UN chief warns millions may die of hunger: Why Australia must step up to help

Fresh warnings of hunger emergencies in multiple countries highlights the urgency for Australia to show leadership supporting the millions of people on the brink of famine according to World Vision Australia.

The United Nations secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned overnight that three dozen countries are one step away from a declaration of famine, amid reports that pockets of Yemen have also stepped back to the edge of famine.

World Vision CEO Daniel Wordsworth said the international aid organisation was already responding on the ground to a hunger crisis exacerbated by COVID-19. The charity has delivered food assistance to more than 6.6 million people during the pandemic, and provided an additional 2 million people with cash and vouchers to meet their basic needs.

But he said World Vision could not respond alone.  

“This is the biggest looming food crisis in decades. The world needs to act now. When famine is declared, people already dying. We want to work with the Australian Government to get much-needed emergency food to people in the world that are desperate,” Mr Wordsworth said.

“People are suffering most in the world’s fragile and conflict-affected contexts, primarily in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

World Vision Australia has called on the Government to fund a $150 million emergency food aid package in the upcoming Federal Budget.

For more information or for interview requests, contact: Mike Bruce 0403 920 189 or mike.bruce@worldvision.com.au.

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