EN | DE | FR
Donate Now

#HungerIsNotNatural – Together Against Hunger

(Un)familiar picture: Empty plates

For many people, Christmas is a time of reflection and gratitude. It’s time spent with family and friends. In many countries, celebrating a Christmas dinner with special or traditional dishes is an essential part of the festivities. It is a pleasant tradition, and yet one that not everyone is able to celebrate. Because too many plates remain empty. Not only at Christmas time: 828 million people around the world suffer from hunger - day by day.

Across our global network, many share their personal stories of resilience, but many face hunger on a daily basis. Before 2020, it appeared global hunger was on a downward trend, that more people were able to access food. But four key factors in recent years have caused a backslide on the progress we’ve made: pandemics, war, climate change, and poverty. They all feed hunger.

It seems like global hunger has always been there and we forget that #HungerIsNotNatural. Hunger is caused by humans and can therefore be tackled by humans. Eliminating hunger is possible. Everyone can make a contribution in the fight against hunger.

We can make a difference: Let’s stand together against hunger! Donate now!

Hunger is not natural: The biggest drivers of hunger

Wars and conflicts feed hunger

Wars and conflicts are one of the main causes of hunger. 60 percent of the people suffering hunger worldwide live in conflict zones (source: WFP). All countries experiencing famine in 2020 were affected by conflict (source: Heinrich Böll Foundation). The rising number of wars and conflicts worldwide – compounded by climate change, pandemics, and poverty – are negating important progress made in recent decades in the fight against hunger. In addition, the impact of wars and conflicts on food systems endangers the entire supply chain: cultivation, harvesting, production, transport, marketing, consumption, etc.

Displacement as a result of conflicts also leads to devastating consequences for people's food security. Many people affected by conflict have to leave their homes, their possessions, their fields and their livestock behind. As a result, many fields are no longer cultivated, harvests fail, and less food is produced. In addition, many people who flee lose their livelihood and no longer have the money to afford a balanced diet. Refugees are usually dependent on food aid and have hardly any space, for example in refugee camps, to grow their own food. The results are food shortage and malnutrition. At the same time, wars and conflicts destroy important (agricultural) infrastructure, disrupt markets and make trade more difficult. All these factors increase food prices, as the war in Ukraine has recently shown on a global scale, and hunger continues to rise.

Hunger has been and is again increasingly used as a weapon of war to achieve political goals or to weaken the opponent or force them to surrender. Conflict parties set farmland on fire, block humanitarian aid workers' access to the suffering population, or attack aid workers, for example.

Hunger and malnutrition can also themselves become triggers for instability, violence and conflict. Distributional inequalities and a rise in food prices, in combination with other factors, pose a risk of political unrest.

The links between hunger and war are complex and vary by context and region, but it is clear: conflict feeds global hunger, putting millions of lives at risk. Join us in standing with people affected by war and hunger. Donate now!

Pandemics feed hunger

Since COVID-19, hunger worldwide has increased significantly according to a UN report. In 2020 nearly one in three people worldwide lacked safe access to adequate food. The pandemic has disproportionately affected vulnerable people worldwide. In the Global South in particular – where many people work in the informal sector, for example in the street trading or as day laborers – the curfews and lockdown have been strict and have led to severe income losses. In regions such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America, a social security system does not exist or is dysfunctional, meaning many were not able to cover their basic food needs.

The pandemic has exposed weaknesses in our food systems: global supply chains have been disrupted, access to food has become more difficult, and food prices have risen worldwide. According to Unicef, an additional 150 million children worldwide are affected by multidimensional poverty which means that they and their families not only lack financial resources, but also access to food and clean drinking water. As a result of the pandemic, schools were closed for months, and many children did not receive school meals – often the only meal the children would eat in a day. 

Today, many people around the world are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic. That is why our projects create sustainable income opportunities and ensure access to food. Support us with your donation!

Climate change feeds hunger

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. It is man-made and its consequences are becoming more visible: floods, droughts, heat waves and forest fires – climate extremes are increasing worldwide. These changes in the world’s climate are increasingly affecting people and their nutrition and access to food. In some countries, the consequences are devasting. 828 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat – that is one in ten people. 98% of them live in countries of the Global South. They are most affected by the consequences of climate change and do not possess the necessary resources to combat them.

In regions that already have high levels of hunger and poverty, the population is often dependent on agriculture. If rainfall fails or other weather extremes occur, harvests fail, are minimized, or ruined, and livestock dies. Parts of East Africa, such as the North of Kenya, are suffering from one of the most severe droughts in the last 40 years. In Pakistan, a historic flood destroyed crops in several parts of the country. Due to weather extremes, agricultural conditions are becoming increasingly difficult, and soils become less fertile. As a result, food prices are rising due to worldwide shortages. People are no longer able to buy increasingly expensive foodstuff.

In coastal regions, farmers lose their acres due to rising sea levels. Ecosystems are changing due to fluctuating temperatures. This affects the habitat of many animal species, such as fish, which were previously a source of food and income for the local population.

The list of impacts of climate change on food security is long and correlations are complex. But it is a fact that climate change is one of the central causes of hunger and poverty worldwide. The number of people suffering hunger could increase by another 600 million by 2080 due to the climate crisis. We must prevent that: Together we can make a difference!

Poverty feeds hunger

Poverty is one of the main causes of hunger – both in countries of the Global South and the Global North. Poverty and hunger are closely intertwined. Those who do not have enough money usually do not have the means by which to acquire nutritious food for themselves and their families. At the same time, hunger and malnutrition affect productivity and performance levels, making people and regions more vulnerable to poverty. A vicious circle is established. For many years, the number of people living in extreme poverty – on less than $2.15 per person per day – was steadily declining. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic represented a major setback to this positive trend. For the first time, poverty figures began to rise again in 2020.

The current rise in food and energy prices as a result of the war in Ukraine and global climate change slows down the impending recovery from this regression. Chronic hunger in particular, a state of permanent malnutrition, is directly linked to poverty. Affected people lack the means to satisfy basic needs such as a healthy diet, clean drinking water and adequate health care. While not every poor person suffers from chronic malnutrition, nearly every chronically malnourished person lives below the poverty line.

We are committed to fighting poverty through income-generating activities and food security to combat malnutrition and undernourishment and to break the vicious circle of poverty and hunger. Help us and donate now!

How we help to fight hunger

Kenya: Drought and famine

"From my herd, there are only four animals left." Since 2020, there has been enough rainfall in parts of Kenya - with fatal consequences. We help the people affected.

Read more

Pakistan: Hunger after the floods

"We were only able to save the children’s and our lives. Now, we have nothing and we are living on the street. There is no food and hardly any help." 

Read more

"When the water came,..." - Historic floods in Pakistan

"When the water came, we didn't have time to take anything with us." Veruu's story is one of climate change.

Read more

Famine in Syria

Umm Ibrahim lives with her children in northern Syria where she cultivates a piece of land. The poor harvest led to financial difficulties for Umm and her family. 

Read more

Pandemic in Kenya: Left with nothing

The people in the slums of Kenya were poor before the pandemic, but with the pandemic they literally started to starve.

Read more

More infos on hunger and our work for a healthy diet:

#HungerIsNotNatural - Donate now and support our projects against hunger!
Donate now

The very special gift: your donation options at a glance

Gift donation: Give a donation to your beloved ones

With a donation in honor of someone you can give your loved ones a special treat while supporting our work. The personalised donation certificate makes a valuable last-minute gift!

Give a donation as a gift

Start your own fundraiser

Start your personal fundraising campaign and support our worldwide aid projects. With the support of your family, your friends, your colleagues or your network, you can collect donations and make a very special contribution to people in need.

Start your fundraiser

Help long-term and donate regularly

With your regular support you provide plannable and reliable help. Become a sponsor partner and enable people in the countries we operate in a self-determined future.

Become a sponsor partner

Donate as a company

Set an example with your company by helping people in need. There are many possibilities. We will be happy to inform you. Please contact us at louisa.strachwitz(at)malteser-international.org.

Donate as a company

One-time donation

Make a difference with your donation at Christmas. Donate for the people in need in our project countries worldwide.

Donate now
#HungerIsNotNatural - Your donation against hunger and for healthy nutrition!
Donate now