Álvaro Vega I Córdoba, (EFE) Food and Agriculture (FAO), when analyzing the scourge suffered by 839 million people in the world.
Esquinas, who will intervene as a guest speaker next weekend at the VIII Conference on the presence of Freemasonry in Córdoba, which will have a special impact on the social action of this initiation order, prefers to address this problem with numbers: “17 million people They die as a result of hunger and malnutrition every year, that is, between 35,000 and 40,000 people a day, four or five times more than those who have done so due to covid ”, he says.
This happens, he says in an interview with EFE, at the same time that “we are spending 4,000 million dollars on weapons, which would allow us to feed those who are dying of hunger for about 120 years at the price of food in the place where to die”.
Without food security there can never be peace
Esquinas, who was president of the Ethics Committee for Agriculture and Food of the FAO and secretary general of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Agriculture and Food, which entered into force in 2004, considers that hunger “is profoundly dangerous, not only for those who die, but for the rest of the world, because I honestly believe that without food security there is not and can never be peace or world security and we have numerous examples of this”.
“Today, globally, we produce 60 percent more of the food that is needed to nourish all of humanity and it is there, in the international market, but it is not within the reach of those who are hungry, who are also poor,” he stresses. .
For Esquinas, “it is not about producing more food, since a third of world production, 1,300 million tons, is lost along the way and much of it, especially in our developed countries, ends up in the trash and, in part, in unopened containers because they have expired.
Effects on climate change
Another derived effect is, according to Esquinas, “the greenhouse gases generated in the production of these foods, which go into the atmosphere and are responsible for climate change.”
Graduated and PhD in Agronomy from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and also a PhD from the University of California, he affirms that “the current agricultural sector, with an unnecessary extra production of 60 percent, is responsible for 29 percent of greenhouse gases.” greenhouse effect and “only food that does not reach any mouth of 10 or 11 percent.”
Hence, he remembers a phrase from a friend who jokingly told him that “if hunger were contagious like the diseases we are suffering from, it would have ended many years ago” and also John F. Kennedy’s speech in 1963 at the United Nations , where he pointed out that even then the means and the capacity to end hunger were available and all that was lacking was the political will.
More for cats and dogs than for FAO
José Esquinas, with three decades of experience at FAO, affirms that this will “not only continues to be lacking today, but also the reality of hunger is being used as a political weapon when certain countries establish embargoes and this includes the embargo of food”.
Data such as the fact that what two countries, the United States and Canada, spend on dog and cat food in one week is equivalent to the FAO budget for two years is an example of this lack of political will, he emphasizes.
Esquinas cites Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State of the United States with Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, “an extremely intelligent guy with whom I don’t agree,” who “said at the time that whoever controls oil controls governments and whoever controls food controls the peoples”. EFE