Donations to Help Feed World's Neediest Fall in 2023

FILE — A man searches for food among garbage in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Nov. 30, 2023. As many as 783 million people around the world suffer from hunger, Action Against Hunger, an international organization, said on Tuesday.

Donor funding to alleviate hunger in the world's neediest countries plummeted in 2023, despite exacerbating global food insecurity reaching record highs, aid agencies said.

Humanitarian appeals for the 17 countries bearing the brunt of food insecurity suffered a staggering funding gap of 65% last year, up 23% from 2022.

Afghanistan, Honduras, Malawi, Mozambique, Guatemala, Burundi and Sudan top the list of countries facing funding deficits.

"Globally, as many as 783 million people — more than the population of the E.U. and U.S. combined — suffer from hunger," Action Against Hunger, an international organization, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Conflict, climate crises drive insecurity

Armed conflict, climate disasters and economic shocks are reported as the main drivers of food insecurity.

"Conflict and hunger are deeply intertwined," Michelle Brown, associate director for advocacy at Action Against Hunger, told VOA in written comments. "Investing in basic human needs today can prevent the need for significantly higher spending on defense and security in the long run."

About 9 million people succumb to hunger every year, according to the World Food Program.

2023 food aid cut

In 2023, the WFP was forced to drastically cut food aid in several hunger hotspots, including Afghanistan, due to the crippling funding gap.

The United States continues to be the leading humanitarian donor, contributing more than $11.5 billion in response to United Nations emergency appeals in 2023. China, the world's second-largest economy after the U.S., contributes around $4 million.

Aid agencies, including Action Against Hunger, maintain that the world produces enough food to feed everyone. They reiterate that wealthy nations possess the financial resources necessary to address the looming hunger funding gap.

"The world has enough dollars, euros, renminbi, riyals, rupees, yen, and funds in other currencies to fully close the hunger funding gap," said Action Against Hunger.