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OCHA and partners hold event on preventing famine

04 Oct 2021

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© OCHA

OCHA, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the World Food Programme, in collaboration with the Group of Friends on Action on Conflict and Hunger, convened today a High-level Event on Action in Support of Preventing and Ending Famine Now.

At the virtual event, participants took stock of recent efforts to stop the advance of famine and famine risk and discussed urgent actions the international community must take to prevent a further deterioration in the global severity and scale of acute food insecurity. 

Member States and partners also heard about the efforts of the High-level Task Force on Preventing Famine over the past six months.

At the Security Council debate on conflict and food security in March of this year, the Secretary-General established the Task Force to bring attention to the issue and mobilize support for the most-affected countries. 

Around the world, hunger is on the rise, with more than 41 million people facing emergency levels of food insecurity in 2021 – a 50 per cent increase in just two years.

Speaking at the opening of the event, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, underscored that famine is not a “technical matter”.

“Famine is a threat. It exists. There are almost certainly people dying as a result of it today that we can’t see. And when famine finally opens the door, it goes viral in a way that other threats perhaps don’t,” Mr. Griffiths said.