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WFP urges G7: ‘Act now or record hunger will continue to rise and millions more will face starvation’ 

The World Food Programme is launching Five Calls to Action to address today’s record-high humanitarian needs as leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US, and UK prepare to meet – ending conflict is high on the agenda

, WFP Staff
A WFP Scope registration in South Sudan
South Sudan: A WFP Scope registration in Ayod village, Jonglei state. Photo: WFP/Eulalia Berlanga

The world is facing a global hunger crisis of unprecedented proportions – we are at a critical crossroads. Up to 50 million people in 45 countries are on the brink of famine.

Either we rise to the challenge of meeting immediate needs at scale while at the same time supporting programmes that build long-term resilience, or millions will face catastrophe. 

We have a plan – the most ambitious in WFP’s history – that requires US$22.2 billion to both save lives and build resilience for 152 million people in 2022. G7 countries are critical partners on the road to ending conflicts – which are a key driver of hunger.

Yemen: Displaced children at a distribution point in Mokha. Photo: WFP/Annabel Symington

In Schloss Elmau next week (26-28 June), Germany will host leaders from fellow G7 countries – Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the US, and UK – and we have one message: act now or the unprecedented levels of hunger we are seeing will only continue to rise. 

Shortly before the conflict in Ukraine, WFP warned 2022 would present record levels of food insecurity, placing millions of people in mortal danger as the intersection of conflict, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and rising food and fuel costs caused devastation in countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.

The situation has since significantly deteriorated.

People in Dabat, Ethiopia, receive wheat sourced from Ukraine at a WFP distribution point in March. Photo: Claire Nevill
Ethiopia: People in Dabat receive wheat sourced from Ukraine at a WFP distribution point in March. Photo: WFP/Claire Nevill

With 345 million people facing acute food insecurity, words are important – but what we really need is action. The G7 has the potential to pull people back from the brink of starvation and put an end to immense human suffering. 

There remains the problem of how. We are not politicians. We are humanitarians. We cannot tell politicians what to do and what decisions to take. But it is our job to alert the global community to what we are witnessing as we work to save and change lives in more than 120 countries with…

WFP's 5 calls to action 

1. Commit to political solutions to end conflicts now – including the immediate reopening of all Black Sea ports

2. Ensure trade is open to deliver grains, oil and fuel

3. Support and join global and regional initiatives to combat global hunger and food insecurity

4. Fill WFP’s current funding gap to ensure that today’s crises do not multiply or increase the number of people facing hunger around the globe

5. Invest in strategic development solutions that build resilient communities and foster climate actions, social protection, and sustainable food systems, allowing humanitarian and development organizations to change lives over the long term. In this way, we will set the world on a path towards broader stability and peace.

WFP’s funding needs are increasing by the day. At the start of the year, global inflation had already pushed the price WFP paid for its operations up by US$42 million a month. Then the conflict in Ukraine erupted, driving up food, fuel and fertilizer prices, compounding global supply chain challenges and pushing the cost of shipping up. 

Today, we are being forced to pay US$73.6 million more a month for operations than in 2019 – a staggering 44 percent rise. This is enough to feed 4 million people with a daily ration for one month.

WFP executive director David Beasley meets Ukrainians crossing
WFP chief executive David Beasley meets Ukrainians waiting to cross into Poland at Krakovets in March. Photo: WFP/Marco Frattini

But the point is not to just focus on today – we must also focus on tomorrow. 

Without these funds, people in extremely fragile settings will face starvation. Soon, many will be forced to flee their homes in search of food and safety, destabilizing entire countries and regions.  

To date, an incredible 7.5 million people have fled Ukraine, mirroring the ongoing plight of people in countries such as Ethiopia, Mozambique, and the Sahel – peace is the only sustainable way forward. 

Sudan: High-energy biscuits are distributed to refugees from Ethiopia in Basunga village, Gadaref Photo: WFP/Niema Abdelmageed
Sudan: High-energy biscuits are distributed to refugees from Ethiopia in Basunga village, Gadaref. Photo: WFP/Niema Abdelmageed
Fostering independence

We must continue to build resilience by investing in development solutions so that people facing hunger are equipped with everything they need to become independent over the long term. This includes helping farmers adapt to the challenges of climate change, providing training for livelihoods and skills, while facilitating school meals programmes to incentivize parents to ensure their children –girls in particularly – are equipped with a formal education.  

A resilience project in Paul Atrel, Jean Rabel Commune, in Haiti’s Nord-Ouest Department. Photo: Theresa Piorr
Haiti: A soil conservation project in Paul Atrel in the Nord-Ouest Department. Photo: WFP/Theresa Piorr
The way forward

Germany has launched the Global Alliance for Food Security (GAFS) to further bolster structures, mechanisms and initiatives already in place to ensure they are “fit for purpose” and can meet today’s humanitarian needs. 

France launched the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) to boost global agricultural production and reach the most vulnerable with crucial foods, at a fair and transparent price. 

WFP and partners work daily to ensure the right systems and tools are in place to address these needs – but partnership is key.  We are asking the G7 to commit to our Five Calls to Action and to work together to deliver lasting solutions for peace. Statements of intent are welcome – but now is the time to act.   

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