The Silent Emergency – The food crisis unfolding across the globe

11:00 a.m. EST/10:00 a.m. CST/8:00 am PST

A 14-year-old boy waters vegetables in the field next to his family’s home

Chronic hunger and poverty are increasing at a dramatic pace for the first time in decades. Communities are being hit by ongoing setbacks from COVID-19, more frequent and intense weather-related disasters fueled by climate change and prolonged conflicts. Now, the Ukraine crisis is amplifying these effects with food, fuel and fertilizer price spikes, leading to a widespread food crisis.

Through the webinar titled The Silent Emergency – The Food Crisis Unfolding Across the Globe,  learn about the situation millions around the world are facing, the steps the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mercy Corps and others are taking to respond, and what urgent action we must take as a global community to avert a worsening crisis.

This webinar was co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Mercy Corps.


  • Tjada D’Oyen McKenna (Moderator): As CEO of Mercy Corps, Tjada leads a global team of over 5,400+ humanitarians, who provide immediate relief to save lives and livelihoods and work to create transformational change reaching 37 million people in more than 40+ countries.
  • Patricia McIlreavy: Patricia is president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, an organization that works with funders, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other partners to mobilize a full range of resources that strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. With more than 25 years of experience in international humanitarian policy and practice, she brings a unique blend of operational and strategic expertise to disaster philanthropy.
  • Kevin Mugenya: Kevin leads Mercy Corps’ strategic regional vision to enhance resilient food security and food systems across East Africa. Kevin brings more than 15 years of experience developing and leading programing to address food insecurity and economic inequality while building more resilient communities.
  • Dr. Valerie Nkamgang Bemo: As the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s deputy director for global development, Valerie manages the foundation’s investments that support communities affected by natural disasters and complex emergencies.

(May 2022, Syria. Mahmoud, 14, waters vegetables in the field next to his family’s home. Mercy Corps installed solar panels at the water tank in his village in February 2022; they have given the plant a dependable source of power, drastically improving access to water for this entire town in Northeast Syria. Credit: Ezra Millstein/Mercy Corps)