Conflict and the variable nature of the world’s climate continue to be leading causes for the rising numbers of people who see hunger in their future. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report was just released by the United Nations and estimates that up to 828 million people were facing hunger in 2021.
That is 22 times the population of Canada.
“This is very worrisome,” says Canadian Foodgrains Bank executive director Andy Harrington. “What is more concerning is that we already know that millions of people are on the brink of famine in 2022 because of drought through the horn of Africa and the conflict in Ukraine pushing grain, fertilizer and energy prices considerably higher.”
The report also took special effort to highlight the rise in undernourishment. explaining that almost 3.1 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet. In 2019, 8% of the world was undernourished, but that number rose to 9.8% in 2021.
“We are truly in a global hunger crisis,” says Harrington, “and a crisis of this magnitude requires a response from everyone: individuals, organizations and even governments. It is unacceptable that despite having enough food in the world, there are millions that go to bed hungry every day.”
Foodgrains Bank’s members and their locally-based partners have seen the stark reality up close. The organization provided more than 400,000 people with emergency food assistance in its last fiscal year, and engaged with another 442,373 people with programs to support their long-term food security.
“This rise in global hunger should concern us all,” adds Harrington, “but when I meet the people we serve, and see how all of our work truly makes a positive impact on their lives, I know that reducing hunger is possible – if we all make it a priority and work together.”