The UN Warns Dozens Of Countries Are Close To Famine

As people around the world continue to lack access to food, whether because of poor growing conditions, economic challenges, or the effects of war (or a combination of all of them), the United Nations (U.N.) continues to offer help. One of those recent efforts announced on September 13, 2022, is to send aid to 700,000 people in Zimbabwe through its World Food Programme because of the anticipated failing of the country's main crop, maize. The failure of the crop is blamed on a lack of rainfall.  However, the lack of access to food is much wider spread than the African country. A day later, on September 14, the U.N. warned that the world is facing food shortages next year.

As the fighting between Russia and Ukraine rages on, the world continues to feel its effects on access to grains exported from those countries. What is also being felt is a lack of access to fertilizer, reports Newsweek. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the U.N. General Assembly on September 20 that more help is needed for countries that are having a hard time coping with the increased causes of living and climate change, according to the Associated Press.  

More than 50 million people in urgent peril

The warning issued on September 22 by U.N. Food Chief David Beasley was dire. According to the AP, he said 50 million people living in 45 countries are facing famine and even more people are headed in the same direction. Beasley said that about 345 million people around the world are lacking access to food due to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the war between Russia and Ukraine. Only five and a half years ago, Beasley said 80 million people were in that state. To address the massive shortage of food, Beasley is calling upon rich countries and billionaires to donate money to help alleviate the problem. Already, the United States has provided $5 billion for food security, according to the AP, and some European countries are offering more help. However, Beasley is asking the Gulf states to do more, especially for nearby countries like Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

"Even if you don't give it to me, even if you don't give it to the World Food Program, get in the game. Get in the game of loving your neighbor and helping your neighbor," Beasley said. "People are suffering and dying around the world. When a child dies every five seconds from hunger, shame on us."