What you need to know and how you can help
Malnutrition kid

270 million people at risk of
starvation in 2020

In 2020, food is made to order in under 10 minutes, picked up in convenient packaging on street corners, and ordered on our phones and delivered to our door in 30 minutes.

Yet, the number of people facing starvation has doubled in 2020. How did this happen?

Three main causes for hunger

Ongoing conflict

Chronic poverty

Natural disasters

In the poorest of countries, the food supply of millions of people is threatened by a combination of crises.
The effect of COVID-19 on struggling economies means meagre incomes are lost while food prices are on the rise.

In regions of Africa, swarms of locusts and catastrophic flooding have destroyed crops and homes in areas where people don’t have any reserves to help them rebuild. For years people have been living hand-to-mouth. This year, their hands are empty.

Top 10 largest food crises

Number of people facing acute food insecurity.
Medair is working in six of the hardest-hit countries

Source: FSIN, GRFC, WFP 2020

Beyond the disease

the ripple effects of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding suffering among the world’s poorest.

The World Food Programme warns that the loss of jobs, decreased earnings, and food systems under immense pressure because of the pandemic will put millions more at risk of starvation this year.


Children suffer the most

Children are the most affected because their young and developing bodies are more vulnerable to problems related to hunger.

At six weeks, Angar weighed only 1.3 kg. Knowing their daughter was in danger, her parents walked 50 kilometres to bring her to Medair’s clinic in South Sudan, where she was treated for severe malnutrition and recovered.

A solution is possible

Medair has been treating the effects of hunger and preventing it in the first place for more than 30 years. We focus on the hardest-to-reach places where the most vulnerable people are often forgotten. Globally, we:

Treat malnutrition

We treat severely malnourished women and children in our clinics worldwide, and form ‘Care Groups’ in vulnerable communities to share important health messages.

Prevent malnutrition

We bring safe drinking water to communities, install handwashing stations, and carry out hygiene trainings to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases, which can contribute to malnutrition.

Improve food security

In places like Afghanistan, we teach and equip communities to grow their own vegetables to ensure their children have the nutrients they need to grow up to be strong and healthy.

In 2019…


malnourished people were treated


people were taught life-saving health and nutrition practices


people gained better access to safe drinking water