Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Shawwal 6, 1445 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Left to live without basic necessities!

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Every war brings out very brutal consequences. The longer the war continues, the more there will be deaths and tragedies among the innocent.


Although wars directly destroy basic infrastructure like hospitals, schools, homes, businesses, and other national resources worth billions, what is more disastrous is that they fuel poverty by disrupting livelihoods.


As history shows, vulnerability to being targeted leads to the displacement of people from their homes, forcing children from the classroom, worsening gender inequality, and exposing people to extreme levels of violence.


If poverty, in its broadest sense, refers to a living condition without access to basic necessities such as food, shelter, clean water, education, and healthcare, living below the extreme poverty line, according to the World Bank, means surviving on less than $1.90 a day.


So if we include deprivation of basic necessities of life to define poverty, then nothing fuels it quite like war. This means those war-hit countries will be in grinding poverty for months and years! The least developed countries will struggle the most to escape and recover from conflict-related poverty!


According to a United Nations report, two billion people, or a quarter of the world's population, are now living in conflict-affected areas. Over 84 million people were displaced, and an estimated 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance.


These displaced people are forced to seek safety in other countries, where they live in makeshift camps in horrible conditions, often struggling to meet basic needs like health, education, food, housing, water, and sanitation, to name a few.


The UN report also reveals that 8.4 per cent of the world’s population, or as many as 670 million people, were living in extreme poverty at the end of 2022. An estimated 7 per cent or 575 million people, could still find themselves trapped in extreme poverty by 2030.


Long after the conflict is over, the resonating effects on the next generation ripple on. Projections by the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and others estimate that by 2030, about 50 to 64 per cent of the global poor will live in countries affected by conflicts and high levels of violence.


In a recent Human Rights Council discussion, speakers pointed out that conflict remained a key driver for food insecurity and malnutrition and represented one of the main hindrances to the fulfillment of the right to food.


Conflict makes it very difficult for countries to develop functionally and cripples the economy as businesses fail and foreign investment leaves. This makes further conflict and civil war almost inevitable.


The fact is that the world is only less than seven years past the deadline to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” by 2030! The intensifying wars, armed conflicts, and violence are suggesting that the global target of ending extreme poverty will be missed by a large margin.


Conflict negatively affects the entire food system and aggravates the unaffordability of healthy diets. Around 345 million people were projected to be food insecure in 2023. This number is more than twice the number in 2020!


The number of conflicts around the world has more than doubled in the last three decades. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, there are 27 active conflicts around the world. Although some of these conflicts have been going on for decades, and others for only a few years, in all cases, the results have been ruinous.


After all, creating stability is crucial for economies to develop and governments to eradicate extreme poverty.


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