A combination of conflict, economic shocks, climate extremes, and rising fertilizer prices is causing a food crisis of unprecedented proportions. Approximately 828 million people across the globe face uncertainty regarding their next meal. The number of people experiencing high levels of food insecurity has more than doubled since 2020, reaching 345 million in 2023. Over 900,000 individuals are on the verge of famine, a tenfold increase in just five years.
The primary cause of hunger remains conflict, accounting for 70% of the world’s hungry population. Climate shocks and soaring fertilizer prices further contribute to the crisis. The World Food Programme (WFP) is struggling to address the vast increase in acutely hungry people and the skyrocketing cost of delivering food assistance. If adequate resources are not provided, lost lives and the reversal of development gains will be the ultimate consequences.
Hunger hotspots span from Central America to Afghanistan, primarily driven by conflict and climate change. A record-breaking $14 billion was allocated to tackle food crises in 2022, but these funds only relieve immediate needs. Addressing the root causes of hunger is essential to prevent further fatalities and global instability. If resilience activities are not invested in, increased migration and potential destabilization could result.