Oxfam reaction to FAO Food Insecurity report which found 828 million people were hungry in 2021

In reaction to FAO’s new “State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the World 2022” report, stating that as many as 828 million people were hungry in 2021, an increase of 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hanna Saarinen, Oxfam Food Policy Lead said:

“Global hunger has been spiralling since 2019 and is now at devastating levels around the world not because of a shortage of food but rather as a consequence of a broken food system further undermined by conflicts, the effects of the COVID pandemic and worsening climate change.

“It is easy to just blame today’s food crisis on the war in Ukraine, but longstanding political failure to address how we feed all the people in the world has made our food system susceptible to fragility and failure well before now.

“Despite the global food crisis, with millions of people going hungry today, food billionaires’ wealth has reached stratospheric levels – increasing by $382bn just over the last two years.

“We will not break the vicious cycle of hunger and food inflation without addressing the deep inequalities fuelling them. We must fundamentally reimagine a new, more just and sustainable global food system – one that serves the planet and millions of people, rather than a handful of big agribusinesses.

“Western governments must free up resources – including by taxing food companies and billionaires – in order to invest in diverse, local sustainable food production that helps countries to become less dependent on food imports; and support smallholder food producers, especially women.

“To save lives now, rich donor governments must honour their promised funding pledges. East Africa, which is witnessing its worst drought in recent history and where over 28 million people are facing extreme hunger, and thousands are already starving, has received less than 15 percent of its nearly $7 billion UN humanitarian appeal to date.”

/ENDS

For more information, or to arrange an interview with an Oxfam spokesperson, please contact: Sarah Dransfield, Oxfam Senior Press Officer, on: +44 (0)7884 114825 / sdransfield@oxfam.org.uk

Notes to the Editor

To date, only $979 million of the total $6.96bn UN appeal for Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan (both HRP and FA) has been funded. This is a gap of 86%. Source: UN OCHA Appeals and response plans 2022 | Financial Tracking Service (unocha.org)

Figures on food billionaires wealth is from Oxfam’s report “Profiting from Pain”, published 23 May 2022.

Source: Oxfam

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