More and more people in the world are suffering from hunger, sometimes dramatically. According to an analysis by international organizations, more than a quarter billion people experienced acute hunger or were even suffering from humanitarian famines last year. Compared to 2021, the number of people classified in the three highest levels of food insecurity increased from 193 million to 258 million. This was announced on Wednesday by the EU, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), among others.
As in recent years, the report cited conflicts and the economic consequences of Corona and the Ukraine war as the main reasons for the many food crises. "More than a quarter billion people are facing acute hunger today, some on the verge of starvation," UN Secretary-General António Guterres wrote in the report's foreword. "That is unforgivable."
"The latest figures on acute global food insecurity paint a very worrying picture," said Rein Paulsen, FAO director for emergencies and resilience. The 258 million people are about "endangered households whose lives and livelihoods are threatened," Paulsen emphasized.
Famine emergencies and food crises are measured using a five-level so-called IPC scale. Acute hunger is level 3. According to the report, around 35 million people were affected by humanitarian emergencies (level 4) in 2022. With around 376,000 people, the experts speak of a famine, the highest level 5 - however, the real number of those affected is likely to be significantly higher, for example because no data was transmitted from Ethiopia. It is estimated that more than 400,000 people were suffering from famine there at the end of 2021.