New York – The number of people facing severe food insecurity requiring urgent assistance increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2022, according to the Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC) released yesterday in Rome.
The annual report, produced by the network of agencies of the United Nations, the European Union, governmental and non-governmental agencies, which work together to address food crises, reveals that the phenomenon of hunger has worsened in all corners of the world.
Around 258 million people in 58 countries and territories suffered from food insecurity in 2022 due to conflict, climate change, the effects of the covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, according to the report.
“This is the highest number recorded in the seven-year history of the report,” the researchers stressed.
“Violence, but also the climate crisis is becoming one of the main drivers,” said Rein Paulsen, director of the Office of Emergencies and Resilience at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
“We are concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti or the Sahel. Also in Sudan. The list is long, and the number of people who suffer from food insecurity is unacceptable, because we know the solutions to remedy it”, added the expert.
Seven countries faced starvation and destitution, that is, catastrophic levels of hunger, including Haiti, the only country in the Americas to appear on that list for the first time.
To fight against the unbridled increase in hunger, experts consider that it is key to “change the paradigm” and address the root causes and provide means to farmers and not so much food aid.
“If you look at the financing flows during a food crisis, we see that most of them are used to provide food aid, and only 4% support agriculture”, on which 70% of the affected people depend, explained the expert.
In 30 of the 42 food crisis contexts analyzed in the report, more than 35 million children under the age of five suffered from starvation or acute malnutrition, and 9.2 million of them from the most dangerous near-fatal malnutrition.
The international community calls for greater prevention, anticipating and targeting the phenomenon instead of responding after the effects occur.
“This crisis demands fundamental and systemic change. The report makes it clear that progress is possible. We have the data and knowledge to build a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable world where hunger has no home”, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, stated in the report.