Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

A Serious Issue to Ponder Upon!


A Serious Issue to Ponder Upon!

Human beings are fortunate that they are blessed with variety of energy resources that have enabled them to live their lives on the planet Earth. It is because of these energy sources that human beings have performed miracles by inventing various ways of ensuring satisfaction and facilities for themselves. From the facilitation of very rudimentary requirements of ordinary life to the costly inventions of modern science and technology, the stores of energy have always supported human beings without much difficulty.

However, it should be noted that if the use of energy can make human beings display marvels, its careless use and wastage may make human beings suffer. Therefore, human beings have to be careful and must use the resources through proper planning. Moreover, Human beings have to make sure as well that the economic and political systems must ensure providence of natural resources to all the human beings alike – unfortunately that is not the case in contemporary world of ours. The short-comings in our economic system have made the basic requirements seem lesser and inadequate though it is yet to face a serious threat of inadequacy.

A current UN report has warned the world that the basic requirements of life and the energy sources may decline to a considerable extent and may not be able to compensate the increasing requirements of growing population.

The world population has already reached to 7 billion and according to current calculations it may reach to 9 billion by 2040 and the world is not ready to provide for this increase and may push a considerable number of people towards poverty.

The world, according to UN estimates, would need 50 percent more food by 2030. Apart from that it would also require 45 percent more energy and 30 percent more water. Some of other figures in this regard are very much concerning as well.

They show 'although the number of people living in absolute poverty has been reduced to 27 percent of world population from 46 percent in 1990 and the global economy has grown 75 percent since 1992, improved lifestyles and changing consumer habits have put natural resources under increasing strain. There are 20 million more undernourished people now than in 2000; 5.2 million hectares of forest are lost per year - an area the size of Costa Rica; 85 percent of all fish stocks are over-exploited or depleted; and carbon dioxide emissions have risen 38 percent between 1990 and 2009, which heightens the risk of sea level rise and more extreme weather.'

United Nations' high-level panel on global sustainability has mentioned, "The current global development model is unsustainable. To achieve sustainability, a transformation of the global economy is required… Tinkering on the margins will not do the job. The current global economic crisis ... offers an opportunity for significant reforms."

The panel, in fact, has suggested that 'a new political economy' has to be developed so as to ensure proper providence of rudimentary requirements of life to all. It would be better for the world that it must cogitate seriously about every possibility of a new political economy so as to enable the world to compensate for the food and other shortages for the poor countries will have to suffer to a considerable extent as a result of the shortage of basic requirements and sources of energy. Unfortunately, Afghanistan is one of the same countries and it will have to face serious challenges in the times to come to provide food to its people.

Decades of war in Afghanistan has affected the country to a large extent. Different sectors have been influenced by this menace. The basic infra-structure has not been able to get proper attention and people are suffering because of basic needs, among which food is the most basic one. It is one of the preliminary physiological requirements of human beings and it is really sorry to note that there are million of people in Afghanistan who lack this basic need.

Even a decade of development has not been able to provide proper or even sufficient food to a large number of people. The prospects, in this regard, display a bleak picture for the coming years.
Though Afghanistan is an agricultural country and wheat is its staple crop yet there has been and there will be major shortage of food for the people of Afghanistan who already suffer from myriads of problems. In order to fulfill the food requirements of the country, Afghanistan has been largely dependent on foreign aid. Unfortunately, there are signs of decrease in the aid that is going to be provided to the country in the coming year and the years to follow; one of the major reasons being global economic depression, which means more people would remain without food in the years to come that would add suffering to the lives of a common people.

The Deputy Director UN's World Food Program (WFP) for Afghanistan, Bradley Guerrant, had earlier said, "We are planning for 45 percent (of a once projected $400 million) for next year (2012)." This amount, in no way, can compensate for the WFP's food program for the year.

So, the fund will be focused on the issues of great urgency and importance including 'support for the most vulnerable families especially households headed by disabled people and women' and 'supplementary feeding programs for malnourished children under five years old and pregnant women', while some other programs which are in no way negligible may be cut back (these include agriculture schemes and a school feeding program). The choice has not been a very convenient one as Bradley Guerrant had mentioned, "We are making some very difficult decisions right now."

It is really important that a decade of struggle for betterment in Afghanistan must not only end in peace and tranquility but also better living standard for the common Afghan people; and if that is not convenient, they must at least be provided the rudimentary requirements.

"One challenge is also ensuring that the food gets to the right people," he said, referring to allegations of corruption in food delivery.
With the growing concerns about the international food and energy shortages, the concerns, on the national level will in fact multiply. The concerned authorities in this regard have to make sure that they make proper arrangements for such times and save our country from going through further miseries. They have to bring about necessary changes in their economic system so that it can be better from what it is at the moment; that is what the world is thinking about.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at dilawar.sherzai@gmail.com

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