Aid agency warns: if COP26 negotiations fail, more children face starvation 

 

  • World Vision predicts more than 300 million people could face acute food insecurity by 2030  
  • 20 million children are at risk of starvation in 43 countries
  • 584,000 people are already living in famine-like conditions

  

EMBARGOED 8 November, 2021 – A new report release by international aid agency World Vision says that millions of vulnerable children cannot afford for climate change talks in Glasgow to fail, given how many are already on the edge of famine-like conditions.  

The report Climate Change, Hunger and Children’s Futures, studies the link between climate change and the risk of starvation, shows the long-term consequences of malnutrition on children and communities, and features what affected children say they need from global leaders.

“Children across the world tell us they experience the devastating impact of climate change every single day – and their warnings must be heard loud and clear by leaders at COP26,” says World Vision’s International CEO and President Andrew Morley.  

“We hear heart-breaking stories of water becoming scarce, and family livelihoods destroyed by recurring storms, flooding and drought, which can lead to life-threatening hunger and malnutrition. Children often face no choice but to drop out of school, and are forced to work or marry by their parents who struggle to cope.

“Forty-one million people in 43 countries are currently on the very edge of famine and face starvation. Millions of children are at risk of extreme hunger. We urge leaders to listen to the children affected by climate change, and to involve them as a central part of the solution as we work together to protect our planet’s God-given resources.” 

When it comes to extreme hunger, starvation and famine, climate change is a major threat multiplier along with economic instability (aggravated by COVID-19) and, the biggest cause, conflict. The number of people who are facing hunger crises has, for the last five years, risen steadily for the first time in decades. Assuming the same trajectory experienced over the last five years, World Vision predicts that more than 300 million people will be facing acute food insecurity by 2030. [1]

“Conflict, COVID-19 and climate change are interacting to create new and worsening hunger hotspots and are reversing the gains families had made to escape poverty,” said Sheri Arnott, World Vision’s External Engagement & Policy Food Security & Livelihood Director.  

“This is a children’s crisis: Millions of children are one step away from starvation and facing the threat of famine. Urgent life-saving action is needed NOW to prevent a humanitarian hunger crisis in which tens of thousands of children could die. Famine has no place in the 21st century and is entirely preventable.” 

“We pray that leaders at COP26 realise that this is a do or die moment for the world’s most vulnerable children.”

 ENDS   

  

Notes to editors  

  1. This figure was derived by averaging the yearly increases in acute hunger from the Global Report on Food Crises reports over the past 5 years and applying that average as a yearly increase until 2030. 
  2. For further information about World Vision’s engagement with COP26 visit www.wvi.org/our-work/climate-change/CoP2021.
  3. For to organise an interview contact:   
  • (In Glasgow) Reace Novello | Media & Communications Strategy Manager | reace.novello@worldvision.org.uk | Skype: reacenovello | Phone: +44 7583 985 528  
  • Jan Butter | Director of Impact Communications | jan_butter@wvi.org | Skype: jhbutter | Phone: +44 7889400889 

 

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision