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A new report, The Wheel of Life: Food, Climate, Human Rights and the Economy, examines how major crises of our day-hunger, climate change, and more-are deeply interlinked. Yet too often government and international institutions address these issues as if they are disconnected from one another. Consequently, many policies do not fully tackle root causes and, as a result, global calamities can intensify.
Confronting global hunger serves as one example. World leaders on all sides of the political spectrum uniformly repeat that economic growth is needed to address hunger and poverty. Yet economic growth is often related to intensive industrial activities that contribute to global warming, which in turn, negatively impacts the ability to grow food.
To illustrate another link between economic growth and food insecurity-even though economic growth indicators have risen in many countries over the last decade, hunger rates have increased alarmingly within the last several years. The report highlights how economic and trade policies may spur growth for a limited number of financial actors and institutions, but undermine the ability of small-scale farmers and rural communities to be self-sufficient in providing food for local populations.