On the World Food Day (October 16), the coalition of seven European NGOs "Alliance2015", including Helvetas, is sounding the alarm about the catastrophic situation in several countries. According to the latest Global Hunger Index, the world has made little progress in reducing hunger since 2015. About three-quarters of a billion people go to bed hungry every day. Young people, and especially young women, are particularly affected.
Bonn/Berlin, 12 October 2023. After years of progress, the latest Global Hunger Index shows that the world has largely stagnated in terms of hunger reduction since 2015. Despite many political assurances and international conferences, there has been no success in reversing this trend. The report assesses the nutritional situation in 136 countries, 43 of which continue to record serious or alarming levels of hunger. In 18 countries, hunger has grown since 2015. Fifty-eight countries will not succeed in achieving a low level of hunger by 2030. Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia are once again the regions with the highest rates of hunger. Overlapping crises – like climate change, the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, growing numbers of armed conflicts, and the rise in food prices, which was intensified by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine – are forcing around three quarters of a billion people to go to bed hungry every day. This hits young people, especially women, particularly hard.
“If hunger prevails, children will have to work instead of going to school, and girls will be married off at too young an age. People in low-income countries and members of disadvantaged groups are particularly vulnerable because they have little excess capacity with which to manage the assorted crises. In light of these circumstances, the planned budget cuts to development cooperation and especially to humanitarian aid are a step in the wrong direction,” notes Marlehn Thieme, the chair of the board of Welthungerhilfe.
This year’s Global Hunger Index focusses on the crucial role that young people throughout the world could play in improving food systems. The way in which we produce and consume food is neither sustainable nor fair. “The number of young people is hitting a historic high at 1.2 billion. Despite inheriting systems that are vulnerable to crises, many young people in the Global South have not had a sufficient voice in the decision-making process. To reduce hunger, we need to ensure generational equality, in part through investments in young people’s education, health, and nutrition. Without real hope of secure livelihoods, young people will continue to leave their home regions. Their strength and innovativeness have the potential to end hunger for good,” emphasises Mathias Mogge, the secretary general of Welthungerhilfe.