns, stressing that it will take $22.2 billion to immediately reach 137 million people by 2022.
“However, as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap between needs and funding is wider than ever before.”
It is difficult to provide the urgently needed funding to meet the urgent need to save lives. In its Nuclear-Armed Powers Squandered $156,000 a Minute on Their “MAD” Policy, IPS reported how nine nuclear-armed states spent $82.4 billion on these weapons of mass destruction in just one year, prior to the unfolding war in Europe.
In view of the NATO summit’s decision to further increase military spending to not only confront Russia, but also to spend more heavily on deadly weapons to combat what it now considers the Chinese threat there will be little chance of dealing with the devastating hunger.
Why is the world hungrier than ever?
WPF lists four causes of hunger and famine. This seismic hunger crisis, it explains, has been caused by a deadly combination of four factors:
- Conflict is still the biggest cause of hunger: 60 percent of the world’s hungry live in areas affected by war and violence. The events in Ukraine are further evidence of how conflict is fueling hunger, forcing people out of their homes and wiping out their livelihoods.
- Climate shocks destroy lives, crops and livelihoods and undermine people’s ability to feed themselves.
- The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is driving hunger to unprecedented heights.
- And last but not least, the cost of reaching those in need is rising: The price WFP pays for food has increased by 30 percent compared to 2019, an additional $42 million per month.
Hunger hotspots: a ring of fire
Besides, none of these factors were caused by any of these millions of hungry people.
According to the Rome-based WFP, from the Central American Dry Corridor and Haiti, through the Sahel, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and then east to the Horn of Africa, Syria, Yemen and all the way to Afghanistan, there is a ring of fire that spans the globe, where conflict and climate shock are pushing millions of people to the brink of starvation.
In countries such as Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, the WFP is already facing tough decisions, including lowering rations to reach more people. This amounts to taking the hungry to feed the hungry.
“The consequences of not investing in resilience activities will reverberate across borders. If communities are unable to withstand the shocks and stresses they are exposed to, it could lead to increased migration and possible destabilization and conflict.”
Is this why NATO leaders are talking about pouring more billions and even trillions into their fight against “destabilization and terrorism”?
© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service