Ihe world is facing multiple energy, food and health crises. These threats are interconnected and require a concerted response emphasizing international cooperation and innovation. Europe was hit hard by the energy crisis this winter.
Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine left nearly 10 million people without heating during the winter months and sent millions more having electricity bills soaring, struggling to buy basic products. War affects every region of the world in one way or another.
Energy supplies are under pressure, food prices have skyrocketed and inflation is soaring. All of these events pose a threat to people’s health and livelihoods, especially the most vulnerable communities. Global grain shortages caused by the war in Ukraine have also created severe food insecurity.
The challenges are interdependent
In Africa alone, the number of people facing food insecurity is expected to increase by 32 million by the end of the decade. The pandemic has also rolled back years of health gains in poorer countries by halting everything from routine childhood vaccination campaigns to the delivery of bed nets to prevent malaria.
Solving the energy crisis has garnered much attention lately, but trying to address each of these challenges independently is futile if we forget that they are interdependent. The energy crisis, for example, has increased the cost of producing fertilizer with current methods, which has limited supply and reduced food production.
This impact on food availability represents a threat to the health of populations. Our leaders must meet these challenges together. No nation can solve a global problem alone. As Covid-19 has reminded us, no country is immune to an infectious disease. When countries and their partners work together, we have seen what cooperation and innovation can do to solve problems that seemed too expensive or too complex.
The indispensable collaboration between countries and actors
Take the example of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In 2000, the Gates Foundation and Norway joined with multilateral organizations and the private sector to create Gavi. By mobilizing funding and expertise, Gavi has developed the supply chains and financing mechanisms to deliver vaccines to people around the world.
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