50 Million Will Be Severely Hungry This Year, Says Deputy Secretary-General, in Remarks to General Assembly Event on Global Food Crisis
Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the General Assembly special high-level event titled “Time to Act Together: Coordinating Policy Responses to the Global Food Crisis”, in New York today:
I thank you all for a very engaging discussion today. I commend the President of the General Assembly and the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) for organizing this high-level event to keep a sharp focus on working together on priority actions to address the current food crisis.
Today, we heard the latest details on the extent of the crisis. The compounded challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate shocks and conflicts — including the ongoing war in Ukraine — have made the global food security situation even more daunting.
The recently launched State of Food and Nutrition in the World 2022 (SOFI) report was a stark reminder that the number of hungry people, men, women and children, continues to rise with 823 million people going hungry in 2021. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), an additional 50 million will be severely hungry in 2022. This level of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition urgently requires coordinated action to turn things around.
We heard about the initiatives put forward by the international community and how affected countries and communities are responding. The Secretary-General’s Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance, and the United Nations system is working on the immediate needs of the world’s most vulnerable communities. This includes providing, via the Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund, almost $23 million for 87 joint programmes in 100 countries, with the majority focused on addressing the food security crisis.
At the same time, we must also look farther afield to the pathways that will take us to longer-term, sustainable food systems. Now is indeed the time to act together to align these initiatives and support national pathways and action areas emanating from the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit, convened by the Secretary-General to accelerate action.
With only eight years remaining in the 2030 Agenda, the call is clear: resilient food systems must deliver sufficient, safe, affordable, nutritious food and healthy diets for all people and provide employment and living wages, while safeguarding our planet.
Ambassador [Gabriel] Ferrero, I am delighted that this discussion will continue at CFS 50 in October, where I am sure its members and participants will continue to foster coordinated policy responses on food security and nutrition, using its inclusive, science-backed platform and its very relevant reports and policy agreements.
Thank you all for joining us today to sound the alarm bell on the crisis and, more importantly, to share examples of meaningful actions and initiatives being taken.
I look forward to continue working with you all.