Prathmesh Rai from OP Jindal University Writes: ‘Underdeveloped Nations’ refers to those nations that have sufficient resources but are unable to use them at full potential in an efficient manner. The future crisis that will be impacting the world and more so, the underdeveloped states is water and food scarcity. However, the foreseeable solution to this crisis is a ‘global effort’ to combat such emerging and pressing issues. Such a crisis can only be solved as a collective rather than an individual effort.
Climate change has triggered an increase in the intensity and frequency of hydro-meteorological disasters in the form of changing rainfall patterns and rapid cyclones, bashing the coastlines of various coastal nations. The driving force behind such unimaginable weather patterns is global warming which is working as a catalyst in accelerating the extinction of numerous plants, animal species, and biodiversity. Furthermore, the food chain is also impacted as the naturally run ecosystem is deteriorating at a rapid speed.
A toddler’s initial years are most important for an individual’s well-being, if the child does not receive adequate nutrients and care in its early phase, its future can be tainted due to stunted growth. New research published by the World Bank and FAO suggests that nutrient-rich food is more important than a calorie-loaded diet, however changing climatic conditions have ruined crops all around the globe and more so impacted the Global South. Another concern that the underdeveloped world faces due to water and food security is that Africa and Asia have an ever-expanding youth population and if they are not taken care of in terms of health, their health complications may even impact employment prospects which can create graver issues for the already weak and enervated underdeveloped world.
Lastly, many of the cities and urban settlements in the Global South are poorly designed and have been exacerbated due to explosive population growth. The crux of this issue is the expanding population and its eventual and inevitable encroachment into the river systems for settlement purposes. Due to this, riverside communities have been growing exponentially. This is an issue to which solutions are limited but risks are eternal. The rainfall patterns are changing constantly due to climate change which results in frequent floods and heavy rains, thus, directly threatening the livelihoods of the people that live near the rivers on lowlands. Here if water fills, it becomes difficult to withdraw leading to stagnant water, resulting in the increase of water-borne diseases. Cities like Delhi, Kampala, Jakarta, Khartoum, and Dhaka are examples of large cities facing this issue as every season the rivers flood, due to which there are drainage issues, urban infrastructure like roads and buildings are decimated and the excess use of plastic further reduces underground channeling of water, hence the water remains trapped for a longer period of time.
Issues regarding food and water security can be handled through global and collective efforts. This has been previously addressed by the SDGs like Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-Being, Responsible Consumption and Production Patterns, and Climate Action. Therefore, the international community can collaborate and solve these issues for the betterment of humanity, because water and food are public goods whereby, everyone can use them, but none are willing to take responsibility. If this perception changes, then only can humanity overcome imminent challenges like global warming and issues regarding food and water security.