By The Financial District
20k Dying Of Hunger Daily - NGOs
No less than 19,700 people are estimated to be dying of hunger every day, over 200 NGOs say in an open letter addressing world leaders gathering in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
Photo Insert: One person is estimated to be dying of hunger every four seconds.
One person is estimated to be dying of hunger every four seconds, over 200 NGOs have warned, urging decisive international action to "end the spiraling global hunger crisis."
In an open letter addressing world leaders gathering in New York for the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, 238 organizations from 75 countries, including Oxfam, Save the Children and Plan International expressed outrage at skyrocketing hunger levels.
"A staggering 345 million people are now experiencing acute hunger, a number that has more than doubled since 2019," they said in a statement, quoted by newswire reports.
"Despite promises from world leaders to never allow famine again in the 21st century, famine is once more imminent in Somalia. Around the world, 50 million people are on the brink of starvation in 45 countries," they said.
Pointing out that as many as 19,700 people are estimated to be dying of hunger every day, the NGOs said this translates to one person dying of hunger every four seconds. "It is abysmal that with all the technology in agriculture and harvesting techniques today we are still talking about famine in the 21st century," Mohanna Ahmed Ali Eljabaly from the Yemen Family Care Association, one of the letter's signatories, said in the statement.
"This is not about one country or one continent and hunger never only has one cause. This is about the injustice of the whole of humanity," he said. "We must not wait a moment longer to focus both on providing immediate lifesaving food and longer-term support so people can take charge of their futures and provide for themselves and their families."
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has also warned of an "unprecedented global hunger crisis," saying next year could be worse.
"The war in Ukraine has compounded problems that have been brewing for years: climate disruption, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the deeply unequal recovery," Guterres said in an address to the UN Ministerial Conference on food security on Friday.
"There is a real risk that multiple famines will be declared in 2022. And 2023 could be even worse," he added.
He recalled his visit to the Sahel region of Africa last month, during which he said he was warned by leaders there a "dangerous situation could turn into a catastrophe" unless immediate action is taken.
Global food shortage
He said the Horn of Africa is also suffering its worst drought in decades. In the past two years, the number of severely food insecure people around the world has more than doubled to 276 million, according to the World Food Programme.
Guterres said fertilizer and energy prices rose in the past year, which he said would impact all harvests including rice and corn. It is feared to affect billions of people across Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
"This year's food access issues could become next year's global food shortage," he said. "No country will be immune to the social and economic repercussions of such a catastrophe."
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