G7 Ukraine tunnel vision marginalizes millions globally on brink of starvation

·2 min read

MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 28, 2022 /CNW/ - International aid agency World Vision said today that the G7 final Summit communiqué was too focused on the Ukraine crisis and failed to offer enough solutions to avert the rapidly escalating global hunger crisis.  

An estimated 1.5 million children under 5 years old face the risk of acute malnutrition, including 386,400 who are likely to be severely malnourished by the end of 2023 if emergency aid is not delivered (this is according to Somalia’s Integrated Food Security Phase Classification fact sheet of May 2022. Lack of enough food and water to ensure adequate nutrition of children plus poor sanitary conditions also from acute water shortages is contributing to increases cases of severe malnutrition in children. For example, Aamina (pictured) 12 months old measured a MUAC of 10.5 cm meaning she has severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Aamina’s mother says her child also suffered Acute Watery Diarrhoea that nutrition nurses think could have also contributed to the severe malnutrition. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)
An estimated 1.5 million children under 5 years old face the risk of acute malnutrition, including 386,400 who are likely to be severely malnourished by the end of 2023 if emergency aid is not delivered (this is according to Somalia’s Integrated Food Security Phase Classification fact sheet of May 2022. Lack of enough food and water to ensure adequate nutrition of children plus poor sanitary conditions also from acute water shortages is contributing to increases cases of severe malnutrition in children. For example, Aamina (pictured) 12 months old measured a MUAC of 10.5 cm meaning she has severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Aamina’s mother says her child also suffered Acute Watery Diarrhoea that nutrition nurses think could have also contributed to the severe malnutrition. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)

"While we appreciate any new G7 commitments to address the global hunger and malnutrition crisis, much, much more was desperately needed to save lives now," says Melani O'Leary, Technical Specialist for Development Programs at World Vision Canada. "The $4.5 billion in total commitments may seem like a lot, but it works out to only $5.63 per hungry person. The Government of Canada's $250 million contribution and donation matching fund are sorely welcomed, but Canada must be prepared to offer ongoing commitments to humanitarian efforts over the long-term. This is a truly generational crisis and the world needs to do everything possible to prevent the deaths of millions of people."

The agency affirms that the humanitarian needs resulting from the war in Ukraine are critical. But also warns that it has had a particularly devastating global impact that must not be underestimated as a crisis piled on top of other conflicts, climate change and the lingering effects of COVID-19. As a result, nearly 50 million people will be pushed to the edge of starvation by the end of the summer.

"The G7 needed to 'walk and chew gum at the same time," said Kristina Kreuzer, Child Rights and Child Protection Advocacy Advisor at World Vision Germany. "Ukraine should have been discussed as part of a broader, longer-term agenda that included other crises impacting so many of the world's poor."

Ms. Kreuzer added that, like previous years, the G7 had "barely considered" children's rights in their deliberations or the final communiqué. "World Vision recently researched how often children were mentioned in the outcome documents of the last few G7 Summits and were astonished by the low consideration of children and their portrayal as victims. This year was no better," she said.

SOURCE World Vision Canada

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