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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Global warning most vulnerable are more exposed than ever

This news post is about 1 year old
 

Poorest face one certainty: they will become poorer and more vulnerable

An Edinburgh-based international aid charity has warned  that the global food crisis is spiraling out of control in hunger hotspots.

Based on figures from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s 2023 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, Mercy Corps said that conflict, climate change, inflation, shortages and unaffordable food prices has led to an estimated 691 to 783 million people experiencing hunger in 2022, an increase of 122 million compared to 2019. 

By 2030, approximately 600 million people will face chronic undernourishment. This figure represents an alarming increase of 119 million compared to previous projections, taking into account the impact of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Even without the war in Ukraine, the number would still be 23 million higher than earlier estimates. 

Kevin Mugenya, Mercy Corps food systems director, said the global food crisis is deteriorating rapidly, leaving countries incapable of feeding their own populations.  

"The pandemic drove 70 million more people into extreme poverty before the war in Ukraine further exacerbated the challenge of buying or growing food,” he said. “Many families are now unable to afford a diverse range of food due to soaring prices caused by the shortage of Russian and Ukrainian exports, particularly fertilisers, as well as the increase in fuel costs that have severely impacted transport and production.  

"The rain we celebrated two months ago in the Horn of Africa has vanished. Families are increasingly reliant on purchasing food because they are either slowly resuming planting, or because they were forced to leave their farmlands after several consecutive failed rainy seasons.”

As prices continue to fluctuate, they struggle to buy even a minimal amount of nutritious food. This is sure to worsen in countries with only one planting opportunity, like Sudan, where the number of people requiring food assistance is expected to rise by one million people every week that violence continues.

The conflict there has prevented farmers from cultivating their lands and we expect climate shocks in the coming months – from drought to flooding – will further jeopardize any potential agricultural production.  

Mugenya adds: "Our Mercy Corps teams see every day the disproportionate impact deteriorating food insecurity has on women, children and people living in rural areas. We are especially worried about escalating malnutrition rates among an entire generation of children who, in the next 10 to 15 years, won't be able to reach a basic level of education or literacy.

“In 2022, the report estimates that almost 150 million children under five experienced stunted growth. We also risk undoing all the progress made by women in the past two decades. Increases in poverty in both rural and urban areas significantly limit women’s opportunities beyond subsistence farming or low-wage manual labor.”