Middle East

4 girls on the back of a donkey. One points to the right.
Lys Arango
Action Against Hunger, OPT
A Syrian refugee mother and child in Jordan.

Conflict and climate crises have driven millions of people in the Middle East into hunger and poverty.

A Syrian refugee mother and child in Jordan.
A child eats Plumpy'Nut, a peanut paste used to treat malnutrition.
A Syrian refugee kisses her son.
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The state of hunger in the Middle East

Hunger in the Middle East and surrounding countries has risen since 2014 due to protracted humanitarian crises and conflicts. Extreme climate events have made food difficult to grow and clean water hard to find.

Action Against Hunger works in six Middle Eastern countries, responding to emergencies and providing communities with access to nutrition, health services, clean water, and sustainable solutions to hunger.

Two boys sit with their heads together on a blanket.

People Face Hunger in the Arab Region

A family sits in their tent in Chamisku, a camp in northern Iraq.

1 in 5 Children Under 5 in the Arab Region Are Chronically Malnourished

A mother, wearing a mask, holds her young son.

More People Facing Hunger in the Arab Region Since 2000

Where we work in the Middle East

The impact of hunger in the Middle East

Watheek and his family were displaced by the violence in Yemen. He is recovering from malnutrition with support from Action Against Hunger.
Nada al-Saqaf
Action Against Hunger, Yemen
Watheek and his family were displaced by the violence in Yemen. He is recovering from malnutrition with support from Action Against Hunger.

Watheek was born in displacement. His family was forced to flee their home when the war in Yemen worsened. With six children living in a small one-room house, his parents struggle to get by. Watheek suffered from malnutrition when he was two years old and Action Against Hunger’s team saved his life.

Watheek’s mother, Tasmeem, worries about their future. Her husband is considering travelling farther away from the family to find better opportunities for fishing.

“It’s so scary for me to think that I will be alone here with my children waiting to hear from him,” Tasmeem told us. “When there are conflicts, they cut the roads off and we cannot reach him via phone because they also cut the contacts. It is here where we start to drown in despair thinking that he might be dead. It’s difficult for me, him and especially the children, but these are the kind of life or death decisions we make every day.”

An adult holds a baby's hand
Florian Seriex
Action Against Hunger, Yemen
A Syrian refugee child in Lebanon.
Carmen Moreno
Action Against Hunger, Lebanon
A mother and child talk with an Action Against Hunger psychosocial worker.
Sébastien Duijndam
Action Against Hunger, Iraq

“I felt so happy my baby was alive. I was no longer at risk and came back home with my lovely baby. I always thank God and Action Against Hunger for their support."”

— Hayat, who gave birth safely with support from Action Against Hunger

Across the Middle East region, Action Against Hunger supports refugees, internally displaced people, and host communities.

“It is not just about concrete needs, such as money to start a business, but also about meeting psychological and emotional needs. After a crisis, we all need special support to face difficulties and begin our lives again."”

— Andrea, program manager in Iraq

Solutions to hunger and poverty in the Middle East

Across the Middle East, Action Against Hunger supports communities enduring the consequences of conflict: displacement, destroyed infrastructure, mental health needs, and shortages of food, water, and other supplies.

We prevent and treat malnutrition in children, mothers, and other vulnerable groups and we support local governments, parents, and communities to improve nutrition and health services. Our teams also educate people and encourage behavior change to help prevent hunger from occurring in the first place.

Our food security and livelihoods programs empower vulnerable communities to improve their access to food, income, and markets. We train and build the capacity of small-scale farmers to implement climate-smart agriculture techniques, increase production, raise livestock, and grow more nutritious crops.

In conflicts and natural disasters, we improve access to clean water, safe sanitation, and good hygiene and provide cash transfers to help families buy what they need.