A group of 120 non-governmental organisations has joined forces in an open letter calling on world leaders to do more to
halt a devastating global hunger crisis as new analysis shows the number of people likely to be in need of humanitarian
aid in 2022 could rise by 17%.
The Global Humanitarian Overview 2022
,1 released today by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), warned that 274
million people could be in need of humanitarian assistance next year, with the world currently battling the worst hunger
crisis this century. This is up from 235 million people in 2020 and 168 million in 2019.
One of the main causes of humanitarian need is food insecurity with the number of people at risk of famine rising 60%
since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, an estimated 45 million people across 43 countries are at risk of famine,
up from2 27 million in 2019.
Save the Children joined peer organisations - including nearly 100 locally-based organisations in countries hard-hit by
hunger - in an open letter calling on world leaders to fully fund a $41 billion humanitarian hunger response to prevent
famine globally and address the emergencies fuelling global hunger: conflict, the climate crisis, and the COVID-19
Hunger and malnutrition disproportionately affect women and girls, putting them at increased risk of extreme hunger and
gender-based violence. Children are amongst the most at risk- severe malnutrition affects over 45 million children globally
, which is the cause of about 45% of deaths of children aged under 5.
In October, Save the Children New Zealand launched a hunger appeal
to raise funds for life-saving malnutrition treatments for children, setting up water trucking and feeding programmes
at schools and providing cash grants for families to access food and medical supplies.
Save the Children New Zealand Chief Executive Heidi Coetzee says that without urgent action, thousands of children will
starve, reversing decades of progress.
"Sadly, there’s no vaccine for hunger, but with the help of generous Kiwi supporters, we can find a solution.
"Our teams on the ground are seeing the number of malnutrition cases rise by the day. People like Canab- in Somalia
whose two-year-old twins have never known anything but hunger."
Tatiana Dasy, Save the Children’s programme director for Madagascar, says:
"In southern Madagascar, the spectre of hunger haunts you everywhere you turn. Parents are surviving on next to nothing
and are selling everything they can just to feed their children a portion of sweet potatoes or rice. Sometimes, when
they have nothing to eat, families pick leaves and cactus fruit or go to bed without having a meal. On days when
children don’t have food on their plates, some of them play a game cooking with sand, soil and leaves, pretending it’s
"This is Madagascar’s worst hunger crisis in 40 years. The UN is calling it the world’s first ‘climate change famine’
and with the climate crisis intensifying, it is only likely to get worse. Nobody should have to live like this,
especially in the 21st century, and especially children.
"But the new UN report tells us the horrifying situation in Madagascar is unfortunately not unique. We are in the midst
of an escalating global hunger crisis that shows how urgently the world needs to act. Humanitarian agencies have only
received half the funding needed to stave off famine in Madagascar and five other countries of highest concern. This is
shameful and unconscionable and world leaders need to act now to pull the people of Madagascar back from the brink and
ensure our children have a future."
A webinar (held this week) on some of the reasons behind the hunger crisis with University of Otago Professor Stephen
Knowles and the work Save the Children is doing can be found here
:Notes to the Editor:
 The Global Humanitarian Overview 2022 report is available at https://gho.unocha.org/
 Figures reported by the World Food Programme can be found here: https://www.wfp.org/stories/45-million-people-are-famines-door
The open letter and a full list of signatory agencies is available here.
Save the Children works in 120 countries across the world. The organisation responds to emergencies and works with
children and their communities to ensure they survive, learn and are protected.
Save the Children NZ currently supports international programmes in Fiji, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Laos, Nepal, Indonesia,
Thailand, and Mozambique. Areas of work include education and literacy, disaster risk reduction, and alleviating child