Focus on Famine

This page is under construction but contains some basic information.

Introduction: UCC Focus on Famine Group

According to the Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC), in 2021, the numbers of people facing acute food insecurity surpassed all previous records, with close to 193 million people acutely food insecure and in need of urgent assistance.  According to the findings of the GRFC 2022, this is across 53 countries/territories and represents an increase of nearly 40 million people compared to the previous high reached in 2020. (Ref:

Recently, a group of staff from across UCC have come together in an informal capacity, to form the ‘Focus on Famine’ group.  We invite anyone who wishes to do so, staff, students, or wider community, to join us.  Many disciplines and departments in UCC of course touch on the issue of food insecurity in different ways.  This Focus on Famine group is more loosely formed, and wishes to provide a platform for people who would like to explore actions which we can take on the worsening state of global food insecurity.  Speaking recently about the war in his country and the lack access to food faced by his family and local community, one UCC colleague recently said, “what is so awful is that the situation is avoidable”. Clearly ‘acute hunger’ is as a result of complex but avoidable political, economic and environmental realities.

Through contacts with people living and working ‘on the ground’ in various countries, we are asking if there is any meaningful action we can take in this current emergency.  We have developed an initial set of manageable plans to take action, including the development of this webpage.

From the perspective of the Praxis project, we hope that educators will find ways to highlight global food insecurity in their own work and encourage reflection, dialogue and actions, nationally and internationally, which will ensure these avoidable crises do not continue to happen.

How can you get involved?

If you would like to join this group, offer your expertise, time or resources, please contact Dr Gertrude Cotter at

While we have only recently formed we have identified the following action points which you may be able to assist with.

  1. Professionals willing to form partnerships with peers in impacted areas e.g. health professionals.
  2. Help with a media and advocacy campaign.
  3. Help with organising a number of upcoming awareness raising events.
  4. Fundraising events.


We do not have the capacity to monitor the media on a daily basis.  Therefore we have included here just some recent articles from the Irish Times which highlight the crisis in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere.

Drought and hunger in Somalia, Ethiopia and region: What to know

Al Jazeera 7 Sep 2022

Millions of people in the Horn of Africa are facing food shortages due to the worst drought in 40 years and rising global food costs.

Irish Times: Sept. 12th  2022

Editorial:  The Irish Times view on hunger in the Horn of Africa: racing to avert a catastrophe.

Up to 22 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea are at risk of starvation, according to the United Nations

Irish Times 6th Sept 2022

Minister announces additional €3.2m funding for Horn of Africa as millions face famine

Unprecedented drought has left people in region on the edge of ‘humanitarian catastrophe’

Growing alarm over spread of famine-like conditions in Horn of Africa

Irish Times 1st August 2022

Concern has scaled up its operations to reach 2.5m people in the region, says director

Famine: what is it, where will it strike and how should the world respond?

The Guardian 6th July 2022

Famine in the Horn of Africa: Concern Worldwide Letter to Irish Times

We must act now and act fast to save lives

President Michael D Higgins: We cannot let famine in the Horn of Africa slip from our agenda

Irish Times 27th June

Region has endured devastating hunger three times in 30 years. On the previous two occasions, the world said ‘never again’

Horn of Africa drought: Ireland ‘should lead’ aid mobilisation

14th June 2022 Irish Times

Dóchas chief says 23 million people are at risk with crisis levels of hunger in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya

Starvation in the Horn of Africa is political failure

Irish Times 13th June 2022

Crisis now being exacerbated by global food shortage triggered by Ukraine conflict

Upcoming Events

Annual Conference – A Food Secure Future for Everyone: IFIAD:  7 November 

In partnership with the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD), Self Help Africa, and University of Galway, Galway City will host a two-day conference on global food security. Looking from the past to the present, and forward to 2030 and beyond, the conference will provide perspectives on hunger and food security from leading Irish and international speakers. The main conference venue will be the O’Donoghue Hall, University of Galway, with a series of smaller satellite events around the vibrant city of Galway. Register here.

Useful Links 

Links in UCC

The Centre for Global Development:

The mission of the CGD is to support , enhance and promote UCC’s commitment to addressing the challenges of sustainable global development.  Here you will find links to staff in different disciplines who are concerned with various aspects of global development, including food security.

International Development Degree Programme

Information about UCC’s degree in International Development can be found here:

Cork-Singida Partnership

The Cork-Singida Partnership is a registered charity set up over 30 years ago by UCC staff. During this period they have contributed €750,000 to an African hospital in Singida, Tanzania, to help fight, amongst other scourges, malaria – still the second biggest killer in that country.

Irish INGO Links

Irish Emergency Alliance

The IEA is a partnership of seven leading Irish humanitarian agencies who have come together to respond faster and do more to save and help rebuild the lives of people affected by major emergencies worldwide.

Member organisations are Action AidChristian AidPlan InternationalSelf Help AfricaTearfundTrócaire and World Vision Ireland.

Further information:

International Links

Global Network against Food Crisis

The Global Network Against Food Crises is an alliance of humanitarian and development actors united by the commitment to tackle the root causes of food crises and promote sustainable solutions through shared analysis and knowledge, strengthened coordination in evidence-based responses and collective efforts across the Humanitarian, Development and Peace (HDP) nexus.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.


World Food Programme

Link: https:

University and Academic Links

University of Adelaide’s Centre for Global Food and Resources

The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Global Food and Resources has a global reputation for creating and applying knowledge on secure and resilient global food and resource systems.


General Resources

On this ‘Worldometer’ site you can find up to date statistics on food security in the world.

For instance today, 10/10/2022 we can see the following information, under the section on Food

864,333,167       Undernourished people in the world
1,734,098,251    Overweight people in the world
819,605,129       Obese people in the world
16,671                  People who died of hunger today
342,999,487   Money spent for obesity related diseases in the USA today
103,052,959   Money spent on weight loss programs in the USA today

SDG Resources

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Irish Aid Resources

Resources per Country

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) early warning system on acute food insecurity (Sept 2022) the countries most at rick for the October 2022 to January 2023 Outlook Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen remain at the highest alert level, as they all have populations facing or projected to face starvation (Catastrophe, IPC Phase 5) or at risk of deterioration towards catastrophic conditions as they have already critical food insecurity (Emergency, IPC Phase 4) and are facing severe aggravating factors. These countries require the most urgent attention.  See:

For this reason our resource list concentrates initially on these countries and the Horn of Africa in general.



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Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia)

Irish Aid resources

UCC Staff

Article by Dr Stephen Thornhill, International Development Lecturer, UCC

22nd October 2022

Horn of Africa: The developed world must now show solidarity with those on the brink.

Letter to the Editor of Irish Examiner by Dr Gertrude Cotter, Praxis Project and 137 colleagues at UCC, MTU, NUIM, NUIG, DCU and various NGOs:
Link to the letter with all signatories is here:


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South Sudan

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Content under construction - Praxis globe