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UN chief warns that “empty bellies fuel unrest”

In a stark warning, the United Nations chief said on Tuesday that the combined impact of climate chaos and food crises are increasing threats to global peace.

Speaking at the UN Security Council in New York, Antonio Guterres said climate disasters have a negative impact on food production which kindles social unrest.

“A global food crisis is creating a hellscape of anger and heartache for many of the world’s poorest people. And the climate crisis is accelerating with the deadly force, and last year was the hottest ever.”

“Both of these facts undermine peace. Empty bellies fuel unrest. In Portugal, we have a saying, ‘In a house with no bread, everyone argues and no one is right,” he said.

Guterres urged the UN Security Council to address the impact of food shortages and rising prices on international peace and security, saying climate and conflict are the two leading drivers of the global food crises.

“In Gaza, no one has enough to eat. Of the 700,000 hungriest people in the worlds, four in five inhabit that tiny strip of land,” he said.

“In many places, climate disasters add another dimension. Every one of the 14 countries most at risk from climate change are suffering conflicts; 13 of them faced humanitarian crises this year.”

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization said over two-thirds of the 258 million people in 58 countries facing high levels of acute food insecurity, are there because of climate and conflict.

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