WORLD LEADERS are being urged NGOs, including Christian Aid, to take urgent action to halt a devastating global hunger crisis as new analysis shows the number of people likely to be in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 could rise by 17 per cent. 

In an open letter signed by a group of 120 NGOs, world leaders are being called on to fully fund a $41 billion package to prevent famine globally and address the emergencies fuelling global hunger: conflict, the climate crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Global Humanitarian Overview 2022, released on 2 December by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), warned that 274 million people could be in need of humanitarian assistance next year, with the world currently battling the worst hunger crisis this century. This is up from 235 million people in 2021 and 168 million in 2020.

In South Sudan alone, recently hit by the worst flooding in 60 years, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) estimates 2.4 million people are at risk of falling into famine with this already thought to be likely in areas of western Pibor.

Christian Aid’s Country Director in South Sudan, James Wani, said: “The scale of the flooding is unprecedented. The flooding destroys everything. People have lost their crops and their livestock. When the water does finally recede, people will return to nothing. We are only going to see the hunger crisis escalate over the next few months.”

Christian Aid, together with their local partner African Aid Development (ADA), is providing emergency life-saving support including blankets, mosquito nets, water purification tablets and cash to flood-affected families in Fangak County in Jonglei state.

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Christian Aid’s Chief Executive and signatory to the letter, said: “For any person who hasn’t experienced it, it is hard to imagine what living with catastrophic starvation must be like. To wake up each day in desperate need of food and clean water to survive.

“As world leaders have talked these last six months, inaction is causing an escalating hunger crisis. More and more people are suffering malnutrition, disproportionately affecting women and girls already at risk of gender-based violence.

“If these worrying trends are to be stopped, real action and humanitarian intervention is needed urgently.”

* Read the open letter here.

* Read the Global Humanitarian Overview 2022 here.

* Source: Christian Aid