World Vision launches global response to escalating hunger crisis as millions of children face starvation

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  • Ukraine conflict has pushed growing numbers of food insecure people to crisis levels
  • 45 million now at risk of starvation
  • World Vision is responding globally with a focus on 24 of the worst-affected nations
a baby in South Sudan gets an arm measurement
In South Sudan, 11-month-old Adhel gets her arm measured to see if she is recovering from malnutrition. ©World Vision 2022

SEATTLE (May 20, 2022) World Vision, the global humanitarian organization, has declared a Global Hunger Response as extreme hunger around the world dramatically increases.  About 45 million people face starvation without urgent life-saving assistance.

“Food insecurity and malnutrition can lead to the needless death of hundreds of thousands of children and forces families to utilize negative coping mechanisms such as early marriage and child labor,” said Edgar Sandoval Sr., World Vision’s president and CEO. “God is calling us to urgent action to save lives now.”

The war in Ukraine has created a catastrophe upon a catastrophe. Increasing costs of fuel, fertilizer and wheat, exacerbated by port closures, sanctions and trade restrictions arising from the war, are now supercharging the hunger crisis to create the potential for mass starvation across hunger hotspots in multiple nations around the world.

World Vision’s 18-month Global Hunger Response will focus on these hotspots where children are one step away from famine or facing starvation. The plan – targeting 24 countries – builds on efforts to address widespread hunger and malnutrition that have already reached 11.5 million people, but which now need to be expanded to keep pace with the worsening situation.

The scale of need is so immense that this is only the second time in its history that World Vision has launched a global response of this size and scope – its COVID-19 pandemic response being the first.

World Vision is uniquely positioned to respond with its enormous operational presence in close to 100 countries, as well as its expertise in food security, nutrition and humanitarian programming. The organization is the UN World Food Program’s largest partner in the delivery of food assistance.

While the Ukraine war has exacerbated the hunger crisis, it is important to stress just how dire the situation was for many people in countries at risk prior to the war, Sandoval said. Currently 45 million people in 43 countries face starvation. Countries with the highest level of need include Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia and Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, hunger is forcing families to make heart-breaking decisions. “I have been heartbroken to see that families are willing to sell their children to feed other family members,” said Asuntha Charles, World Vision’s National Director in Afghanistan.

“Day by day, the situation is deteriorating in this country, and it is especially children who are suffering,” she added.

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.