Supercharged hunger crisis could cause mass child starvation, as conflict cripples Europe’s ‘breadbasket’

Rising costs of fuel, fertiliser and wheat, driven by shortages and sanctions from the war in Ukraine, are now “supercharging” an unprecedented global hunger crisis, creating the potential for mass starvation, World Vision CEO Daniel Wordsworth said today.

World Vision today announced a new 18-month Global Hunger Response in at least 24 countries across hunger hotspots where food insecurity is at its worst. 

“Millions of children are enduring this heartbreaking hunger crisis, driven by a deadly combination of conflict, climate change and Covid-19,” Daniel said.

“The war in Ukraine has pushed the globe into a state of heightened instability not seen since the end of World War II.

“If we’ve learned anything in the 21st century, it’s that how we show up as leaders actually matters.  If you haven’t learnt that, then you’re asleep at the wheel.

“Our latest predictions show that 45 million people in 43 countries are now at risk, which is basically a population the same size as Ukraine.

“The scale of need is so large that this is only the second time in its history that World Vision has launched a global response of this nature – our COVID-19 pandemic response being the first.”

World Vision is asking Australia’s political leaders to join us and help #fightfamine by committing to a $150m famine prevention package focused on children.

“The most immediate task at hand is to join forces with the US, UK and other G7 governments in providing emergency food aid to children and families in countries on the brink of famine in Africa and the Middle East,” Daniel said.

“This is now even more urgent given the conflict in Ukraine - ‘Europe’s breadbasket’- is now leading to food price spikes.”

Countries on highest alert are those where food security, as determined by Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, is at its worst – IPC 4 (Emergency) and IPC 5 (Catastrophe/Famine). 

“World Vision is uniquely positioned to respond due to its enormous operational presence, its expertise and world-leading cash, food and nutrition programs, as well as being the World Food Programme’s largest food delivery partner,” Daniel said.

Media Contact: For further information or to organise an interview, please contact:  Andrew White on 0409 989 575 or

Background Information:

  • 45 million people in 43 countries face starvation. Countries with current/projected populations in IPC 5 are Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Afghanistan.

  • The World Food Programme estimates that the 276 million people facing acute food insecurity could rise to between 309 million and 323 million under different scenarios due to the conflict in Ukraine.


  • World Vision will be focused on at least 24 countries as part of its Global Hunger Response.These countries are: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, DR Congo, Central African Rep, Chad, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Myanmar.


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