ROME (AP) — The World Food Program warned Tuesday that humanitarian funding cuts by governments are forcing the U.N. agency to drastically cut food rations to the world’s hungriest people, with each 1% cut in aid risking to push 400,000 people toward starvation.
The agency said the more than 60% funding shortfall this year was the highest in WFP’s 60-year history and marks the first time the Rome-based agency has seen contributions decline while needs rise.
As a result, the WFP has been forced to cut rations in almost half its operations, including in hard-hit places like Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and Haiti. In a statement, WFP warned that 24 million more people could slip into emergency hunger over the next year as a result.
WFP’s executive director, Cindy McCain, said with starvation at record levels, governments should be increasing assistance, not decreasing it.
“If we don’t receive the support we need to avert further catastrophe, the world will undoubtedly see more conflict, more unrest, and more hunger,” she said. “Either we fan the flames of global instability, or we work quickly to put out the fire.”
The WFP warned that if the trend continues, a “doom loop” will be triggered “where WFP is being forced to save only the starving, at the cost of the hungry,” the statement said.
The Associated Press