Famine and World Hunger

Your support of food security means helping children survive the global hunger crisis.

Famine and World Hunger

Your support of food security means helping children survive the global hunger crisis.

Up to 270.5 million people are estimated to be acutely food insecure or at high risk across 80 countries (2021).

Thanks to people like you, over the last 10 years 89% of the severely malnourished children World Vision treated made a full recovery.

What is famine?

2021 situation update: A deadly mix of conflict, COVID-19 and the climate crisis means more than 7 million people across six countries in East Africa have been pushed to the very edge of starvation. And 34 million more are experiencing crisis levels of food insecurity. A humanitarian disaster is unfolding, food security is decreasing and without immediate scale-up of international action, the East Africa famine is likely to spread and put millions of lives at risk.

Across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, famine in Africa is increasing as COVID-19 aftershocks and food insecurity continue to ripple through communities leaving a trail of declining family incomes and hungry children in their wake.

The drivers of food insecurity in each country are different. In Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, erratic rainfall means failed harvests, disease outbreaks, conflict and worsening water and pasture conditions for livestock and animal deaths. 

In South Sudan, internal conflict – combined with depleted harvest – continues to ravage the regions as more than 1.4 million children below the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition and more than 7.1 million people face high levels of food insecurity.  

Your support means helping to reach those in East Africa on the brink of famine with nutritious food, healthcare, child protection and clean water, sanitation and hygiene. We must act to end world hunger now.  

A teenage girl wrapped in a yellow head scarf stands in front of her small mudbrick home damaged by a cyclone in India.

17-year-old Amina stands in front of her home which has suffered damage by a cyclone in India.

Teaming up with World Vision means helping to end the global hunger crisis.

Famine-stricken regions such as East Africa and the plight of those affected demand our attention. So, what is famine?  The United Nations defines famine with very specific and unsettling parameters: 

  • over 20 percent of households don’t get the recommended caloric intake daily 
  • over 30 percent of people are in a state of malnutrition
  • there are two deaths per 10,000 people daily

From Ethiopia in the early 80s to the entire East Africa region more recently, entire nations are grappling with food inequity, food insecurity and hunger for millions of children and families. 

26 million people are classified at "crisis level" where action is needed now to stop them sliding into emergency. 

Sponsoring a child means you
help them grow healthy, not hungry.

Your donation means reaching hungry families with the food and assistance they need. 

A mother experiencing food insecurity kneels among a drought-stricken field.

Climate change in Zambia is impacting food security for farmers like Shower and her family who rely on farming for their family income and survival.

For those living below the poverty line, hunger is more than a missed meal, it can mean days without food.

It can mean a mother choosing which child gets to eat today. It is a potentially fatal lack of nutrients which can lead to impaired cognitive development in children, stillbirths and congenital abnormalities. These deficiencies also reduce the body’s capacity to fight disease. In the COVID era, fighting hunger means fighting disease. 

There are many issues that result in hunger and food insecurity. Desert locust swarms and extreme weather events devastate crops reducing family income. Continued conflict drives people into hunger and COVID-19 continues to devastate already fragile economies pushing millions further into poverty and unemployment.  

There’s enough food in the world to feed everyone. But control over resources and income is based on military, political and economic power that the minority hold. Those without equal fortune get left behind which leads to food inequity. 

The battle against famine and hunger rages. Millions of people are experiencing crisis levels of food insecurity and are on the brink of malnutrition and starvation.  

1 in 5

One in five children (roughly 149.2 million) were stunted by undernutrition.


66 million

primary school age children attend classes hungry across the developing world.

500,000 children

250,000 – 500,000 children go blind every year from vitamin A deficiency.

What is food security? How do you prevent famine and alleviate hunger? 

Donors just like you help empower affected communities with short-term and long-term solutions that deliver hope to people who need it the most.   

Your support means we can show up as the largest non-government partner of the UN World Food Programme, distributing more emergency food and supplies than any other non-government organisation. 

Your support means delivering food to people at immediate risk of malnutrition, while working alongside communities to strengthen their long-term capabilities to farm and gain income.  

Your support means farmers learn how to nurture land, prevent soil degradation and increase sustainability and productivity. 

And because you care about climate change, the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) program reforests arid desert into fertile land with enormous crop-growing potential. This life-changing program was behind Africa’s largest environmental change in over a century.  

We know you take hunger and famine prevention seriously, and so do we.  

Being in 100 countries means delivering impact where others can’t 

Sponsoring a child means you
help them grow healthy, not hungry.

Your donation means reaching hungry families with the food and assistance they need.