The Hunger Project calls urgent attention to the “cost of dying crisis”

This World Hunger Day (28 May), the Ukraine crisis risks tipping up to 1.7 billion people — over one-fifth of humanity — into poverty, destitution and hunger, according to the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG).  

With most media attention focused on the UK “cost of living crisis”, global charity The Hunger Project wants to call urgent attention to the “cost of dying crisis” rapidly emerging globally. Months of warnings about a global hunger pandemic, have largely been ignored. This comes at a time when direct humanitarian aid to foreign countries by the UK Government was cut 51% – £744 million last year, compared with £1.53 billion in 2020; and the World Food Programme (WFP) warns that it does not have enough resources to feed hungry people in desperate situations.  

According to polling commissioned by Christian Aid, while 91% of the British public is aware of Vladimir Putin’s war, only 23% know about the worsening humanitarian crisis in east Africa. Severe droughts in the Horn of Africa, extreme heatwaves in India and conflict in Ukraine, has added to existing issues of climate, inflation, supply chain challenges and COVID-19, to create the perfect storm, says the charity. The end result is higher food, fuel and fertilizer prices globally. The UN estimate that global food prices remain almost 30% higher than the same time last year, with wheat prices up 59% since the start of the year, after India suspended exports because of an alarming heatwave. ‘Apocalyptic’ was how Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, described the effect of the war in Ukraine on food prices. 

“Higher prices are hard to bare for anyone, but for those living in poverty it can lead to mothers choosing which child to feed that day, and going without food herself. What we are seeing in 2022 is truly unprecedented. We are witnessing the collapse of the global food system and its potential to devastate not only the current population, but future generations as well. If we don’t act fast the threat of famine will increase for millions of people,” says Rebecca Burgess, Country Director of The Hunger Project UK. “That’s why World Hunger Day is more significant than ever before.”  

Founded by The Hunger Project UK in 2011, millions of people and thousands of organisations around the world participate in World Hunger Day each year. The charity is asking the UK public to come together and help those feeling the impact, by texting THPUK to 70085 to make a one-off £10 donation today. 

Nearly 1 million people are currently living in 59 self-reliant communities across Africa following investment from The Hunger Project, with 12 million people engaged in our programme work in 2021. People like Machakel Alemayehu Gachow (see picture below), a farmer from Ethiopia. The Hunger Project-Ethiopia builds climate resilient and sustainable rural communities, through different community managed adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction measures.  Over the last two years, The Hunger Project has trained over 150,000 people globally in food security workshops.  

The Hunger Project aims to expand their impact to ensure resilient food supply chains, now and in the future, to sustainably end world hunger for good. “Only through self-reliance, empowerment and adaptation, can those most vulnerable weather this crisis,” continues Rebecca. 

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