As global chronic hunger crisis escalates Red Cross launches appeal to fight food insecurity

14 October 2022

With food insecurity the largest humanitarian crisis gripping the planet today, Australian Red Cross is asking people to dig deep to support those affected by chronic hunger.

Red Cross Director of International Programs Alex Mathieson said urgent action is needed now if we have any hope of averting a widespread tragedy.

“A massive scale up is required to offer life-saving assistance to millions of people struggling to find the food they need,” he said. “At the same time decisive action is needed to address the root causes of this crisis,

“Millions of people are going without enough food due to climate-related emergencies, conflict, economic hardship and political obstacles. Globally, more than 345 million people can’t get enough of the food they need.

“The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are on the ground delivering aid in hard- to-reach communities, working alongside local communities to protect the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. We’ve been there since the start, working with communities to support resilience against the backdrop of increasingly prolonged and complex crises.”

Funds raised by the appeal will go where the need is greatest, with current support focusing on the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya) where the hunger crisis is deepening and 22 million people are facing acute hunger.

“In Somalia alone, around half the population faces crisis hunger levels, while around one million people have fled their homes in a desperate search for food and water. One in three children ts facing chronic malnutrition and the prospect of starvation if their nutrition needs cannot be met,” Mr Mathieson said.

“The worst drought in 40 years, exacerbated by climate change, has left lands bone dry. Crops can’t grow and livestock are dying. This has added yet another layer of immense pressure to people who have been going through other emergencies including COVID-19 and the rise of food prices, caused by the conflict in Ukraine.

“Food crises have emerged time and again in the Horn of Africa, but the current hunger crisis in the region is exceptional and is expected to be the worst in decades. And tragically the situation is expected to deteriorate into 2023 with forecasts of another failed wet season.”

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Red Cross Global Hunger Crisis Appeal and for more information about the fund visit redcross.org.au/hungercrisis. Donations can also be made by calling 1800 733 276 during business hours.


Media contact: Red Cross media 1800 733 443, media@redcross.org.au

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