Global hunger stubbornly high, despite pandemic recovery

Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Our Stories
Women sitting in a line

At the Akara Health Centre in Gedo, Somalia, Development and Peace – Caritas Canada is supporting Trocaire with a nutrition project to decrease malnourishment in children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women. (Photo: Development and Peace – Caritas Canada)

Global food crisis continues

Global efforts against hunger are making a difference but the struggle isn’t over. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) 2023 State of Food Insecurity (SOFI) report revealed global hunger is far above pre-pandemic levels. The good news is the multi-year increase in global hunger has finally stalled.

The bad news is that the number of people living with food insecurity is still too high. For up to 783 million people around the world, not knowing where their next meal would come from was their daily reality in 2022. While much of the world showed positive signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, hunger has remained widespread.

From 2010 through 2018, the number of people around the world who couldn’t access enough food to eat never exceeded 600 million. An additional 180 million people now go hungry every day as a result of the pandemic, conflicts, and climate disasters such as prolonged droughts.

Although the overall change is minimal, it is encouraging to see certain regions of the world improving in the fight against hunger. Progress was made towards reducing hunger in most subregions in Asia and in Latin America, but hunger is still on the rise in Western Asia, the Caribbean, and all subregions of Africa.

In Somalia, for example, ongoing conflict and climate shocks continue to be major causes of hunger. The number of acutely malnourished children is increasing at a rate disproportionate to the resources available for treatment.

In response, Trocaire Somalia (in partnership with Development and Peace-Caritas Canada) is providing lifesaving nutrition interventions, primarily to children under the age of five, and pregnant and lactating women.

As we step up our efforts to serve more than one million people experiencing hunger this year, we’re committed to seeing those numbers continue to decline, especially in places like the Horn of Africa where hunger is still on the rise.

This story was originally published in the 2023 Fall edition of Breaking Bread. Download or order your copy here

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