From Afghanistan to Burundi, up to Yemen: in 2022 there were many countries in which hunger reached “crisis” levels – or higher – and where, however, the funding received in the following year (2023) was not Enough. The difference between the funds needed to address the food crisis and those provided by the global community represents a gap of as much as 65%. This was revealed by the data of the new Action Against Hunger report, “2024 Hunger Funding Gap”, published in conjunction with the World Economic Forum in Davos.
8 billion needed, as for 2023 Christmas gifts
The report, in particular, analyzed 17 countries, which are: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen. The new funding analysis, based on data from the United Nations humanitarian system, shows that in 2023 only 35% of appeals from countries facing “crisis” levels of hunger or worse were met. Not only that: no appeal for programs, emergency or already underway, related to hunger has been entirely satisfied. And only 12% received more than half of the requested financial resources. Speaking of figures, over 8 billion euros would be needed to fully finance the appeals relating to the hunger emergency in the 17 countries included in the report, i.e. the same amount that Italians are estimated to have spent on Christmas gifts in 2023 (according to data Confcommercio, ed).
“There is a lack of determination and funding”
“The world produces enough food for everyone, yet, every year, hundreds of thousands of malnourished children die preventable deaths. Why? We lack the determination and funding needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of eliminating hunger by 2030”, explains Simone Garroni, Director of Action against Hunger in Italy. “We welcome the decision of the World Economic Forum to keep the issue of hunger on the global agenda. Now”, he adds, “we ask that this be followed by concrete actions after the end of the meetings. Hunger is a daily challenge for one person in 10 worldwide.” Globally, in fact, 783 million people suffer from hunger. And compared to pre-pandemic levels, the number of people in this condition has risen by 122 million, mainly due to conflict, climate change and structural inequalities. Looking in particular at conflicts, over 85% of people in food crisis live in countries affected by wars, which destroy food production systems, hinder the delivery of aid and increase the number of displaced people.
“Avoiding imminent humanitarian disasters”
“In 2023 there was a notable increase in funding for hunger-related programs, but even with this increased support the funds did not keep pace with the growing needs – explains Garroni –. We know that some of the most generous donor countries of the world plan to cut aid budgets in 2024. The consequences cannot be ignored: more people will suffer and millions could die. Those who have the means to do so must prioritize funding for programs to fight global hunger and it is It is necessary for more and more countries to step forward to avoid imminent humanitarian disasters.”