2023 Was a Year of Famine and Hunger

2023 Was a Year of Famine and Hunger
Somalis who fled amid drought carry their belongings as they arrive at a makeshift camp on the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu, Sept. 26, 2023 (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh).

Much discussion this past year has centered on the scourge of war, and rightfully so. War and violence garner attention, due to their jarring images and ability to wreck immediate destruction. Indeed, so prevalent is war in the world right now that one of the most underreported stories of 2022 was a war, the one in Eastern Congo.

But the incidence of famine and food insecurity in the world are problems that are just as critical at the moment. Indeed, 2023 was a year of famine and hunger. The United Nations’ World Food Program, or WFP, singled out 2023 as a record year for global food insecurity, which occurs when a person is uncertain how they will obtain their next meal. With the focus on war this past year, it is all too easy to overlook that starvation and food insecurity are on the rise.

To be clear, famines have garnered attention this year, but only when coupled with war, such as when the Israel-Hamas conflict increased the prospects for widespread starvation in Gaza. Indeed, war and starvation are often linked, as they can feed on one another to create a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.

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