Immediate action needed to protect children from the global hunger crisis, warns World Vision ahead of World Food Day



HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 14 October 2022 - The world is facing the most severe food crisis in decades, with close to 50 million people living in emergency or catastrophic levels of acute hunger globally, a number that is 1.8 times higher than that of 2019. The impact of such sheer volumes of people experiencing extreme hunger will have devastating and lifelong impacts on children's rights to health, nutrition, education and survival if we don't act now, warns World Vision ahead of World Food Day on 16 October.

▲The world is facing a severe food crisis that threatens children's survival. Malik Ebei (pictured), a young child from Kenya, is one of the starving children.
▲The world is facing a severe food crisis that threatens children's survival. Malik Ebei (pictured), a young child from Kenya, is one of the starving children.

As an aid organisation that works with communities and partners around the world, World Vision sees the devastating toll that the compounding effects of conflict, climate change, Covid-19, and the ripple effects of the conflict in Ukraine are having. The hunger crisis is already having profound consequences for children, including threatening children's survival and increasing the risk of severe and acute malnutrition.

Currently, one in every five children under the age of five, or as many as 149 million, suffer from stunting, which indicates the severity of child malnutrition. Malnutrition has a major impact on children's physical and psychological development, and is one of the main underlying causes of preventable deaths among children under five.

World Vision's latest research found that there had been an overall increase of 14% 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, while there has been a 5% increase in the UK in the past year. In Somalia, it would take a worker two weeks to earn enough money to buy a basic food basket of 10 common food items, including cooking oil, eggs, milk, etc. – however, someone in France or Australia would only have to work two hours to afford those same products.

"Food prices have increased globally over the past few years as the world grapples with the triple crisis of COVID-19, conflict, and climate change," said Mary Njeri, World Vision's Global Hunger Response Director. "Most people around the globe are experiencing the impact of increasing food prices, but for some, they have potentially deadly consequences – almost 50 million children are now so thin for their height that they're at heightened risk of death. Unless we take urgent action, more families will struggle to feed themselves, too."

The situation may look bleak, but we can work together to turn the tide. With decades of experience in relief responses, and long-term partnerships with the World Food Programme (WFP) and other local organisations, World Vision is bringing food to the hands of those in need.

By pooling the donations raised worldwide, last year World Vision was able to partner with WFP to reach 11.5 million people with food and cash assistance. This year, World Vision will continue to provide assistance to affected children and families, including distributing emergency food to affected families, providing livelihood assistance to help families recover, treatment and therapeutic food for malnourished children, primary healthcare support for vulnerable communities, and clean water for communities to maintain good hygiene and prevent diseases, etc.

World Vision calls on members of the public in Hong Kong to act now and save starving children and families. For details, please visit: https://www.worldvision.org.hk/en/our-work/emergency-relief/global-hunger-relief

Notes:
World Vision's 2022 food price survey was conducted across 37 countries from August to September 2022. For the full report, please visit: https://www.wvi.org/publications/hunger-crisis/price-shocks-rising-food-prices-threaten-lives-thousands-children

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World Vision

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Philanthropy and Social Investments

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14 Oct 2022

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