3 million in Afghanistan, 45 million worldwide knocking at famine’s door: UN food agency

The United Nations food agency in a report has revealed that the number of people on the edge of famine across 43 countries had risen to 45 million as acute hunger spikes around the world. Although earlier the World Food Programme (WFP) by the UN food agency had estimated this number at 42 million, a jump from 42 to 45 with three million more people facing famine in Afghanistan is a setback for the whole world

“Tens of millions of people are staring into an abyss. We’ve got conflict, climate change, and COVID-19 driving up the numbers of the acutely hungry,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley was quoted as saying, and it was reported by Aljazeera.

The calculation by WFP found that the number of people who are faced with severe hunger rose upto 27 million in 2019 whereas the count now is around double the number, and the count estimated s 45 million. The people in the countries like Ethiopia, Haiti, Somalia, Angola, Kenya, and Burundi are facing acute hunger famine. 

WFP Executive Director David Beasley said,” Fuel costs are up, food prices are soaring, fertilizer is more expensive, and all of this feeds into new crises like the one unfolding now in Afghanistan, as well as longstanding emergencies like Yemen and Syria.”

Moreover, David Beasley added that climate change, conflict, and Covid-19 have also led to a rise in the number of people facing acute hunger. The estimation of starvation across the world has been found after a detailed study by the UN food agency and a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan by the team. The WFP said that cost of avoiding the famine worldwide is now $ 7 billion, up from $ 6.6 billion earlier this year, but warned that traditional funding streams could be excessive.

Moreover, in Afghanistan, because of the famine, the humanitarian crisis in the country has been deepened and the number of families selling their children has also increased. A 9-year-old young girl Parwana Malik is the latest added to the list. She has been sold to a stranger as a child bride in order to help the family from death due to starvation.

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The country Syria has also been facing the same situation and according to the report, the hunger issue in this country is the highest number in the Syrian conflict’s decade-long history. He further emphasized the need to focus on globalization and said that there was a need for more money to help families around the world. 

On the other hand, during the climate summit in COP26, UNWFP chief David Beasley said people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos can solve world hunger. “$6 billion to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated,” said David Beasley to CNN. Elon Musk in a reply to David Beasley has offered to give  $6 billion in stock to end world hunger by challenging the UN to show how the money contributes to ending the hunger.