Drought has seen thousands of families being displaced from their homes in Somalia and hundreds of thousands of livestock have been lost. Saddam Mohamed

THE SITUATION

As inequality continues to rise around the world, increasingly unequal and fragile food systemsand the added pressures of conflict and increasing climate changehave led to over 800 million hungry people globally, a number that has grown over the last 3 years.

According to the 2022 Global Report on Food Crises, nearly 193 million people experienced food insecurity at crisis levels or worse in 2021, an increase of 40 million over the previous record level in 2020. The negative food security outlook was already projected to continue or worsen this year, even before global food systems were impacted by the crisis in Ukraine.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the resulting disruption of food, fuel, and fertilizer markets has exacerbated an existing food crisis caused by conflict, climate, COVID-19, and economic pressures. This is particularly dire in contexts already experiencing humanitarian crises: Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Yemen, and other nations where access to nutritious and abundant food supply has long been taken for granted, like Morocco, Honduras, and Cuba.

As in any emergency, women and girls are disproportionately affected. Women are often responsible for securing and preparing their households’ food, yet they might also be the ones to eat “last and least.” Women are also more likely to be excluded from decision-making when it comes to addressing hunger in their communities (CARE 2020) and have reported increased incidences of gender-based violence.

Referred to as the lost decade for gender equality, COVID-19 has erased many of the gains that women leaders had achieved over the last 20 years. The global food crisis risks making these setbacks even worse. Women will increasingly face pressure to abandon their budding small businesses, hand control over their farmlands to men growing cash crops, and spend more time finding and preparing food.

CARE Canada is a proud member of the Humanitarian Coalition, which mobilizes Canadians to respond generously during future humanitarian crises, and in partnering with the Government of Canada to deliver effective humanitarian assistance. Together we can save more lives.

The Canadian Government has announced that it will MATCH DONATIONS to the Humanitarian Coalition and its member charities up to $5 million.

CARE'S RESPONSE

CARE and our partners are already working in areas affected by the food crisis and by drought to provide immediate life-saving assistance. This includes distributing cash so that people can afford food and other essential supplies, supporting children suffering from malnutrition, and increasing access to primary health care. CARE’s programming also focuses on increasing access to clean water, good sanitation, and improving hygiene practices, as well as supporting people’s access to livelihoods. 

We also work over the long term to ensure communities are prepared for food crises, ensuring people have the tools they need (seeds, etc.), and promoting Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), climate smart agricultural methods, and cereal storage banks.

Disruption in global food supplies, combined with climate change-related droughts and intense storms are threatening women’s livelihoods around the world. These women must make the impossible choice between running their successful businesses, leading their communities and feeding their families.

CARE works with women and girls in crisis-affected communities to ensure their voices are heard, their unique needs are met, and their rights are upheld.