Global food prices have steadily increased as the world grapples with COVID-19, conflict, and climate change, and now a new report by World Vision highlights how spiralling food prices are contributing to a global hunger crisis, placing children at increased risk of death.
Released just ahead of World Food Day, the Price Shocks Report reveals that almost 50 million children are now so thin for their height that they’re at increased risk of death, while the number of acutely hungry people has already gone up by 25% since the beginning of the year.
World Vision is calling on the international community to urgently scale up life-saving aid efforts to reach the tens of millions of people facing emergency and catastrophic levels of hunger today.
“We always say never again, but families are currently on the edge of a devastating crisis, and make no mistake, unless we act, children will die of hunger,” warns Mary Njeri, World Vision’s Global Hunger Response Director.
The Report also reveals that while there has been an overall 14% increase in food prices in the past year, rises have been especially sharp in some of the poorest countries, especially those reliant on imports or affected by climate change.
For example, food prices have increased by 143% in Sudan, 42% in Ethiopia, and 33% in Angola since 2021. In the Solomon Islands, rice and dairy prices have tripled since 2021.
Globally 345 million children and families are acutely hungry and struggling to get enough to eat. Hunger is widespread, but children living in a conflict zone are two times more likely to be malnourished.
“In Somalia, it would take a worker two weeks to earn enough money to buy a basic food basket – this is completely unattainable for the average family, and shows just how important it is to both get to grips with the big factors at the root of these crises – political will to end conflicts and fight climate change – and to provide the lifesaving aid children and families need to survive in the immediate term,” adds Njeri.
“They [the international community] must support efforts to create the foundations for improved security and humanitarian access by engaging with all parties to conflict, and provide support for climate change adaptation practices while fighting to keep global warming to 1.5˚C, so we can reduce the risk of any hunger crises like this happening again in the future.
“There is enough money and food in the world. No child should be going hungry in the 21st century; we must act now.”