A new UN report on hunger shows that the number of acutely hungry worldwide is increasing as fuel and food prices soar. The war in Ukraine has intensified the crisis.
A top UN official said on Wednesday that a record 345 million people were now acutely hungry amid soaring fuel and food prices.
David Beasley, head of the UN World Food Program, said a “record 345 million acutely hungry people are marching to the brink of starvation.”
This represented a 24% increase from 276 million at the start of 2022. In early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the figure was 135 million.
In total, between 702 million and 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021, 46 million more than the previous year’s average of 722 million.
What did the UN say?
Beasley spoke at a meeting for the release of the latest report on global hunger by the World Food Program and four other UN agencies.
“There’s a real danger it will climb even higher in the months ahead,” Beasley said.
“Even more worrying is that when this group is broken down, a staggering 50 million people in 45 countries are just one step away from famine.”
According to the UN, issues with food supplies are particularly severe in Africa and the Middle East.