Nimco and Abdirahman at an Action Against Hunger treatment centre in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Hunger on the rise: the world is moving backwards

A UN report has revealed 828 million people don't have enough food to eat. That's an increase of 150 million since the Covid-19 pandemic started. World leaders must step up now to take action.

Nimco and Abdirahman from Somalia are just two of the 828 million people affected by severe hunger in the world right now. And the number of people like them facing life-threatening hunger is rising sharply.

In many parts of East Africa, the rains haven’t arrived for the fourth year in a row. Crops can’t grow, food costs too much and 87% of people can’t afford the healthy food they need.

Mohamud walks with his goats and camels loaded with his belongings in search of food and water.
Mohamud walks with his goats and camels loaded with his belongings in search of food and water. Somalia is experiencing one of the longest droughts ever. Many have been forced to leave their homes. Photo credit: Action Against Hunger/ Said Musse

So, what needs to be done?

If nothing changes, health centres will run out of beds, vital food will be rationed and children like Abdirahman could die from severe malnutrition. Left too long, hunger kills.

3.1 billion people can’t afford a healthy, nutritious diet – that’s 112 million more than last year. We must make sure the right food is available for everyone.

And everywhere, the gender gap is widening. Almost one in three women suffer from anaemia. Yet there’s been no progress since 2012.

It’s time to act now

Why are over 800 million people at risk from life-threatening hunger? Where are the leaders who promised to ‘spare no effort’?

They need to tackle hunger at its root causes: climate change, armed conflict and inequality. They need to stop crises before they happen. They need to save lives.

The UN’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report warns us that if we don’t do something soon, we won’t achieve our goal of zero hunger by 2030. In fact, we’ll have made no progress at all.

Right now, the world is moving backwards. Let’s change that.

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