The world is facing the worst hunger crisis in modern history. Globally, as many as 60 million children under five could be acutely malnourished by the end of 2022, according to the World Food Programme. The WFP estimates the number of people facing, or at risk of, acute food insecurity has increased to 345 million in 82 countries from 135 million in 53 countries pre-pandemic.
Enabling this crisis is a deadly cocktail of four factors: conflict, climate change, COVID-19, and the cost-of-living crisis, fuelled by the economic fallout of the war in Ukraine.
The number of people facing severe levels of hunger has surged by almost 57% to 25.3 million from 16.1 million since 2019 in the 8 worst affected countries amid an unprecedented global hunger crisis with increasing pockets of famine-like conditions, according to Save the Children.
Afghanistan, Central African Republic, DRC, Haiti, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen had the highest numbers of people facing emergency and catastrophic levels of hunger and malnutrition, between 2019 and 2022.
The country with the highest number of people facing severe levels of hunger was Afghanistan where this number increased to 6.6 million in 2022 from 2.5 million in 2019.
Yemen has the second largest number of people experiencing emergency levels of food insecurity, including acute malnutrition, with this number increasing from 3.6 million to 6 million, an increase of 66% in the past two years.
DRC was ranked third in terms of numbers of people facing severe levels of hunger, with 4.1 million, followed by Sudan and South Sudan with about 2.3 million each, Somalia with 1.3 million and Central African Republic with about 652,000.