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Multimedia material for journalists on dramatic worsening of hunger in 2020

WFP/Alice Rahmoun. Cookers in the kitchen during the meal distribution at Mahonda ORA’s school, Republic of Congo
WFP/Alice Rahmoun. Cookers in the kitchen during the meal distribution at Mahonda ORA’s school, Republic of Congo
Note that all information is embargoed until Monday, 12 July 2021, 9:00 EDT (15:00 Rome Time).

ROME – This year’s edition of the SOFI is the first global assessment of its kind reflecting the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on food security and malnutrition.

High resolution photos here
Broadcast quality video here.

Quotes that can be attributed to senior WFP staff:

WFP Executive Director, David Beasley:
“The SOFI highlights a devastating reality: the path to Zero Hunger is being stopped dead in its tracks by conflict, climate and COVID-19. More people slid into chronic hunger in 2020 than in the previous 5 years combined, and 1-in-5 children around the world are stunted, meaning their future potential is being destroyed by hunger. The world needs to act to save this lost generation before it’s too late.”

WFP Chief Economist, Arif Husain:
“Our worst fears are coming true. The reality is worse than expected. In one year alone, the number of people in the grip of chronic hunger has risen more than in the previous five years combined. Reversing such high levels of chronic hunger will take years if not decades. We must commit now to working together at the national, regional and global levels to build lives back better and quicker. The cost of inaction is simply too high for all of us.”

Chief of WFP’s Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes, Gernot Laganda:
“Climate shocks and stresses are driving hunger like never before. Despite contributing little to climate change, communities in developing countries are the most exposed and the least prepared to address the accelerating threats that come with it.”

Director of WFP’s School Meals Programme, Carmen Burbano:
As world hunger skyrockets, children are paying the heaviest price. Last year, 370 million children missed out on school meals because of school closures during the pandemic. Even today, we know 150 million of them still do not have access to these programmes. We must work together to restore what we had and put in place even better programmes that give children and communities a future.

Follow the launch and press briefing:
New York: The report will be launched at a virtual event in New York on 12 July 2021, from 10.00 (EDT) or 16.00 (CET). Follow the launch via live webcast here. Follow the press briefing here. 

Brussels: There will also be a press briefing in Brussels on 12 July 2021 at 17.00 (CET). Register for the press briefing here.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.


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For more information please contact (email address:

Isheeta Sumra, WFP/ Rome,
Mob. +39 347 181 4398, W/ap. +91 981 008 5646

Tomson Phiri, WFP/ Geneva,
Mob. +41 79 842 8057