Hunger is predictable, preventable, and treatable. No one should suffer or die from malnutrition, especially since 90% of malnourished children who complete treatment are cured.
Since 1990, the percentage of malnourished children in the world has been cut in half. But the enormous progress we have made against hunger is at risk - conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic are all contributing to rising global hunger rates.
In fact, the United Nations predicts that the number of people facing acute hunger could nearly double by the end of 2020. Researchers estimate that child mortality could rise for the first time in 60 years because of COVID-19 and its secondary impacts. Acute malnutrition alone could cause an additional 10,000 child deaths each month.
These dire predictions do not have to be our future -- there is still time to take action to help the world’s most vulnerable communities cope, to prevent more families from falling into hunger, and to save lives.
As the world’s hunger specialist, Action Against Hunger is on the frontlines of the fight against hunger. Our teams, working in 46 countries, are treating and preventing malnutrition, supporting families’ livelihoods and food security, and preventing disease by increasing access to clean water, safe sanitation, and hygiene supplies - all while strengthening health systems, managing cases of COVID-19, and keeping staff and communities safe from the virus.
Join us this World Food Day to learn more about what’s driving a rise in global hunger and how to take action to help families cope.
THE DRIVERS OF HUNGER
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted communities everywhere, in different ways. Often, in the places where Action Against Hunger operates, it’s not the virus itself that scares vulnerable people the most - it’s hunger and poverty, which COVID is exacerbating.
As Nasser, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon told us: “What scares me most is that we could die of hunger.”
As the global economy slows and it remains difficult to access jobs and markets, food prices have risen. With limited income opportunities, poor families around the world are struggling to put food on their tables.
Action Against Hunger is preventing hunger by providing emergency cash transfers, working with farmers and herders to diversify and maintain their livelihoods, and helping families prepare for the future.
This year, East Africa has faced its worst locust crisis in generations. In 2018 and 2019, frequent and intense storms in and around the Indian Ocean caused deadly flooding in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. These extreme weather events – exacerbated by climate change – helped to create the perfect breeding conditions for the oldest and most dangerous migratory pest in the world.
Desert locusts eat everything green and destroy crops and pasture that farming and herding families depend on. Their appetite is voracious – a swarm the size of Los Angeles can eat as much food in a day as the entire population of Kenya.
These huge, hungry swarms have destroyed thousands of acres of crops, leaving nearly one million people in urgent need of food aid in Ethiopia alone.
Flooding in East Africa is not a new climate phenomenon. But in recent years, the rains have come sooner, lasted longer, and affected more people’s lives and livelihoods. In 2016, 1.1 million people in the region were impacted by flooding - in 2019, that figure jumped to four million. As of October 2020, record-breaking rains and floods have impacted about six million people.
Floods and other climate-related disasters force families from their homes, destroy fields and livelihoods, and can push communities into hunger. Without action to deal with climate change and to help families cope, the World Food Program estimates that global hunger and malnutrition could increase by as much as 20% by 2050.
Hunger is both a cause and consequence of conflict. More than half of the world’s hungry people live in conflict-affected countries, and seven in ten conflicts have their origins in disputes over food, water or the resources to produce them.
Conflict has driven increases in hunger over the last five years, reversing decades of progress. Hunger is increasingly used as a weapon of war, with indiscriminate attacks on fields of crops, water structures, and food and livestock storage, which violate international humanitarian law.
Around the world, Action Against Hunger works to help people who have seen conflict uproot their lives, forcing them to flee their homes and putting them at risk of hunger. We also advocate at the United Nations and with global governments to break the deadly cycle of conflict and hunger.
TAKE ACTION AGAINST HUNGER
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