Food insecurity is undoubtedly increasing around the world as most global resources have been put towards dealing with the pandemic, and climate change continues to wreak havoc.
The African continent is the worst affected by food insecurity and the situation is only deteriorating due to conflict in some regions and coping with the global pandemic in others.
According to a recent study by World Vision East Africa Hunger Emergency Response, two million people in Kenya are on the brink of starvation and in dire need of immediate food aid. These conditions have come as a result of droughts, as well as the economic knock of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kenya is not the only country in the east African region that is experiencing dire hunger conditions. According to the same study, more than seven million people in East Africa have edged closer to the brink of starvation because of conflict and the pandemic’s economic impacts. It also stated that over 108,000 people in the region are currently experiencing catastrophic famine-like conditions.
“Between June and December 2020 rising conflicts in countries such as Ethiopia worsened the food insecurity situation, coupled with economic impact of lockdown which affected livelihoods and pushed millions to desperation,” the report said.
Most recently, Ethiopia’s Tigray region was officially classed as suffering from famine as a result of ongoing civil unrest, with United Nations’ humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, explaining that the region is experiencing one of the worst hunger crises globally.
“The number of people in famine conditions ... is higher than anywhere in the world, at any moment since a quarter million Somalis lost their lives in 2011,” he said in June 2021.
Other countries in the region that are experiencing extreme hunger conditions include Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan, which are all victims of the deadly mix of conflict, climate change and the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.
This, however, is not a helpless situation. Global Citizens from all over the world, including you, can help to make sure that world hunger that has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and conflict, comes to an immediate end.
Want to know what you can do to take action from where you are right now? Here are a few things that you can do to help bring hunger to an end.
1. Help to end the pandemic once and for all
Bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end will not only save millions of lives, it will also help to get countries and their economies back on track to achieving all of the United Nations’ Global Goals by the year 2030, and allow for much needed resources to find their way to the most vulnerable communities.
Right now Africa is experiencing a deadly third wave of COVID-19 infections and vaccines on the continent are steadily drying up, meanwhile wealthy countries have secured more than enough vaccines to protect their populations. Call on rich countries to share their vaccines with those in need immediately in order to help bring the pandemic to an end.
Take action below by telling the world why vaccine equity is important.
2. Get clued up on how Africa is affected by hunger
Rising hunger levels are not new to the African continent. Understanding more about why hunger continues to increase is essential to helping bring the crisis to an end.
You now know that more than seven million people in East Africa were pushed closer to starvation in the last year, but did you know that two out of three people on the entire African continent (home to 1.2 billion people) are suffering from hunger?
Learn about this and so much more by taking action below.
3. Tweet World Leaders to End the Climate Crisis
Climate change remains one of the biggest driving forces behind global hunger. The droughts experienced in East African countries such as Kenya and South Sudan have deeply impacted food production resulting in increased food insecurity in the region.
Ending the climate crisis could turn this situation around entirely. In November all eyes will be on world leaders as they submit their plans to reduce carbon emissions at the The United Nations Climate Change Conference called COP26. You have the power to call on them to prioritise climate action and do more to save the planet.
Sign this petition below to add your voice to the call for world leaders to end the climate crisis.
4. Tell us what good food means to you
Food is more than just nourishment that the human body needs to survive. It is what brings people together, it is what memories are made of, and it is often a reason to smile.
We all remember cooking our first dish or digging into our favourite homemade meal. Making sure that the most vulnerable regions in the world have access to food is making sure that they too will have the luxury of adding this level of significance to food.
The UN’s Food Systems Summit is taking place in September, where the organisation will announce actions to change the way food is produced and consumed. Before then we’re starting a conversation about the value of good food, and this conversation will hopefully influence decisions made throughout the summit.
Join the global conversation and let us know what good food means to you by sharing a video below.
5. Learn About the The UN’s Food Systems Summit and How it Will Impact Your Food
UN Secretary General Anonion Guterres is hosting the UN’s Food Systems Summit in just a few months, where actions will be put in place surrounding how food should be produced globally, and conversations surrounding global food security will take place.
Learn all about the summit and how it plans to change the way the world looks at food and food production by taking our quiz below.