50 million people are on the brink of famine due to conflict and the changing climate.
This is a severe and worsening crisis, the likes of which we have not seen in over a century.
In Somalia alone, an estimated 7 million people are likely to face acute food insecurity between June and September this year.
Without immediate therapeutic food and care, almost 8 million children under 5 are at risk of death from malnutrition – with the number rising by the minute.
Your support can help those hardest hit by this crisis.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
What’s caused this hunger crisis?
People are forced to rely on expensive food imports, and the war in Ukraine has led to prices skyrocketing further with the cost of basic food supplies such as cooking oil and flour doubling in some countries since Russia’s invasion began. And with wheat imports being disrupted, supplies of essentials are running low.
Countries where Tearfund is working, including Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan depend heavily on wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia, which account for 40-90% of supplies. In these countries, families rely on wheat to meet their daily needs.
The climate crisis has changed weather patterns in the region: the UN has warned that across the Horn of Africa, the rainy season of March to May 2022 is likely to have been the driest on record. With four successive failed rainy seasons, and another one potentially on the way, food is scarce and harvests have withered away. Severe drought is crippling communities across Afghanistan, where 60% of families rely on farming for their livelihoods.
For rural communities who rely on farming, the drought has made their way of life impossible. It also means that, when the rains do come, the land can no longer absorb the water like it used to. This leads to flash flooding – as the water has nowhere to go. Homes and what little crops or cattle are left are washed away.
Conflict is the most powerful driver of the food crisis globally, responsible for the largest share of people facing life-threatening hunger (65%). From Yemen to South Sudan, Mozambique and Afghanistan, protracted fighting has destroyed livelihoods and forced families to flee their homes.
As one of our partners shares, conflict is driving the crisis in northern Ethiopia, while drought drives the crisis in southern parts of the country. “In the past year, it is getting worse,” shares Abraham Alembo, Head of Disaster Prevention and Peace Building Unit with Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission. “There is not sufficient rain and communities have missed seasonal crops for at least the last four consecutive seasons. The most vulnerable groups like children under 5 years, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses are in a serious condition. Many of them have been malnourished.”
Tearfund's partners are actively working in the countries hardest hit by this hunger crisis including Afghanistan, Yemen, Mozambique, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda. Our long term focus on supporting climate resilient agriculture, food and livelihoods projects and an acute focus on food security is making a real and lasting impact.Help Tearfund’s partners to respond
Your gift today will help Tearfund’s partners who are supporting people in places where the hunger crisis is deepening.
Your support can help those hardest hit by this crisis.
For over 20 years, Tearfund has partnered with Sudan Evangelical Mission (SEM) as they have faithfully served communities through years of violent conflict and the impacts of an increasingly harsh climate.
Caterina is a member of a local farmers’ group set up by SEM, who respond to food and economic insecurity in the region of Mundri, South Sudan. Caterina and her family rely on farming for their food and livelihood. They know just how vulnerable this can make them – and just how resilient they can be with access to the right tools and farming practices.
Last year, Caterina and other farmers in the area suffered the loss of crops as the rain they were waiting for arrived too late and too heavy. But the training she received from SEM meant that Caterina was prepared to meet the challenges of an unpredictable climate, support her family, and improve her farming techniques for future seasons.
“In my farming, I have faced so many challenges… poor methods of planting, land preparation, weed management and storage. Crops on the small amount of land were always under attack from disease and pests, and we did not know how to counter them.”
Now, techniques in crop production, pest and disease management, land preparation and crop diversity are making a transformative difference for Caterina and the other farmers in her group.
“Though it has been interrupted by the heavy rainfall, the little I have harvested has helped my family. From my small yield, I managed to pay school fees and welfare for my family members, save some to sustain the living standard of my family and purchase medication,” Caterina shared. She hopes the income from her produce will allow her to access more land to cultivate, too.
“The knowledge and skills I have acquired during training have really made a big difference. It has improved my farming activities, I expect to receive a good harvest this year and my family shall have access to their basic needs.”
But the unfolding hunger crisis means that the work of Tearfund’s partners as they support people like Caterina is now more important than ever. Together, we can make a difference at this critical time.
In Somalia seven million people are likely to face food insecurity. The latest reports out of Somalia are that two areas of Somalia are likely to enter a state of famine later this year as the country battles an unrelenting drought and flare-ups of conflict. “Famine is at the door and today we are receiving a final warning,” Martin Griffiths, the UN’s under secretary general for humanitarian affairs.
Tearfund’s partners are responding. Across Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan, Tearfund Australia’s long term partners are responding today.Read more
"50 million people in 45 countries are teetering on the edge of famine."