The UN’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report published today finds that as many as 828 million people were hungry last year, an increase from 811 in 2020. 

Reacting to the report, Gabriella Waaijman, Global Humanitarian Director at Save the Children, said: 

“It is deeply alarming and frankly shameful that the number of people going hungry is on the rise. Make no mistake: children and their families are facing the worst global hunger crisis in decades. If we fail to act now, many lives will be lost and years of development gains will go down the drain due to a deadly combination of conflict, the climate crisis and the economic crisis fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. 

“Families at the sharp end have told our staff they are eating putrid meat, drinking dirty water from cattle troughs and fighting off wild animals for whatever they can get their hands on to eat. 

“Nobody should have to live like this. Save the Children is allocating US$28.5 million to communities in 19 of the worst-hit countries. But this is only a fraction of what is required. 

“What is crucial for children and their families who are going to bed hungry is an international, comprehensive package of support that does two things simultaneously: the first providing immediate assistance to severely malnourished children today; the second preventative measures to protect children from this crisis tomorrow. This includes building local community resilience and making long-term investments in sustainable agriculture and energy as well as robust health, nutrition and social protection systems. 

“The international community, aid agencies, donors, and the United Nations Security Council all have a role to play in driving this change – and this needs to be done now in order to save lives.”