Rome — “This year there are around 270 million people in 79 countries without access to adequate food supplies. Of these, 34 million face acute food insecurity in emergency situations and are at high risk of hunger”, said a report by the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC). To address this emergency, the ICMC, along with over 260 civil society organizations, is calling for an additional $ 5.5 billion in funding and a global ceasefire to prevent famine and further deaths around the world.
“These numbers have risen dramatically since 2019 due to a combination of armed conflict, climate change and poverty”, the report said. “The consequences of such a complex situation have been exacerbated by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is showing how Inequality and poverty affect the access to food of a large part of the world’s population. Covid-19 has also left many countries vulnerable to economic crises that also affect food security”.
“Every day we experience the suffering but also the resilience of entire population groups in Yemen, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honduras, Venezuela, Nigeria, Haiti and the Central African Republic , Uganda, Zimbabwe and Sudan”, said the 260 humanitarian organizations in an open letter to world leaders.
“It is human actions that lead to famine and hunger and it is our actions that can stop the worst damage. We all have a part to play”, says the letter, which is addressed in particular to state leaders who have “a unique responsibility”. “We ask that you provide an additional $ 5.5 billion in urgent food aid to support more than 34 million girls and boys, women and men around the world who are on the verge of famine”.
In March 2020, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a global ceasefire “in support of the fight against COVID-19”. This call resulted in a UN Security Council resolution in support of a global “humanitarian phase” to combat the pandemic. The Security Council resolution was supported by civil society organizations and world leaders, including Pope Francis.