Over one million people facing severe hunger in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 October 2022:

The world is at risk of yet another year of record hunger as the global food crisis continues to drive yet more people into worsening levels of acute food insecurity, warns the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in call for urgent action to address the root causes of today’s crisis ahead of World Food Day tomorrow – 16 October.

“We are facing an unprecedented global food crisis and all signs suggest we have not yet seen the worst. For the last three years hunger numbers have repeatedly hit new peaks. Let me be clear: things can and will get worse unless there is a large scale and coordinated effort to address the root causes of this crisis. We cannot have another year of record hunger,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

The global food crisis is a confluence of competing crises – caused by climate shocks, conflict, and economic pressures – that has continued to push up the number of severely food insecure people all around the world.

In Sierra Leone, a lean season food security analysis that the Ministry of Agriculture conducted jointly with WFP in August found that food insecurity has further deteriorated, with over one million people (15 percent) facing severe hunger.

The Food Security Monitoring System analysis showed a significant impact of the rising food prices, exacerbated by the Ukraine crisis with the vast majority of households spending over 75 percent of their income on food.

Building on this year’s theme for World Food Day – “No one left behind” – WFP is calling for coordinated effort across governments, financial institutions (IFIs), private sector, and partners to mitigate an even a more severe food crisis in 2023. This includes the reinforcement of national economies, social protection systems, and regional and domestic food systems – at speed and at scale.

“One action we must take now is provide school feeding while scaling up cash transfers in the most food insecure communities so that the people’s condition does not deteriorate further,” the WFP Country Director, Yvonne Forsén, said.

Forsén said that with funding from Japan, Germany and Sweden, WFP is providing school feeding in Kambia, Karene and Pujehun districts to reach over 118,000 children.

WFP urgently needs additional funding – US$ 2.6 million – to provide emergency cash transfers to 46,000 people in Tonkolili, Port Loko and Pujehun districts where levels of food insecurity are highest.

 

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