APOCALIPSIS

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Ya no abre noticieros. No sale en la primera página de los periódicos. No es tema de conversación durante los almuerzos. Pero ahí sigue, viva y a punto de causar uno de los mayores estragos económicos y alimenticios de los últimos años. Hablo de la guerra entre Ucrania y Rusia, la misma que sí fue portada en la prestigiosa revista de ‘The Economist’, con un artículo que bien podría ser un capítulo del libro del Apocalipsis por las desgracias que plantea.

Dice el artículo que, con la invasión a Ucrania, Vladimir Putin “destruirá la vida de las personas que se encuentran lejos del campo de batalla, y en una escala que incluso él puede lamentar”. ¿Por qué? Porque la guerra que él desató está afectando seriamente el suministro de alimentos a nivel mundial, suministro que ya venía débil desde el 2020 cuando se desató la pandemia de la COVID-19. A la guerra, además, se suman las inclemencias del cambio climático y el “shock energético” que ya empiezan a sentir varios países europeos.

Ucrania, para los que no lo saben, es uno de los principales países exportadores de cereales y, junto a Rusia, suman el 12% del suministro global de estos. En enero, según ‘The Economist’, los precios del trigo ya habían subido un 53%, llegando a un aumento total del 59% el pasado 16 de mayo, luego del anuncio hecho por India de que suspendería las exportaciones de este alimento por el intenso verano que le golpea.

Quizás sea por esto, entre otras muchas razones, que cada vez que usted va al supermercado, siente que puede comprar menos cosas con el dinero que siempre había dispuesto para hacer el mismo mercado. “Todo está muy caro”, “antes la misma plata me alcanzaba para comprar más cosas” o, “no volvieron a traer x o y producto”, se ha convertido en un comentario constante en los hogares colombianos, distantes a miles de kilómetros del conflicto ruso-ucraniano, pero no por ello ajenos a los vaivenes de una economía que se está resintiendo fuertemente por el mismo.

Según ‘The Economist’, António Guterres, secretario general de la ONU, advirtió hace apenas dos días, el 18 de mayo, “que los próximos meses amenazan el espectro de una escasez mundial de alimentos que podría durar años”. Incluso, siguiendo el mismo artículo, “el alto costo de los alimentos básicos ya ha elevado el número de personas que no pueden estar seguras de obtener lo suficiente para comer, de 440 millones a 1.600 millones, y casi 250 millones están al borde de la hambruna. Si, como es probable, la guerra se prolonga y los suministros de Rusia y Ucrania son limitados, cientos de millones de personas más podrían caer en la pobreza. El malestar político se extenderá, los niños sufrirán retrasos en el crecimiento y la gente morirá de hambre”.

Mientras todo esto sucede en un mundo que desde ya intenta prepararse para el escenario apocalíptico que se le impone, en Colombia, donde la gente pareciera no leer noticias y solo informarse a través de las cadenas de ‘fake news’ que les llegan por WhatsApp, las elecciones presidenciales acaparan toda la atención, con tres candidatos favoritos disímiles entre sí, en cuyas agendas poco o nada se advierte sobre este tema que debería ser su principal preocupación. Pero así somos en este país. ¿Cuándo es que arranca el Mundial de fútbol en Qatar?

EL GENERAL

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