The Future is Equal

Oxfam dismayed at third consecutive annual rise in global hunger

The United Nation today published its annual report on global food security and nutrition, estimating that 821 million people were undernourished in 2017.

It says that “more complex, frequent, and intense climate extremes” was one of the leading causes of food crises in 2017, which alone left 94.9 million people having to rely on some kind of humanitarian aid to feed themselves.

In response, Oxfam International’s executive director Winnie Byanyima said: “Oxfam is dismayed at this third consecutive year of rising hunger. We’re back to where we were a decade ago. As ever, hunger is caused by human actions that drive poverty and inequality, conflict and war, poor governance, wastage, and worsening climate change.

“It takes a real effort to feed people, just as it takes a real effort to leave them starving and deprived in such huge numbers.

“We must do more to push our political leaders to create the opportunities for every citizen to access the food they need to survive, safely and affordably. This includes redoubling efforts to resolve conflict and war, cutting our use of fossil fuels and raising funds for poor countries to help them adapt to climate crises. We know what’s needed – it comes down to political will.

“With every farmer that loses a harvest due to unpredictable storms and every herder that sees their livestock starve to death during droughts, the promise of meeting UN development targets slips ever further away.

“Oxfam and its local partners worked in more than 35 countries specifically delivering humanitarian food aid last year. We reached more than 320,000 Yemenis with cash to buy food. In a single month alone, August this year, we reached 144,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazaar with fresh food vouchers. Every month we’re part of emergency food drops for 260,000 people in South Sudan, a country we’ve worked in since 1983 but which is still experiencing conflict, and ongoing hunger as a result.

“Oxfam will keep fighting on behalf of every one of those 821 million people who go hungry. To us they are not a number, they are our cause. They need real solutions – not just food.”