Over 200 NGOs have written an open letter to world leaders asking for decisive international action to ‘end the spiralling global hunger crisis.
In the letter addressing world leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, 238 organisations from 75 countries – including Oxfam, Save the Children, and Plan International – expressed outrage at skyrocketing hunger levels.
“A staggering 345 million people are now experiencing acute hunger, a number that has more than doubled since 2019,” they said in a statement.
“Despite promises from world leaders to never allow famine again in the 21st century, famine is once more imminent in Somalia. Around the world, 50 million people are on the brink of starvation in 45 countries,” they said.
Pointing out that 19,700 people are estimated to be dying of hunger every day, the NGOs said that this translates to one person dying of hunger every four seconds.
“It is abysmal that with all the technology in agriculture and harvesting techniques today we are still talking about famine in the 21st century,” Mohanna Ahmed Ali Eljabaly from the Yemen Family Care Association, one of the letter’s signatories, said in the statement.
By way of solutions, the team urged the leaders to focus on providing immediate lifesaving food and longer-term support so people can take charge of their futures and provide for themselves and their families.
According to the organizations, the global hunger crisis has been fuelled by a “deadly mix of poverty, social injustice, gender inequality, conflict, climate change, and economic shocks”, along with the lingering impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which further increased food prices.