Urgent action needed as shocking new statistics show one person dies of hunger every four seconds.

21 Sep 2022 by World Vision
Urgent action needed as shocking new statistics show  one person dies of hunger every four seconds.

Shocking new statistics show that one person now dies of hunger every four seconds and World Vision says New Zealand needs to help address the escalating global hunger crisis.

World Vision has joined forces with more than 230 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to call on member states at the 77th United Nations General Assembly to take decisive action to end acute global hunger.

A deadly mix of conflict, climate change, poverty, and social injustice means a staggering 345 million people are now experiencing severe hunger. Alarmingly, this number has more than doubled since 2019.

The NGOs from 75 countries have signed an open letter expressing outrage at skyrocketing hunger levels and urging a range of actions.

World Vision National Director, Grant Bayldon, says action is needed urgently as 50 million people are now on the brink of famine in 45 countries.

“Right now, millions of children are suffering. They are starving and their parents feel hopeless and desperate because they simply cannot feed their kids.

“The scale of need is so great that World Vision has declared a global response for only the second time in its history, but we need world leaders, including New Zealand, to step up and do more to help. We cannot simply stand by and watch as millions suffer,” he says.

The NGOs are calling on member states, such as New Zealand, to:

• Save lives now by committing to multi-year, flexible funding to respond to the global hunger crisis
• Build resilience by doubling down on efforts to strengthen global food systems to ensure equitable and affordable access to healthy and nutritious food
• Secure the future by increasing grants for climate adaptation activities

Bayldon says New Zealand needs to lend its voice and action to these global efforts and urge world leaders to prioritise the global hunger crisis.

He says the growing crisis has been exacerbated by the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine driving up food prices and the cost of living.

One of those directly affected by the crisis is 32-year old Sumaya, who lives with her four children in a displacement camp in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

"No water and no food. Above all, my children are starving. They are on the verge of death. Unless they get some food, I'm afraid they will die," she says.

But Bayldon says there is hope for women like Sumaya.

“If we have the funding and the commitment from world leaders, we can work to deliver life-saving food in the short-term and provide long-term support so that communities can work within their environments to determine their own futures and provide for their families,” he says.

Those with the power and money to change this must come together to better respond to current crises and prevent and prepare for future ones.

To help World Vision with its work to address the global hunger crisis visit: www.wvnz.org.nz/childhood-rescue