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Why are more children going hungry in 2021?

Even before the pandemic, hunger levels were at record global highs. Now, millions of children are facing a hunger crisis brought on by conflict, climate change, and COVID-19. 

Over 5.7 million children under 5 are a step away from famine.

No child should ever go hungry. We’ve averted famine before and we can do it again.

What is the impact of COVID-19 on child hunger?

The pandemic’s impact is estimated to have doubled the number of severely hungry people in the world

  • Hundreds of millions have lost their jobs due to restrictions. 
  • Children who rely on in-school meals haven’t had access to enough food. 
  • With supply chain disruption, food costs have spiked - and millions can’t afford meals. 

How is climate change causing more children to go hungry?

The number of climate-related disasters has tripled in the past 30 years. 

Storms, fires, floods and droughts are destroying homes and livelihoods. And in the world’s poorest regions, those who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods aren’t getting enough rainfall. 

By 2030, half of the world’s population is expected to live in a water-stressed area.

Why are conflict and war connected to child hunger?

War uproots families, destroys economies, ruins infrastructure, and disrupts food supply. 

10 of the world’s 13 food crises are caused by conflict, and the problem is growing.

Like in Yemen, where two million children are suffering from severe malnutrition.

And Afghanistan where half of all children under five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition this year.

How will my donation help prevent more child hunger? 

We must save lives and prevent hunger in the short-term, whilst making systems more resilient for the future. Our response is structured around these three critical pillars: 

  • We're working to make sure any child who is malnourished can get free treatment. A key part of this is supporting community health workers to deliver these services to poor and hard-to-reach communities. 
  • We’re protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, to help keep infants and young children safe from hunger and infection. 
  • We’re making sure families have access to healthy and nutritious food and protecting livelihoods, so they can afford to put meals on the table.

No child should ever go hungry

We’ve averted famine before and we can do it again.

What Is our Emergency fund?  

Our Emergency Fund not only enables us to respond immediately when a disaster strikes, it also allows us to respond to the countless ongoing crises around the world that don't hit the headlines.  

Whatever the disaster, thanks to our Emergency Fund, we can be by a child's side within days of a disaster striking - to help children survive and rebuild their lives, before it's too late.  

Which countries are most affected by the hunger crisis?

Afghanistan has been affected by conflict for more than 40 years  and since the beginning of June 2021, over 120,000 children have been displaced by the surge in conflict.

The violence is leaving children struggling to find food and support, and nearly half of all children under five need life-saving treatment for acute malnutrition.  

Our mobile teams have been working across Afghanistan to treat malnourished children under five and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. We’ve also been working with partners to give cash grants to entrepreneurs, and support families with cash for food.  

Democratic Republic of Congo is facing conflict, economic challenges, and extreme weather events. 27 million people can‘t get enough food. 

When Coronavirus hit, we supported local health facilities to treat malnourished children and improve nutrition in the face of the pandemic. We’re working across the country to improve child protection, hygiene, healthcare, and nutrition.  


East Africa. Combined with the pandemic, countries across this region are facing droughts, flooding, desert locusts, political instability, conflict, and economic instability. 

Across East Africa, we’re: 

  • treating children with acute malnutrition, 
  • supporting families with cash transfers, 
  • promoting positive nutrition practices, and 
  • distributing emergency food assistance 


North-East Nigeria’s three states have suffered ten years of violence and conflict. Alongside partners, we’re supporting livelihoods, treating malnourished children, and teaching parents how to spot malnutrition and help children get enough good food. 


The SahelBurkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. For decades, communities in the Sahel haven’t been able to get enough to eat. Climate change and COVID-19 have made the situation worse, and competition over land and resources has led to growing violence.

Alongside partners, we’re pushing governments to control the price of food and put in place social safety nets for the most vulnerable families. We’re also helping families access money and food, and teaching communities how to help children get a nutritious diet. 


Syria has suffered through ten years of war. And this war has caused inflation, job losses, and economic deterioration. More than half of the population can’t get enough food to eat. Almost a third of Syrian children are stunted. 

Together with our partners, we’re: 

  • providing counselling to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, 
  • teaching parents to spot malnutrition,
  • promoting positive eating habits, and
  • giving money and food essentials to families .


Venezuela’s economic crisis has been ongoing since 2015. Hyperinflation means most people can’t afford food and medicine, and millions have been forced to flee the country. And the impact of COVID-19 on jobs and support services means the situation is likely to get worse. 

We’re working with partners in Colombia and Peru to help children get good food and give families cash for essentials. And in Venezuela, we’re: 

  • supporting struggling children and families with food and nutrition supplements, 
  • teaching about good nutrition, 
  • helping schools and community kitchens provide healthy meals, and 
  • delivering cash grants 


Yemen is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The ongoing war has brought the country to its knees, and 5 million people are a step away from famine.

  • We support over two hundred health facilities across Yemen to deliver life-saving nutrition services.
  • Our teams of health workers and community volunteers screen children under 5 and pregnant and breastfeeding women for malnutrition and refer them for treatment in our clinics.
  • And we're giving families food assistance, livelihoods support, and cash grants.

Help prevent more hunger

Millions of children are facing a hunger crisis brought on by conflict, climate change, and COVID-19.

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