Global analysis of malnutrition by the International Food Policy Research Institute suggests that nine of the 12 countries with the severest hunger were racked by civil war or violent conflict. Many of the countries that score the worst are in sub-Saharan Africa, marked in red on the map. South Asia including Pakistan and Afghanistan are considered on the map of global hotspots as countries with serious and alarming problems.
Conflict in today's day and age is based mostly on ideological divisions. When ideology takes over,sensibilities go out of the window, and hunger, malnutrition and conflict takes charge. War is the basic cause of human misery.The four horsemen of the apocalypse are said to journey together, the four riders are seen as symbolizing Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, respectively. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the four horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgement. It seems, at least in the case of present conflict ridden red zones of the earth, the four riders of apocalypse are wreaking havoc.
If we want to ensure peace, we need to have conflict prevention and resolution to be on the top of the agenda. If mass hunger, mass illiteracy and mass famine is to be avoided in these hotspots, drones will not help, hundreds of billions of $'s in wars have created more revulsion and hatred.
Conquest and war needs to be replaced by benevolent measures that are aimed at bringing the temperature down. That is only possible if preoccupation with ideology in these regions is diluted by establishing a dialogue with grass root, through a full fledge war on ignorance, misery and inequity.
Project leader Doris Wiesmann of International Food Policy Research Institute suggests that keen focus on conflict prevention and resolution is required if new bouts of hunger are to be avoided. According to her, even under difficult conditions where historical blood feuds and divisions create unbridgeable conflicts, investment in infrastructure, health and education can be beneficial.
Wars based on ideology, civil disputes and ethnicity have historical linkages and these cannot be determined in quick time. We find elements of ideology or ethnic superiority as the basis of conflict in most of the contemporary examples of conflicts in the ravaged African continent like the Darfur Conflict, Chad-Sudan conflict, conflicts in the Horn of Africa, Eritrean-Ethiopian War, Ethnic Violence in Burundi and Rwandan Genocide. In South Asia, conflicts have similar genesis - from Kashmir to the borders of Pakistan and hinterland of Afghanistan - ideological supremacy and way of life is the basis of conflict.
The only way we can move forward on the famine and hunger front is to avoid war and resolve conflicts. The problem with all these seriously ravaged societies is their preoccupation with dogma; inflexible doctrines can only be suppressed with full fledge efforts to promote education. No meaningful progress can be ascertained on the front elimination of hunger and famine.
Any unfortunate poverty and conflict ridden nation is deprived and feeble for a cause; the raison d'être of conflict is merciless attitudes and helplessness in finding a middle ground. It is callousness of treating minorities and killing others at gun point that leads to conflict. Self righteousness of their own postures destroy their own society. If one wants to remain aloof from the world there are many forgotten backward tribes in Pacific and Amazons, who have not been disturbed and they continue their way of primitive life without any interference, no one disturbs them as they do not wish to export their brand of life to others. The problem is when imposition of idea becomes a pre-occupation.
Origins of these conflicts suggest that any attempt to interfere with their free way of life leads to wars. In case of Talibans the logic is that, as fiercely free ideologues and tribes, they have to protect their honour and freedom. War is second nature to them and killing any invader a sacred purpose. Naturally with this kind of fanaticism the position of a nation on "global hunger index" is the least of their concerns. A martial society will violate at will three major indicators of hunger of "Global hunger index." In a war where only death counts child mortality, child malnutrition and estimates of the proportion of calorie-deficient people absolutely take the back-seat.
It is plausible that our new epoch of global connectivity and free minds may help the most unpleasant constituent of our animal nature to slide into insignificance if we could act in unison to eradicate conflict and hatred. We humans have the absolute capability to provide food for everyone, get drinkable water for one and all on the planet and educate every person on the planet but alas we opt for war more than peace.
The overpowering result from the analysis of global starvation by the International Food Policy Research Institute suggests that if we need to avoid malnutrition and death from hunger in these poverty and conflict-ridden regions, we need to say 'no' to the riders of 'conquest and war,' a very big 'no to war' it is as important a challenge as eradication of ignorance and famine. For this dream to materialise these nations also need curb the urge to 'export ideology' and to incubate terror cells have to take a back-seat. Perhaps, this is the hardest part for them to break from. Most of these nations struggling on the lowest level of human development yet maintaining indisputable number 1 in global ranking of ideological punditry and backwardness is a very big scriptural hi.
For peace to take shape, war sentiments needs to be tone down, economic prosperity can only be ensured through conflict resolution, but before motivation to resolve disputes and any hope of renaissance to ensue, minds need to break free from ingrained doctrines and customs. A mind free from dogma will not only lead itself to self sufficiency in food but provide for others too. More than anything else it is regrettably preoccupation with self-righteousness and ideology that is destroying the core of these societies. We can dismount the later two riders of 'famine and death' easily, if we disarm the former two riders of the apocalypse, the rider of 'conquest and war.' Are you listening Mr. President Obama.