One person dying of hunger every four seconds

ByCARE Australia September 20, 2022 0 comments

As world leaders gather for the United Nations General Assembly, 238 civil society organisations demand urgent action to save lives now.

With one person estimated to be dying of hunger every four seconds,¹ 238 local and international non-governmental organisations are calling on leaders gathering at the 77th UN General Assembly to take decisive action to end the spiralling global hunger crisis.

Organisations from 75 countries including CARE, World Vision, Oxfam and Save the Children have signed an open letter expressing outrage at skyrocketing hunger levels and recommendations for action.

A staggering 345 million people are now experiencing acute hunger, a number that has more than doubled since 2019.²

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.

Deepmala Mahla, Vice President of Humanitarian Affairs at CARE, one of the organisations which signed the letter, said: “Shockingly, in our world of abundance, an estimated one person is dying every four seconds of hunger, and the most vulnerable, including women and girls, are at greatest risk.

“The warning lights are flashing. We need immediate action from the international community, especially donors, to step up and avert the worst possible outcome the preventable deaths of countless women, men and children. We have averted famine before and we can still do it, but only if there is collective, lifesaving action now.”

The global hunger crisis has been fuelled by a deadly mix of poverty, social injustice, gender inequality, conflict, climate change, and economic shocks, with the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine further driving up food prices and the cost of living.

Those with the power and money to change this must come together to better respond to current crises and prevent and prepare for future ones.

For media enquiries contact Iona Salter on 0413 185 634

¹The calculations of the estimated mortality rate from hunger per second was calculated by applying the IPC crude death rate cut offs for IPC Phase 3, minus a normal daily death rate of 0.22 per 10,000 people per day, to the recent Global Report on Food Crises mid-year update for 2022 (released 12/09/22) figure which is 205.1 million people in IPC Phase 3 Acute Food Insecurity or worse (IPC Phases: 3 Crisis, 4 Emergency and 5 Catastrophe), which require immediate humanitarian assistance. This would equal between 7,745.7 and 19,701.7 people dying daily as a result of acute hunger, and between 5.39 and 13.69 people dying per minute. That translates to one person dying every 4.25 – 12 seconds. This is a conservative estimate since the death rates for people in IPC Phase 4 and 5 are significantly higher.

²Current acute hunger levels are 345 million; they were 135 million in 2019. Source: World Food Programme

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