Hunger levels are rising worldwide.
No less than 811 million people – or 10% – of the world’s population go to bed hungry every night, 161 million more than the previous year.
In 2021, hunger and starvation conditions were aggravated by a combination of factors, including conflict, the impact of COVID-19, extreme weather, plant pests and difficulties in reaching people in need. , according to the 2022 United Nations Global Humanitarian Review (pdf).
How do we measure food insecurity and hunger?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): “Hunger is an uncomfortable or painful physical sensation caused by insufficient consumption of food energy”.
To measure global hunger rates, the UN combines national data on food availability, food consumption and energy requirements into a ‘prevalence of undernourishment’ (PoU) indicator.
On this basis, the UN estimates that the number of hungry people in the world is between 720 and 811 million.
Food insecurity occurs when a person does not have “access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life” due to either the unavailability of food and/or lack of resources to obtain food.
The FAO measures this using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) below:
Below are maps highlighting some of the countries most in need of food.
Afghanistan is among the highest levels of food insecurity in the world. At least 37.7 million of its 40 million people – 93% – do not have enough food.
According to the World Food Program (WFP), a record 23 million Afghans face acute hunger, with nearly 9 million one step away from starvation.
Two in five (38 percent) children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition – that is, inadequate nutrition for a long period of time – which has led to stunted growth. Up to 1 million children under the age of five are at risk of dying from malnutrition.
Since the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, an already war-torn economy once sustained by international donations alone is now on the verge of collapse.
In January, the UN asked donors for $4.4 billion in humanitarian aid for 2022, the largest ever appeal for a single country. The United Nations Development Program has warned that 97% of the population could fall below the poverty line by mid-2022.
Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the latest WFP figures, almost half of the country (14.3 million) of 30 million people does not have enough food.
Nearly half (47.5%) of children under 5 in the country are chronically malnourished.
A seven-year war left at least 4 million people displaced and thousands dead.
WFP said it needed $802.4 million from December 2021 to May 2022 to continue providing food and nutrition assistance and logistics.
$1.7 billion is still needed for food security and agriculture, and $10 million for logistics.
After more than 10 years of conflict, Syrians face unprecedented levels of poverty and food insecurity. Some 12.4 million Syrians, out of a population of 20 million, do not know where their next meal will come from, an increase of 4.5 million in the last year alone and the highest number on record.
Nearly one in three children (27.9%) under the age of 5 lives with chronic malnutrition.
In recent weeks, harsh winter conditions have deepened the poverty of millions of displaced people in northwestern Syria, where the cost of living has soared over the past year.
Over the next six months, WFP said it needs $365.8 million in funding to support households in need.
South Sudan is experiencing its highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition since its independence in 2011.
According to the WFP, more than half of the population (6.6 million out of 11 million) lacks food. One in three children under the age of five suffers from chronic malnutrition.
Continued conflict and the worst flooding in decades have wreaked havoc on vulnerable communities.
The Democratic Republic of Congo
The West African nation has the highest number of highly food insecure people in the world: some 43.3 million out of a population of 106 million.
According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), 27 million people in the DRC are highly food insecure, with 857,000 children and 468,000 women at risk of acute malnutrition.
Deteriorating security conditions and a crippling dry season have left more than 90 percent (11.4 million) of the East African country’s 12.3 million people hungry.
According to Famine Early Warning Systems, populations experienced not only a decrease in food supply and income, but also a prolonged drought, floods in early 2020, an upsurge in locusts, the economic impact of COVID-19 and security issues with armed groups. . These made the dire situation extremely complex.