Did You Know? More People Are Facing Famine Than Live in America’s Top Cities

Photo: WFP/Kabir Dhanji
Published August 4, 2017
Last Updated June 25, 2021

In a recent article for TIME Ideas, Liz Schrayer of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition reminds us that 20 million are currently fighting famine: That’s more than the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia combined.

But in a 24-hour news cycle, 85 percent of Americans don’t even know this is happening in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, according to a recent poll.

“We live with unprecedented connectivity,” Schrayer writes. “And yet we don’t even know that simple fact. That is disturbing.”

Families and children are on the brink of famine. That means many are malnourished, more susceptible to diseases like cholera and too weak to carry on. This is unacceptable.

Schrayer reminds us that Americans aren’t known to turn their backs on the most vulnerable.

“History has shown that Americans overwhelmingly want to help at time of need, whether facing a daunting humanitarian crisis on our shores or aboard,” she writes. “It’s in our DNA.”

Now is the time to wake up and speak up and do what we can for our brothers and sisters halfway across the globe.

The United World Food Programme (WFP) is reaching millions with food assistance, vouchers where markets and food are available, specialized nutrition for malnourished children. The U.N. World Food Programme has the manpower to get this done, but funds for food, fuel and security are running low. What we need is you.

When you donate today, you will be a lifeline to families fighting famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. We need you to act right now: donate here.

Learn more about how WFP is fighting famine around the world.