Urban Poor in Developing Nations Particularly Badly Hit by Rising Food Prices, Climate Change

dhaka bangladesh photo

photo: Ahron de Leeux via flickr

Scientists have been highlighting the risk to global food production due to climate change for some time, but a new study from Purdue University quantifies some of the worst effects. Looking at rising grain prices due to changing growing conditions, the researchers found that millions of people in developing nations will be pushed into poverty, with the urban poor to be most strongly hit:Bangladesh, Mexico, Zambia Bear the Brunt
The report, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, looked at 16 developing nations and found that urban workers in Bangladesh, Mexico and Zambia would bear the brunt of rises in staple food prices.

4.1 Million More Poor in These Nations
Thomas Hertel, distinguished professor of agricultural economics and co-leader of the study said these nations, "showed the greatest percentage of the population entering poverty in the wake of extreme drought, with an additional 1.4 percent, 1.8 percent, and 4.6 percent of their populations being impoverished by future climate extremes."

That means an additional 1.8 million people in both Bangladesh and Mexico pushed into poverty, and some 500,000 more in Zambia.

Urban Poor Only Will Feel Negative Effects of Higher Food Prices
Hertel pointed out, "Food is a major expenditure for the poor and, while those who work in agriculture would have some benefit from higher grains prices, the urban poor would only get the negative effects."

Let's remember that in nearly every developing nation studied here that there is an ongoing marked shift in populations from rural to urban areas, only exacerbating the problem.

More: Science Codex
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