The world is at risk of yet another year of record hunger as the global food crisis continues to drive more people into worsening levels of acute food insecurity, The World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Thursday.
In a call for urgent action to address the root causes of rising hunger, ahead of World Food Day, the agency said the current crisis was down to a “confluence of competing crises”, caused by climate shocks, conflict and economic instability.
The number of hungry people around the world has shot up from 282 million to around 345 million since the beginning of 2022, and by mid-year, WFP had reached just over 111 million in need, aiming to reach a record 153 million by year’s end.
“We are facing an unprecedented global food crisis and all signs suggest we have not yet seen the worst”, said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.
“For the last three years hunger numbers have repeatedly hit new peaks. Let me be clear: things can and will get worse unless there is a large scale and coordinated effort to address the root causes of this crisis. We cannot have another year of record hunger”.
Holding back famine
The emergency food relief agency underscored that it is currently “holding back famine” in five countries: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
Conflict continues to drive the most vulnerable into catastrophic hunger, with communications disrupted, humanitarian access restricted and communities displaced.
The current war in Ukraine, for example, has disrupted global trade, pushing up transport costs and lead times while leaving farmers lacking access to enough fertilizers and other agricultural supplies they need, to produce enough food.
“The knock-on effect on upcoming harvests will reverberate around the world”, WFP warned.
SOURCE: UN News/SLT