Today the threat of famine is even greater. COVID-19 has had a hugely damaging impact and is reversing broader development gains, with extreme poverty now rising for the first time since 1998.
“Shockingly, by the end of 2020, there are likely to be 270 million people who are acutely food insecure, and famines looming in the Sahel region, north-eastern Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen,” he said. “It is preventable but only if the international community acts urgently with both political will and funding.”
The UN estimates that the global humanitarian response for 2021 will cost $35 billion. This cost must be fully funded by the international community who have responded promptly to meet the COVID response in the global north, according to Mr MacSorley, who is a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee.
The wealthiest nations have been cushioned by extraordinary surges of credit unleashed by central banks, and government spending, collectively estimated at more than $8 trillion. Developing countries have yet to receive help on such a scale, he said.
With conflict being the main driver of acute hunger for 77 million people, Mr MacSorley said Ireland will have a key role to play when it takes a seat on the UN Security Council next month.
For media queries contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manager, Concern Worldwide, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 9880524.