Hunger kills one person every few seconds, say international experts

27 September 2022

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It is estimated that one person dies from malnutrition every few seconds, a statistic that again highlights the scale of the ongoing global food crisis.

A group of more than 200 NGOs (non-governmental organisations) calculated that around the world between 7,756 and 19,702 people die from hunger each day. 

On average one life is lost to acute hunger every 4 to 12 seconds. This, researchers say, is “a conservative estimate”.

Starving Christians in Madagascar, one of many countries where shortages are growing more acute

“Fifty million people are now just one step away from starvation,” said an open letter signed by 238 organisations. “Over 345 million more are bowing under the crushing weight of hunger, struggling to feed their families and at risk of death.”

Among the causes of the global food crisis are natural disasters and extreme weather events, conflict, and economic shocks.

This includes the impact on the world economy of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe combined with Western-imposed sanctions that have caused uncertainly regarding supplies of food and fertilisers.

Director of the World Food Programme David Beasley said that the crisis was becoming “a perfect storm on top of a perfect storm” and warned of “chaos all over the world”.

The lack of fertilisers and ongoing droughts, he continued, were leading to “famine, starvation, destabilisation of nations”. The world can produce enough food for its 7.7 billion population but only with adequate fertiliser to ensure proper yields.

“We’ve got to respond now,” said Beasley.  

The reality of food poverty and insecurity is borne out in reports received by Barnabas Aid from church leaders around the world, who tell us, “We have no food.”

“The present global food crisis may become one of the worst disasters ever to face humanity,” said Barnabas Aid International Director Dr Patrick Sookhdeo.

Pray that God will bless the work of all those seeking to provide food, water and nourishment to hungry people, whoever and wherever they are. Ask that He will work mightily to provide for all people at this time of crisis. Pray especially for marginalised Christians, our brothers and sisters, who are so often among the first to suffer and the last to receive help.

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