As global starvation spreads, charities warn that the total number of severely malnourished children is also rising
An unparalleled number of severe food shortages has added 43 million to the number of people going hungry worldwide this year. And millions of children are now at risk of acute malnutrition, charities are warning. One week ahead of David Cameron’s “hunger summit”, they say that unless action is taken urgently, many more could fall victim.
For the first time in recent history, humanitarian organisations have had to respond to three serious food crises – in West Africa, Yemen and East Africa – in the past 12 months, according to Oxfam. Almost a billion people are now hungry – one in seven of the global population – and the number of acutely malnourished children has risen for the first time this decade.
But these issues are well known. When the hunger crisis hit the headlines last year, it was only after famine had already been declared in Somalia, killing an estimated 100,000 people and affecting 12 million. Needless deaths occurred and millions of extra dollars were spent simply because the international community had failed to act on early warnings.