As parts of the world vaccinate against COVID-19, millions of children are facing a hunger crisis brought on by conflict, climate and the lasting impact of the pandemic.
Hunger levels were already at record global highs before the pandemic and are now threatening to rise exponentially. Despite huge progress in our lifetimes, COVID-19 is adding to the impacts of conflict and climate change to push millions of people across the world - in places you wouldn’t expect - to the verge of starvation.
Save the Children is already working in many of these communities to support families with food, cash, and supplies, so their children don’t go hungry, now or in the future. We’re also working with partners to help communities spot early warning signs and take necessary measures to protect themselves.
We’ve avoided famines before - and we can do it again.
Nala* is a mother of five children, including one-year-old Ahmed*. They all live with Nala’s brother in a camp for displaced people in Puntland, Somalia.
As the current drought intensifies, the job market is drying up and impacting on the family’s income. As a result, Nala has been forced to reduce the number of meals they eat a day, and they can no longer afford to buy clean drinking water. Ahmed became sick and malnourished.
Nala took Ahmed to a Save the Children supported stabilisation centre, where he was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and is currently receiving treatment. He is making a steady recovery and has started to smile, laugh, and play again, much to Nala’s relief.
Nala said: “When I first brought him here he was unable to move around. But now he’s had the milk and the peanut paste he’s able to talk to me and play. Apart from the medicine and milk they’ve giving Ahmed, they’re also providing me with three meals a day so I can concentrate on looking after my son. I want to see my children grow and live a better life in the future. That’s my hope for my children.”
Once a famine is declared, it will be too late. We urgently need the funds to avert this crisis from worsening and preventing more countries falling deeper into disaster. The time to act is now.
That’s why Save the Children is ramping up our work to protect children and communities against looming disaster. We are ensuring children have access to nutritious food, and supporting families with their livelihoods so they grow resilience against the shocks of COVID, conflict, and climate change. We will expand primary and emergency health services, and work to children back to school as soon as possible.