Number of starving people rose by 3mn in 2021, World Food Programme reports

16:24, 08 November 2021
Number of starving people rose by 3mn in 2021, World Food Programme reports Photo:

A total of 45 mln people now find themselves on the edge of famine, the United Nations organization says.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Monday that the number of people facing starvation has increased by 3 mln in 2021.

According to the report, more than 45 mln people are teetering on the brink of famine, compared with 42 mln recorded at the beginning of the year or with 27 mln in 2019.

“Tens of millions of people are staring into an abyss. We’ve got conflict, climate change, and COVID-19 driving up the numbers of the acutely hungry,” WFP’s Head David Beasley said in a statement.

The growth is also explained by rising food and fuel prices, as well as by fertilizer shortages.

Most of the hunger victims have been reported in such countries as Ethiopia, Haiti, Somalia, Yemen, Madagascar, Kenya, and others. A total of 43 countries are qualified as vulnerable where people are forced to eat less, skip meals or sacrifice their food to relatives.

In 2021, Afghanistan joined the list of the most starving countries with some 23 mln citizens being classified as “people in need”. After the Taliban* takeover in July, the country has been hit by a grave humanitarian and economic crisis which makes many families sell their kids for food.

According to the WFP, the cost of eliminating worldwide famine now stands at $7 bln, a slight increase from $6.6 bln reported earlier this year.

“As the cost of humanitarian assistance rises exponentially, we need more funds to reach families across the globe who have already exhausted their capacity to cope with extreme hunger,” Beasley added.

The announcement comes days after the WFP Executive Director suggested entrepreneur Elon Musk should donate 2% of his total wealth to fight world hunger. The businessman responded that he was ready to do it in case the WFP presented an open-source plan on how they spend that money.

*Taliban is a terror organization banned in the US, Russia and many other countries.