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.
Food insecurity has risen for another consecutive year. Ongoing conflicts, climate change and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic make it likely that the situation will continue to deteriorate this year.
As migrant workers are forced home and incomes are lost, years of food security progress are being undone in Nepal.
Unless a diplomatic breakthrough occurs within the next few weeks, it is likely that Ethiopia will start to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam without a transboundary water sharing agreement. The lack of an agreement will make it difficult to govern the water resources of the Nile basin.
While Afghanistan’s destructive 2018-19 drought has now eased, Kabul remains unwilling to negotiate with Iran over water-sharing, to Tehran’s displeasure.
A cluster of Covid-19 cases at the Xinfadi wholesale food market in Beijing will place increased pressure on Chinese officials to impose more stringent regulations on wet markets.
The global food supply system has performed better than first anticipated during the Covid-19 pandemic. A number of vulnerabilities have become obvious, however, mainly in the growing and processing stages of the industrial food supply chain. Reforms that value food and agriculture workers and increase competition in segments of the processing industry would make the food supply more resilient in times of crisis.
A complex economic crisis has taken hold in Syria, causing increased food insecurity and placing pressure on the Assad regime.