David Beasley, executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, told the U.N. Security Council that 345 million people facing acute food insecurity in the 82 countries where the agency operates.
It is 2½ times the number of acutely food insecure people before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. And 70 million pushed closer to starvation by the war in Ukraine.
50 million of those people in 45 countries are suffering from very acute malnutrition and are “knocking on famine’s door.”
“What was a wave of hunger is now a tsunami of hunger,” he said. “...There is a real and dangerous risk of multiple famines this year,” adding, “And in 2023, the current food price crisis could develop into a food availability crisis if we don’t act...The hungry people of the world are counting on us, and we must not let them down.”
U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths warned, “Famine will happen in Somalia, be sure it won’t be the only place either.”