An open letter to States and their Leaders from the civil society organizations working with and for the 270 million people facing hunger, starvation or famine all over the world.
Read the letter in Arabic, French, Greek, Italian, Spanish.
Every day, we bear witness to suffering and resilience. In Yemen, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, DRC, Honduras, Venezuela, Nigeria, Haiti, CAR, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Sudan and beyond we help people who are doing all they can to simply get through one more day.
Every day, we work with people who are fully capable of producing or earning enough to feed themselves and their families. These people are not starving, they are being starved. These girls and boys, men and women, are being starved by conflict and violence; by inequality; by the impacts of climate change; by the loss of land, jobs or prospects; by a fight against COVID-19 that has left them even further behind.
Every day, we see that it is women and girls who suffer the most.
Every day, we share stories and evidence of hunger, starvation, and increasing humanitarian needs. Yet this does not prompt urgent action or sufficient funding. The widening gap between the great needs we face and the limited assistance we are able to provide threatens to steal what hope remains. We cannot allow all hope to be lost.
It is human actions that are driving famine and hunger and it is our actions that can stop the worst impacts. We all have a part to play. But you, as Leaders, States and main duty bearers, have a unique responsibility. We call on you to take action now.
We call on you to provide the additional $5.5 billion needed for urgent food assistance to reach more than 34 million girls, boys, women and men around the globe who are a step away from famine. This assistance must begin immediately and reach as directly as possible the people most in need, now, so they can take action to feed themselves today and in the future. All countries should contribute their full and fair share, without diverting resources from meeting other pressing humanitarian needs.
We plead with you to enhance your efforts and work with all parties to end conflict and violence in all its forms. The UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire must be immediately heeded. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach communities without barriers or impediments so we can urgently support those most in need.
We urge you to invest in alleviating poverty and hunger, in giving people the tools they need to build more resilient futures for themselves, sustainably adapt to climate change and guard against the shocks of COVID-19. This will help to prevent future conflict and displacement. This will prevent future hunger and famines.
There is no place for famine and starvation in the 21st century. History will judge us all by the actions we take today.
April 20, 2021