World hunger levels are reaching catastrophic proportions with 44 countries suffering serious or alarming levels of hunger, according to the new 2022 Global Hunger Index (GHI).
The shocking new study – which uses data from 136 countries – cites the crisis in Ukraine as one of the reasons why 9 nations – including Yemen and Somalia, where famine is imminent, have alarming levels of hunger.
An additional 35 countries, including Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, were found to have serious levels of hunger in the report, which is jointly published by Concern Worldwide and German charity Welthungerhilfe.
The GHI found that South Asia has the world’s highest levels of child stunting (low body weight to height) and child wasting (malnourished or emaciated) while areas of Africa south of the Sahara have the highest levels of undernourishment and child mortality rates.
“Progress made to tackle world hunger has largely halted,” said Concern Worldwide Chief Executive, Dominic MacSorley, who has witnessed first-hand many hunger crises over the last few decades.
“It’s sobering that 828 million people are undernourished today and many of them are children who should not be suffering in a world with so much food and wealth. The toxic cocktail of conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic had already left millions exposed to food price shocks and vulnerable to further crises.
Now the crisis in Ukraine—with its knock-on effects on global supplies of and prices for food, fertilizer, and fuel—is turning a crisis into a catastrophe.
It is critical to act now to rebuild food security on a new and lasting basis. Failure to do so means sleepwalking into the catastrophic and systematic food crises of the future.”
The GHI recommendations include a call for governments to enshrine in law “the right to food” for all people.
The report also forecasts that by 2030 (the year that the United Nations has set as the target to end world hunger) there will still be hundreds of millions of people experiencing hunger.
“While we may not be able to end hunger by then, we can stop it heading in the wrong direction,” said Concern’s head of advocacy, Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair, “the number of shocks people are experiencing means more effort is needed to increase global food, nutrition, and livelihood security.
The interdependency of the food system is evident in how shocks in one country can have a direct impact on the purchasing power and food consumption of families in another.
Countries with “alarming” levels of hunger in 2022 GHI:
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Central African Republic
- South Sudan
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