Severe hunger is a reality across the world. This reality can be seen in numbers: More than 800 million people go to bed hungry every night according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Parents can feel hunger’s effects when they skip a meal at times so their children receive the nourishment they need. Hunger’s desperation can be heard in a Yemeni mother’s words, “We have nothing to eat at home.”
Hunger is a growing reality around the world.
Various factors contribute to this rise.
- Conflict: Violence is one of the main drivers of hunger, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s hungry living in conflict areas (WFP). The war between Russia and Ukraine, which are some of the world’s top wheat producers, has made for sporadic grain exports and spiked food costs.
- Economic fall-out from COVID-19: Many economies are still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, which closed businesses and left millions of people jobless.
- Droughts, floods, and other severe weather: Eastern Africa has experienced years of little rain. A staff member who recently visited Ethiopia said, “There has been no harvest for five seasons . . . They say even the camels are dying now, which has never happened in anyone’s memory.”
- Inflation: Inflation’s effects can be felt all around the world. For many Americans, this might mean trying harder to save our money here or there. But for people barely able to provide what their family needs to survive, rising prices bring fears that they will go hungry or even starve.
Responding to the hunger crisis
Samburu County in northern Kenya is a harsh place with rugged terrain. The land has received almost no rain in the past three years. This drought is forcing people to eat the few plants and berries that survive. Some say they eat only one meal a day, if that.
Laden with food parcels and literature, our staff members in Kenya visited several communities deep in the Samburu bush. One staff member said the boxes brought hope, “even though in our minds this small gift seemed wildly insufficient to meet the overwhelming needs we found.”
In Belarus, a mother shared tearfully, “The shelves were completely empty: no cereals, no pasta, nothing that could be cooked for [my children] . . . I prayed to God . . . And then you called me to a Christian meeting. We really enjoyed it. We also carried home a heavy bag of groceries. Thank you very much for your care! And thank God!”
In conflict-riddled Yemen, spiking food prices make daily survival a struggle for many people. Aaida,* a Yemeni mother, said, “We had to beg from neighbors for food to quiet our hunger. Recently, very little food remained in the house, but you called us to come and get our food . . . I found new hope and a renewed desire to live.”
Your support of the World Hunger Fund enables us to respond to some of these needs by providing food as well as funding some projects that enable people to produce their own food. These physical avenues open doors to share spiritual nourishment in Christ. After a widowed mother in Belarus received food she exclaimed, “There is a God in the world! . . . Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
God bless you for caring.
*Name is changed to protect identity.