The United States and China reaffirmed their commitment to the Phase One Trade Agreement last month. While Beijing is unlikely to reach the import commitments that it agreed to in that deal, it has increased the volume of US agricultural goods that it is importing. It remains to be seen whether that will be sufficient to save the agreement after the US presidential election in November.
Although Pakistan appears to be past the worst of the economic turmoil of lockdown, history points towards a food security situation that, unfortunately, is likely to worsen.
Drinking water shortages in urban areas are a symptom of a wider economic disaster unfolding in Zimbabwe.
Xi Jinping exhorts citizens to avoid wasting food as supply falters and prices soar.
There is likely to be a significant increase in poverty across Iraq as a result of a severe economic downturn brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, a decline in oil production and a sharp decrease in international oil prices. That is expected to contribute to a significant, and persistent, rise in food insecurity across the country.
The destruction of a major port and grain silo has drawn attention to Lebanon’s spiralling food insecurity situation.
An analysis by the Chilean Government suggests that copper and lithium miners are overdrawing water from the Salar de Atacama, frustrating efforts to further develop the mining industry in the country. Desalination and changes to mining and processing methods could present a way forward.
While the annual monsoon will replenish the urban water supply, persistently low year-to-year water levels ahead of the monsoon suggest that the city could face a severe water crisis at some point in the next few years.
Some of the most severe floods in decades are likely to slow supply chains in China. That could disrupt the supply of personal protective equipment, which is necessary for combatting Covid-19.
A recent scientific analysis has shown beyond reasonable doubt that Chinese dams are capable of lowering water levels in the lower Mekong River basin. It is now clear that Beijing could use its geographical position at the headwaters of the river to influence or coerce downstream riparians, to the detriment of the US and other countries that share its vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.