Global Citizen activists use Long Island City waterfront to deliver a message to world leaders at the UN

Global Citizen
Activists from Global Citizen took to Hunters Point South Park on the Long Island City waterfront to deliver a message to world leaders gathered across the East River at the UN. (Courtesy of Global Action)

With the 77th annual United Nations General Assembly underway in Manhattan, members of the international advocacy organization Global Citizen were across the East River in Hunters Point South Park where they laid out 1,000 empty plates to draw urgent attention to the global food crisis, calling on world leaders to deliver the $33 billion needed to mitigate the emergency.

The activists warned that 50 million people are on the verge of starvation in 45 countries, and more than 800 million people are facing extreme hunger globally. Global Citizen is urging world leaders to convene at the U.N. and at President Joe Biden’s Global Food Security Summit later this month to deliver on the funding needed to solve the crisis.

“We hope they will have the courage to address, with unprecedented action, the severity and urgency of the global food crisis,” said Global Citizen Co-Founder Michael Sheldrick. “They must mobilize immediate and drastic action to intercept this worsening yet entirely preventable disaster by delivering the $33 billion needed to solve the hunger crisis now, because millions of lives are at stake.”

Global Citizen
Global Citizen Hunger Crisis Installation. (Photo courtesy of Global Action)

The crisis was exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Prior to the war, Ukraine exported six million tons of grain to North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned that while the blockade of Ukraine ports has been partially lifted under the UN’s Black Sea Grain Initiative, allowing food and fertilizer supplies to leave Ukrainian ports still leaves a risk of multiple famines.

Global Citizen is urging world leaders to deliver $500 million to help African farmers respond to the global food crisis and provide urgent relief from crushing debts to end extreme poverty immediately.

“We live in a world where we know how to prevent extreme hunger, yet hundreds of thousands of people still die from the lack of food,” said Save the Children’s Country Director for Somalia Mohamud Mohamed Hassan. “Today, allowing hunger around the world is a political choice. For millions of children in Somalia and the Horn of Africa, time is running out. We cannot wait any longer to act. In some of the worst affected areas in Somalia, our health clinics are seeing four times as many children suffering from severe malnutrition compared to just six months ago and death rates are soaring.”

Global Citizen
(Photo courtesy of Global Action)

The 2022 Global Citizen Festival will take place in Central Park and Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana to raise awareness of the crisis.

“No child should go to bed hungry, be unable to afford to go to school, or struggle to access clean water,” said Save the Children Country Director in Kenya Yvonne Arunga. “Rising prices due to the war in Ukraine, climate change, and the economic impact of COVID-19 have combined to create a crisis on an unprecedented scale, putting the lives of millions of children at risk. With rains forecast to fail again, time is running out for these children, The world must act now to stop this catastrophe.”

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