Extreme weather events leave populations with not enough food both in the short- and the long-term. A new report by the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford concludes that better governance could have lessened the impact on the poorest and most vulnerable, and affected populations have been let down by the authorities in the past.
The report, commissioned by the charity Oxfam, tracks the effects on four countries: Russia which experienced a heatwave in 2010; flood-hit Pakistan the same year; East Africa during the drought of 2010-2011; and the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The researchers conclude that the authorities in each of the countries studied were unprepared for extreme weather events, and citizens suffered even more than they needed to.
The report, 'A Sign of Things to Come?', says that the Russian heatwave led to a hoarding of food supplies and price-fixing by speculators, which compounded food shortages and led to global wheat prices rising dramatically. It also suggests this could possibly be linked with the political upheaval in the Middle East, with Egypt’s hungry protestors suffering the most.