I am writing today to ask you to help the world’s hungriest people living in conflict-affected areas.
Hunger is on the rise and the world is facing multiple conflict-driven famines, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 80 percent of the world's major food crises are driven by conflict. Conflict forces families to leave their homes, destroys economies and ruins infrastructure – making food nearly impossible to find or afford.
In Ethiopia, a place where conflict is driving extreme hunger for nearly 7 million people across three regions in the country, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes. At least 400,000 people are estimated to be at risk of facing famine-like conditions. This situation continues to deteriorate -- farmers have missed their planting seasons and grain production in affected regions has plummeted by up to 75 percent.
When a community faces conflict, families are deprived of their livelihoods, food, income and resources. Where there is conflict, there is hunger, and where there is hunger, conflict often follows. Severely hungry countries are fragile and left vulnerable to food being used as a weapon of war. Those fueling conflict can often control the production of food and deny food to other groups, causing hunger and poverty to worsen.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) provides lifesaving food to vulnerable people in conflict zones. The U.N. World Food Programme provides nutrition support and delivers nutrient-dense foods to women and children who will otherwise go hungry. When food is still available during conflict but unaffordable because of inflation, WFP provides cash-based assistance in the form of food vouchers or debit cards so families can buy food locally. Cash has the added benefit of boosting local economies.
In 2020, the U.N. World Food Programme was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This honor recognized the U.N. World Food Programme’s efforts to combat hunger, sow peace and prevent the use of starvation as a weapon of war. When families in crisis have access to food and become self-reliant, entire communities have a greater chance at peace, safety and stability. With your support, the U.N. World Food Programme can continue working on the frontlines of crises to help the world’s most vulnerable people in conflict zones.
Please continue to provide strong U.S. support for the U.N. World Food Programme and its work to fight hunger around the world.
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