Global hunger crisis: Risk of famine in the Horn of Africa

2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT

The world is facing a food crisis of unprecedented proportions, the largest in modern history. A staggering total of 49 million people in 49 countries are currently teetering on the edge of famine.

Food insecurity is a complex challenge, but the slide into famine is manmade, driven by international inaction as well as local circumstance. Deaths from famine and untreated malnutrition are preventable and unacceptable.” This was highlighted in the International Rescue Committee’s Emergency Watchlist of the top humanitarian emergencies in 2023, where Somalia’s catastrophic hunger crisis and looming famine has been named the number one concern globally.

According to the Global Hunger Index, progress in addressing hunger has been reversed. In 2021, as many as 828 million people were undernourished and going to bed hungry every night (one of the first indicators of chronic hunger). The hunger crisis is caused by a deadly combination of conflict, climate shocks, the economic impacts of COVID-19 and rising costs, which are at an all-time high. The crisis expanded in 2022 with the decrease in grain exports from Ukraine and Russia, resulting in even greater supply chain shortages and pushing food prices up further. The World Food Programme predicts that as many as 345 million will face acute hunger in 2023.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy hosted a webinar to help funders understand the growing hunger crisis around the world and what philanthropy can do to prevent avoidable deaths from malnutrition and starvation. Moderated by CDP’s Vice President, Regine A. Webster, the panel discussed how funders can help prevent the escalation of the crisis into a catastrophe, just as early action by donors averted a famine in 2017.

CDP Vice President Regine A. Webster moderated the discussion and panelists included:

Please see the slide deck and watch the webinar recording to learn more:

This webinar was co-sponsored by Giving CompassAlliance MagazineNetwork of Engaged International Donors (NEID)Philanthropy New York and the Council on Foundations.

Photo: An LGBTIQ refugee in Nairobi feeding turkeys for turkey farming, an economic empowerment project ORAM supports. Credit: Peter Irungu; ORAM