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Should Food Be Seen as a Human Right or as a Privilege?

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Up to 783 million people globally are going hungry, and rising inflation is making food even less affordable.

The human right to food is affirmed by governments and religions around the world. Yet, up to 783 million people live with chronic hunger. And inflation, driven by the lingering effects of the pandemic and major conflicts, is exacerbating the global hunger crisis. 


In Ethiopia, the cost of beans increased by 237 per cent between 2019 and 2023 in Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s food assistance programming. In Syria, partners had to adapt the content of their food assistance boxes because certain items became inaccessible or unaffordable due to inflation costs. And in places like Venezuela, hyperinflation has pushed thousands of people to flee to neighbouring countries in search of affordable food. 

For humanitarian workers on the frontlines in crisis situations, the rising cost of food means being forced to make tough decisions. Do they choose to feed fewer people, or serve more people with less food? 

Responding to inflation

Through its network of member agencies, Canadian Foodgrains Bank works with partner organizations in 35 countries to end hunger. This includes humanitarian food assistance during crises caused by conflict or climate events like floods, droughts, and earthquakes, and long-term food stability through trainings for small-scale farmers in techniques such as conservation agriculture.

A dollar may not go as far as it did before. But the challenge of inflation spurs us on even more toward our mission of ending hunger around the world — to help every woman, man, and child yearning to experience food security.

Learn more about how inflation is affecting humanitarian assistance at

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