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Christian charities call on world leaders to halt global hunger crisis

by Donna Birrell

More than 120 charities and NGOs have signed an open letter calling on world leaders to do more to stop the escalating global hunger crisis.

New analysis shows that the number of people likely to be in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 could rise by 17 per cent.

The letter calls on world leaders to fully fund a $41 billion package to prevent famine globally and address the emergencies fuelling global hunger: conflict, the climate crisis, and the  Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Global Humanitarian Overview 2022, released today by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), warned that 274 million people could be in need of humanitarian assistance next year, with the world currently battling the worst hunger crisis this century. This is up from 235 million people in 2021 and 168 million in 2020. 

The letter says there has been a 370 per cent rise in people experiencing catastrophic levels of hunger since April with 45 million people at extreme risk - on the brink of famine. It claims that promises made by the G7 issued in May have not yet been met, leaving the situation deteriorating even further. 

Less than half the funding needed to stave off famine in six countries of highest concern (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Southern Madagascar, north-east Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen) has been received to date. Meanwhile, some Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) are less than 20 per cent funded.

The letter which was signed by Christian charities including Christian Aid and World Vision International says one in 33 people worldwide are now in need of humanitarian assistance and one in ten people has malnutrition. 

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Christian Aid's chief executive said: "For any person who hasn't experienced it, it is hard to imagine what living with catastrophic starvation must be like. To wake up each day in desperate need of food and clean water to survive.   

"As world leaders have talked these last six months, inaction is causing an escalating hunger crisis. More and more people are suffering malnutrition, disproportionately affecting women and girls already at risk of gender-based violence.  

"If these worrying trends are to be stopped, real action and humanitarian intervention is needed urgently."


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