Bonn/Berlin, 2022-08-22. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine is having a devastating effect on the global nutrition situation. Hunger rates are rising even further especially due to climbing prices for food, energy, and transportation. In response, Welthungerhilfe is warning against the intended reduction of funding for development co-operation and humanitarian aid outlined in the German federal budget proposed for 2023 and in the German government’s medium-term planning.
“It is good that the German government is responding to the immediate effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and now of the Ukraine war as well, by providing funds to assist people in need. However, a short-term crisis response alone is not enough; long-term support for fighting hunger and poverty is also necessary. The number of people who need humanitarian assistance throughout the world is rising year after year. We need stable, proactive funding that also provides for long-term food security programmes. However, this is not reflected in current budget planning, where medium-term plans project a reduction of the BMZ budget by nearly 16 percent over the next four years and of the German Federal Foreign Office’s budget by almost 27 percent by 2026. In light of the rising hunger rates, this is absolutely the wrong approach. If the government is serious about fighting hunger, the budgets need to be increased, not reduced. Now is also the time to create the conditions for a sustainable and fair food system,” urges Mathias Mogge, the secretary general of Welthungerhilfe.
The United Nations reports that up to 828 million people currently suffer from chronic malnutrition. After years of major progress in the fight against hunger, the number of people going hungry began rising again in 2015 and continues to climb steadily. The primary causes for this upward trend are wars, conflicts, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic. People at the Horn of Africa are experiencing the worst drought in four decades, with up to 18.6 million people currently suffering from acute hunger.
Mathias Mogge, the secretary general of Welthungerhilfe, is available for interview.
Humanitarian Aid With Alliance 2015 Partners
Welthungerhilfe is working with its partners from the European network Alliance 2015 to provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Welthungerhilfe has already invested EUR 9 million in assisting people affected by the war. Together with CESVI and Concern Worldwide, it is providing food, hygiene supplies, blankets, mattresses, washing machines, and dryers for reception centres serving displaced people in the districts of Ternopil and Khmelnytskyi in western Ukraine. Supplies delivered so far include around 50 tonnes of food. With support from the German Federal Foreign Office, this aid programme is now being expanded to the districts of Poltava, Dnipropetrovsk, Kropyvnytskyi, and Zaporizhzhia in eastern Ukraine.
Additional projects conducted together with the Alliance 2015 partners ACTED, PIN, and Helvetas take other approaches, for example providing cash assistance to refugees and to families hosting refugees in the Republic of Moldova.
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, 10,895 overseas projects in about 70 countries have been supported with 4.46 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of empowering people to help themselves: from fast disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.