Bonn/Berlin, 05/03/22: Ahead of Wednesday’s release of the latest UN statistics on global hunger, the international humanitarian aid organization Welthungerhilfe (WHH) warned Tuesday hunger crises loom ahead around the globe: in the Horn of Africa alone, some 15 million people are at risk of acute hunger due to severe drought, and rising prices are exacerbating the situation.
Wednesday’s joint release of this year’s "Global Report on Food Crises," by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other specialized organizations is expected to show mass food insecurity at levels far worse than the hunger crisis of 2008. Even before the war in Ukraine, the number of hungry people worldwide was growing steadily due to climate change, wars and the consequences of the Corona pandemic.
And the loss of grain exports from Ukraine and Russia as well as broad shortages of key fertilizers are already having dramatic, adverse impact and will further aggravate the global state of nutrition.
"The outlook is grim,” says Mathias Mogge, Secretary General of Welthungerhilfe, one of the panelists who will presiding over the UN’s report launch event Wednesday.
“The mix of overlapping and intensifying crises makes the situation very dangerous,” Mogge says. “Whether we look at Afghanistan, East Africa, Sudan or Mali, millions of people are utterly exhausted and pushed into crisis by droughts, armed conflicts and the disruption of global supply chains. Their reserves have been depleted. They have nothing left to withstand new shocks.”
“We can expect not only famine but also social unrest in many of the affected countries. In Mali, for example, people now spend 75 percent of their income on food. Their families’ meals are rapidly becoming completely unaffordable or less nutritious.”
The U.S. and all the countries of the G7 must immediately scale up their support for hunger relief and channel more funding into emergency food aid. "That the German government, for example, is including more funds for food security in its budget this year is an important sign,” Mogge says. “But people in the Global South need more support in the long term as well."
This issue must rise to the top of the agenda for the G7 Summit. Beyond mobilizing more funds, G7 countries should pledge to help strengthen rural infrastructure and regional trade. Export freezes on agricultural products must be prevented and supply chains kept open.
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Welthungerhilfe turns 60 this year. It is one of the largest private aid organizations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. With courage and determination, it is striving for a world without hunger. Since it was founded on December 14, in 1962, 10,369 overseas projects in about 70 countries have been supported with 4.2 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of help for self-help: from fast disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.