Letter on Global Hunger Crisis to G7 Member States
March 29, 2023
Honourable Leaders of G7 Member States,
We are writing to you with grave concern about the rapidly escalating global hunger crisis and urging you
to take decisive action to save lives at the upcoming G7 Leaders' Summit and related ministerial
meetings in Japan.
Almost two years since you signed the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crises Compact in London, hunger is still
rampant around the world and the prospect of Zero Hunger by 2030 is slipping further and further away. Today, the global
hunger crisis continues to be fuelled by conflict, economic inequality and pressures, and climate
shocks. At least 349 million people across 82 countries – a record-breaking number – are facing acute
food insecurity, with 50 million people on the brink of starvation. For them, the promise of sufficient,
safe and nutritious food remains alarmingly out of reach.
While hunger affects everyone, children and women continue to face the brunt of this crisis. Malnutrition
is particularly dangerous for children under five and adolescent girls and young women who are pregnant
or breastfeeding. Adolescent girls and young women are at increased risks of miscarriage, maternal
mortality and giving birth to low birthweight babies, thus passing on the intergenerational effects of
malnutrition to their children. This at a time when over 30 million children in the 15 worst-affected countries suffer from acute
malnutrition, threatening their survival.
As our new global report shows, girls and women continue to be disproportionately
impacted in this global crisis, exacerbating gender inequalities. Not only do they eat last and
least, and consume the least nutritious food, but they also face heightened risks of gender-based
violence in their homes and in their efforts outside to earn an income and secure food, water and
essential supplies. We also know that families, under pressure from increasing workloads and stress, are
often forced into negative coping mechanisms that risk generational setbacks in gender equality: more
and more girls are losing their access to education and are increasingly at risk of child, early or
forced marriage to reduce growing financial burdens on families.
We acknowledge and thank you for the steps you have taken so far in response to this crisis, notably
through the commitments and efforts outlined in the 2021 G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crises Compact and the work of the
Global Alliance on Food Security. Unfortunately, however, global action has thus far fallen
significantly short of what is required to pull millions back from the brink of famine and ensure
hard-won development and gender equality gains are not reversed.
To save millions of lives and prevent devastating reversals in gender equality, we are therefore calling
on G7 Members to take collective action to:
- Urgently pledge and disburse new additional funds towards the USD $23 billion that are needed
(according to the latest figure from the WFP) to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs in the
world’s worst hunger hotspots and pull 50 million people from the brink of famine. Funds need to be
readily available, flexible and unearmarked and help advance locally led responses, especially by
youth-led, women-led, and women's rights organisations.
- Prioritise gender and age sensitive responses to address the gendered impacts of hunger, including
funding specific programmes that address child protection, gender-based violence, girls’ access to
education and sexual and reproductive health services, child, early or forced marriage and sexual
abuse and exploitation in food insecure contexts. This also includes support for efforts to
strengthen disaggregation of food security data by sex, age, disability and diversity.
- Advance humanitarian diplomacy efforts to facilitate humanitarian access and enhance prospects of
peace in conflict-affected hunger hotspots, with conflict being the main driver of hunger.
- Help build the resilience of communities living in fragile contexts by:
- Strengthening early warning systems and anticipatory action ahead of predictable shocks like
droughts or floods.
- Investing at scale in gender-responsive social protection to address hunger’s knock-on
impacts on the rights of girls to education, protection and health, including through school
- Bolstering support for livelihood programs like agricultural support, pasture and livestock
management, and skills training to increase economic opportunities.
- Publicly report on their efforts to implement the commitments outlined in the 2021 G7 Famine
Prevention and Humanitarian Crises Compact.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
Chief Executive Officer