• Five years of progress towards ending hunger will be at risk without urgent action from G7 leaders.
  • The economic shock of Covid-19 will place an additional 35 million people at risk of hunger in 2021.
  • The IRC estimates that US $2.3bn support for humanitarian cash transfers is required to mitigate the underlying economic causes of hunger.

Ahead of the G7 summit, a new report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has outlined the immediate steps that world leaders must take to avert an unprecedented global hunger crisis.

Next month, on June 11, G7 leaders will convene in the UK to discuss global challenges facing the world. At the top of the G7 agenda must be tackling the unprecedented hunger crisis that is playing out in an increasing number of countries around the world, fueled by the combination of conflict, the economic downturn caused by Covid-19, and climate change. 

Without immediate action, an estimated 270 million people will be at risk of acute food insecurity in 2021. The world’s poorest people — and particularly women and girls, displaced people and marginalised groups - are likely to be the hardest hit. The IRC calculates that the economic shock of Covid-19 will place an additional 35 million people at risk of hunger in 2021, which threatens to derail five years of hard-won progress towards achieving zero hunger globally.

In addition to urgently removing barriers to humanitarian access and increasing aid to fund lifesaving treatment for malnutrition, the IRC has estimated that $2.3 billion in humanitarian cash funding is required to break the cycle of hardship and hunger that threatens to overwhelm crisis-affected countries. Longer term, investment in women’s leadership to withstand future crises and climate smart solutions are key to ending the hunger crisis.

David Miliband, IRC President and CEO, said: “We are seeing one of the greatest humanitarian crises unfold in real time. In places like Yemen and South Sudan, IRC teams are witnessing the human cost of hunger play out in the countries where we work, as an increasing number of people are unable to feed themselves. There has never been more at stake. Decisions made by G7 leaders in Cornwall will likely have life-or-death consequences for people already suffering from hunger and food insecurity.

The G7 lays claim to global leadership.  Now is the time for leaders to lead. Hunger is rising against the backdrop of dramatically reduced cuts to aid budgets. We must see bold humanitarian action from G7 leaders, through committing to a fully-funded response to tackle famine and food insecurity around the world.”