Peace and Security

Data Drop: New Numbers Show Big Hunger Risk and Lots of Danger for People Everywhere

Dangerous levels of acute hunger affected a staggering 281.6 million people last year – the fifth year in a row that food insecurity has worsened – heightening growing fears of famine and “widespread death” from Gaza to Sudan and beyond, UN agencies warned on Wednesday.

According to the latest Global Report on Food Crises, more than one in five people in 59 countries faced acute food insecurity in 2023, compared with around just one in 10 in 48 countries in 2016.

“When we talk about acute food insecurity, we are talking about hunger so severe that it poses an immediate threat to people’s livelihoods and lives. This is hunger that threatens, to slide into famine and cause widespread death,” said Dominique Burgeon, Director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Liaison Office in Geneva.

COVID-19 threshold

The report – a joint initiative involving FAO, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – found that although the overall percentage of people defined as dangerously food insecure last year was 1.2 per cent lower than in 2022, the problem has worsened significantly since the COVID-19 crisis.

When the coronavirus hit in late 2019, around one in six people in 55 countries faced worrying food insecurity levels, compared with one in five just a year later, the Global Report on Food Crises indicates.

FSIN, using IPC, CH, FEWS NET, WFP, SADC and OCHA data

Global Report on Food Crises 2024: Number of people and share of analysed population in GRFCcountries/territories facing high levels of acute food insecurity

‘People clearly dying of hunger in Gaza’ 

Food crises have escalated alarmingly in 2023, the report’s authors noted, citing particular concerns over Sudan and Gaza “where people are clearly dying of hunger”, said Gian Carlo Cirri, WFP Director, Geneva office. 

After nearly seven months of Israeli bombardment, “people cannot meet even the most basic, food needs, they have exhausted all coping strategies, like eating animal fodder, begging, selling off their belongings to buy food. They are most of the time destitute and clearly some of them are dying of hunger,Mr. Cirri said.

The only way to halt the famine is to ensure daily deliveries of food supplies “in a very short time”, the WFP official told journalists in Geneva.

“We’ve mentioned the necessity to rebuild livelihoods, to address root causes and so on. But in the immediate time, like tomorrow, we really need to significantly increase our food supplies. This means rolling out massive and consistent food assistance in conditions that allow humanitarian staff and supplies to move freely and (for) affected people to access safely the assistance.”

 

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8 Comments

  1. It is truly devastating to see how acute hunger is affecting millions of people globally, with the risk of famine and widespread death looming large. The situation demands urgent international attention and action to prevent further suffering.

  2. How can we effectively address the growing fears of famine and ‘widespread death’ highlighted in this article?

    1. To effectively address the growing fears of famine and ‘widespread death’ highlighted in this article, it is crucial for governments and international organizations to prioritize timely and coordinated food aid distribution, invest in sustainable agricultural practices, and strengthen social safety nets to support vulnerable populations in times of crisis.

  3. It’s heartbreaking to see the numbers and the growing fears of famine. The situation demands urgent global action to prevent widespread death. We must prioritize addressing food insecurity to save lives.

  4. It’s truly devastating to see the continuous rise in acute hunger levels, putting millions of lives at immediate risk. The situation demands urgent attention and a collaborative global effort to prevent famine and widespread suffering.

  5. Could you provide more information on the regions specifically affected by acute hunger mentioned in the article?

  6. As we can see from the latest Global Report on Food Crises, the situation of acute hunger is reaching alarming levels globally. It is crucial that immediate action is taken to prevent a potential widespread famine and loss of lives.

  7. When we talk about acute food insecurity, we are talking about hunger so severe that it poses an immediate threat to people’s livelihoods and lives. This is hunger that threatens to slide into famine and cause widespread death. It is heartbreaking to see the numbers showing such a high hunger risk, and urgent action is needed to address this crisis.

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