World Vision launches global response to escalating hunger crisis as millions of children face starvation  

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Highlights:

  • Ukraine conflict has pushed growing numbers of starving people to crisis levels 

  • 45 million now at risk of starvation  

  • World Vision is responding globally with a focus on 24 worst-affected nations  

In Afghanistan, a mother takes her child to a clinic to be assessed for malnutrition. According to World Vision Afghanistan, many families are driven to make hard choices to feed their families.
(May 26, 2022)

International aid agency World Vision has declared a Global Hunger Response, as extreme hunger around the world dramatically increases. Forty-five million people face starvation without urgent, life-saving assistance.   

"Millions of children are enduring this heart-breaking hunger crisis, caused by a deadly combination of conflict, climate change and COVID-19,” said Michael Messenger, President and CEO, World Vision Canada, who recently travelled to Romania to support World Vision’s Ukraine response and who has visited several fragile contexts challenged by the ongoing hunger crisis. “The war in Ukraine has created a catastrophe upon a catastrophe. Increasing costs of fuel, fertilizer and wheat, exacerbated by port closures, sanctions and trade restrictions arising from this war, are now supercharging the hunger crisis to create the potential for mass starvation across hunger hotspots in multiple nations around the world.”

World Vision’s 18-month Global Hunger Response will focus on the fragile countries around the world where children are one step away from famine or facing starvation. The response builds on efforts to address widespread hunger and malnutrition that have already reached 11.5 million people but which now need to be expanded to keep pace with the worsening situation. The aid organization is well-positioned to respond due to its strong operational presence, its expertise and leadership in cash, food and nutrition programming, as well as being the World Food Programme’s largest partner for the delivery of food assistance.    

In one hotspot, Afghanistan, hunger is forcing families to make heart-breaking decisions.

"I have been heartbroken to see that families are willing to sell their children in order to feed other family members," said Asuntha Charles, National Director, World Vision Afghanistan. “Day by day, the situation is deteriorating in this country, and it is especially children who are suffering.” 

World Vision is calling on the international community to immediately prioritize the lives of millions of children who are at risk of dying of starvation. The scale of need is so large that this is only the second time in its history that World Vision has launched a global response – its COVID-19 pandemic response being the first. The aid agency warns that funding requirements for the hunger response will be even larger than was needed for COVID-19.   

Key facts:   

  • 45 million people in 43 countries face starvation. Countries with current/projected populations in IPC 5 are Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Afghanistan    

  • WFP estimates that the 276m people facing acute food insecurity could rise to between 309 million and 323 million under different scenarios due to the conflict in Ukraine.   

  • World Vision will be focused on at least 24 countries as part of its Global Hunger Response. These countries are: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, DR Congo, Central African Rep, Chad, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Myanmar.   

  • For the latest sitrep on World Vision’s response visit here.