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Nearly 282 million people faced hunger in 2023 — report

Saim Dušan Inayatullah
April 24, 2024

The number of people suffering acute food insecurity rose in 2023 for the fifth year in a row, according to a UN-led report. Conflicts, extreme weather and economic shocks are worsening the food crisis many people face.

Palm with grain in it in Bentiu, South Sudan
Nearly 282 million people suffered from acute hunger last year, according to a UN-led reportImage: Luke Dray/Getty Images

Almost 282 million people suffered from acute hunger in 2023, according to a UN-led report released on Wednesday.

The report said that conflicts, extreme weather events and economic shocks were fueling food insecurity worldwide.

What did the report say about global hunger?

The global report on food crises from the Food Security Information Network (FSIN), called the outlook "bleak," adding that the number of people facing food insecurity grew by 24 million compared to 2022.

The report was produced jointly by several UN agencies, the European Union, government bodies and NGOs.

2023 was the fifth year in a row that saw a rise in the number of people suffering acute food insecurity.

"In a world of plenty, children are starving to death," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in the report's foreword.

"War, climate chaos and a cost-of-living crisis — combined with inadequate action — mean that almost 300 million people faced acute food crisis in 2023," he said. "Funding is not keeping pace with need."

How El Nino contributes to drought in Africa

Where is food insecurity most prevalent?

Major food crises are ongoing in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Syria and Yemen.

Last year, food insecurity became more severe in Sudan due to the conflict between the army and the RSF paramilitary, as well as in the Gaza Strip amid Israel's offensive in the Palestinian territory.

Worsening conditions in Haiti were due to reduced agricultural production and political instability, with armed gangs taking over parts of the country's capital, Port-au-Prince.

The report also warned that the El Nino weather phenomenon could lead to severe drought in western and southern Africa. Several countries in southern Africa have declared national emergencies due to the drought, including Zimbabwe earlier this month and Malawi in March.

Some 700,000 people, including 600,000 in Gaza, were on the brink of starvation last year.

This article was written in part with material from Agence-France Presse (AFP).

Edited by: Sean M. Sinico