What is Acute Food Insecurity?

ADRA works to empower vulnerable communities to lessen the burden of poverty and acute food insecurity.

Food insecurity is one of the most pressing problems in the world today. A report by the United Nations in 2020 states that 690 million people around the world regularly go to bed hungry. According to the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises, at least 155 million people in 55 countries were already acutely food insecure in 2020 and in need of urgent assistance.

The amount of people who are acutely food insecure has increased by 20 million since 2019. This sharp increase of critical hunger is commonly attributed to the physical and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis that has robbed millions of lives, health, jobs, and money.

The second goal of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals is to eradicate world hunger by 2030. Every major organization and humanitarian agency that monitors food security, however, claims the world is no nearer to that goal than we were in 2015. In fact, the United Nations says, if recent trends continue, hunger will affect nearly 900 million people by 2030.

The crisis of world hunger is not going away. It is getting worse. Right now, more than a quarter billion people worldwide are on the brink of starvation. Hunger crises in Yemen, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Venezuela only add to the urgency of the situation, which is made far worse by the ongoing fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is Acute Food Insecurity?

According to the Global Network Against Food Crises—an international alliance of the United Nations, the European Union, and other nongovernmental agencies—acute food insecurity is, “when a person’s inability to consume adequate food puts their lives or livelihoods in immediate danger.”

If unaddressed, acute food insecurity leads to starvation.

Starvation occurs in conflict zones like Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo, where violence disrupts the food chain and the ability to farm.

Starvation occurs in arid climates like Madagascar and South Sudan, where erosion and increasing desertification create droughts and other conditions hostile to growing food.

Starvation occurs in unpredictable and erratic climates like those found in Central America, Mozambique, and the Philippines, where climate change continues to widen the disparity between seasonal floods and seasonal droughts.

Starvation occurs worldwide. If recent trends persist, millions more each year will experience the hunger, malnutrition, and hopelessness of starvation.

Because of these alarming trends, ADRA continues to fight hunger and starvation.

Our food security projects are designed to meet needs wherever we find them: conflict zones, regions facing the brunt of climate change, and those made vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic. We use community-driven solutions to promote long-term recovery and sustainability, so that all may live as God intended.