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Record hunger on the rise finds UN study

18th Jul 2022 - 04:00
The World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) are among agencies warning 828 million people are hungry as war the in Ukraine sends food, fuel and fertilizers prices rocketing.

Up to 828 million people went hungry in 2021, the ‘State of Food and Nutrition in the World 2022’ (SOFI) report reveals, an increase of 46 million on the previous year and an increase of 150 million people since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

David Beasley, WFP executive director, said: “A staggering 50 million people in 45 countries are just one step from famine. There is a real danger these numbers will climb even higher in the months ahead. Conflict, climate extremes, economic shocks and growing inequalities have combined to push an unprecedented number of families into hunger. 

“Global price spikes in food, fuel and fertilizers that we are seeing as a result of the crisis in Ukraine threaten to push families around the world into famine. The result will be global destabilization, starvation and mass migration on an unprecedented scale. We have to act today to avert this looming catastrophe.” 

The number of people unable to afford a healthy diet around the world rose by 112 million, to almost 3.1 billion in 2020. In 2021, 31.9% of women around the world were moderately or severely food insecure, compared to 27.6% of men.

Saskia de Pee, chief of analytics and science for food and nutrition at WF, added: “Bridging the affordability gap and mitigating its immediate consequences for food security and nutrition requires all hands on deck.

“Working together with governments, partners, private sector, civil society and academia across the humanitarian-development nexus, we need to strengthen agriculture, social protection, health and education systems.” 

WFP aims to reach 152 million people in more than 120 countries in 2022. The organization needs a record US$22.2 billion this year to both save and change the lives of families who need support more now than ever before, including ensuring that diets of women and children are adequately nutritious to prevent malnutrition and that treatment services are provided when needed.

Read the full report here.

Written by
Edward Waddell