Friday 18 January 2019

Severe weather “pushing millions” into starvation

Mary Robinson during the Hunger, Nutrition, Climate ,Justice Conference which will explore the links between climate change, hunger and poor nutrition and their impact on the world’s most vulnerable communities
Mary Robinson during the Hunger, Nutrition, Climate ,Justice Conference which will explore the links between climate change, hunger and poor nutrition and their impact on the world’s most vulnerable communities

By Cormac Murphy

SEVERE weather patterns are "pushing millions" into starvation, former president Mary Robinson said, ahead of a major climate change conference at Dublin Castle.

President Michael D Higgins officially opened the two-day gathering on Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Change this morning.

The event was jointly organised by the Government and the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice.

"The links between hunger, under-nutrition and climate change are clear to see once we listen to the experiences of the poorest and most vulnerable people, who battle through unpredictable weather patterns in their struggle to feed their families. With crops destroyed, food prices surge, pushing millions into poverty and hunger," Ms Robinson said.

The conference is aiming to come up with a plan to tackle global hunger and nutrition issues caused by changing climates.

Heads of several international organisations, such as the World Food Programme, UNICEF and the Consortium Group on International Agricultural Research, are at the event.

Former US vice president Al Gore was attending as well.

More than 100 people from communities in Africa, Asia and the Arctic Circle described how climate change is causing food shortages.

In his opening address, President Higgins highlighted Ireland's commitment to food security and improving global nutrition standards.

Ireland dedicates 20pc of the overseas aid budget to fighting hunger by improving the productivity of smallholder farmers.

Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore said, as climate change makes food more difficult to produce, "we need innovative solutions to support communities on the frontline".

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