A recent report compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), and World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that approximately 828 million people, slightly more than 10 percent of the world, were affected by hunger last year.
That is 46 million more people than were affected by hunger in 2020 and an astounding 150 million more than in 2019. Before that, world hunger levels had been relatively stable for five years.
It is impossible to overstate the lasting impact that the pandemic has had on global hunger. Supply chain disruptions on top of the losses, or diminished capacity, of household breadwinners, farmers, relevant industry workers, and more have had a devastating effect on food security for families and communities worldwide.
While the world has watched the war in Ukraine unfold and evolve before our eyes over the past several months, some of the effects of this crisis didn’t make the same headlines. Ukraine produces around one third of the world’s wheat, and some areas of the world depend on it for survival. At the time this article was written, the country’s ports remain blocked, and world leaders were scrambling to fill the gap of this critical resource.
Inflation, the Ukraine crisis, and other factors are causing us to pay more for our groceries, fuel, and other essentials. People everywhere are feeling the same pain. These spikes in costs are causing millions to go without food and other critical needs, and support organizations are facing limitations caused by the increased cost of aid resources and fuel to deliver them.
Before COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis became concerns, the world was already seeing an increasing frequency in extreme weather events. This elevation of events is enough to wreak havoc on food supplies, disrupt agricultural cycles, and drive entire regions into levels of catastrophic hunger.
While the effects of these factors are being felt in every corner of the world, right now there is considerable concern for countries within the Horn of Africa, including Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
These are countries familiar with drought, but years of repeated drought conditions on top of ongoing turmoil are challenging for even the most resourceful farmers and the most resilient communities. In addition, these countries have long depended on Ukraine and Russia for much of their grain supply, and now experts are reporting a threat of famine.
ADRA has put an increasing focus on hunger during the past couple of years. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the agency quickly recognized the devastation the pandemic and its accompanying response could have on food security for families and communities.
Urgent food intervention is one component of ADRA’s work in a crisis like this. Just as important are the organization’s food security projects that partner with communities to prevent hunger and build resilience in these tough times, including:
Learn more about the hunger crisis and ADRA’s response at ADRA.org.