Media CenterWith the U.N. General Assembly Underway, CRS Calls for More Humanitarian Aid to Address the Global Food Security Crisis

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Nikki Gamer
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(978) 884-0003

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, Sept. 21, 2022 – As the 77th United Nations General Assembly convenes in New York City, Bill O’Keefe, executive vice president for Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), issued the following statement:

“While world leaders gather in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, countless families from East Africa to Afghanistan gather around their tables, only to find nothing to eat. Driven by the war in Ukraine, climate change and other factors, world hunger has skyrocketed at an unprecedented rate. Yet humanitarian funding, which is one of the ways to provide food to large populations quickly, has fallen woefully short.

Take, for example, Afghanistan, where more than half the population is suffering from severe hunger, yet where less than half of the humanitarian funding has been met. We’re seeing the same funding gaps in Somalia and South Sudan. We urge U.N. member states to close such gaps by increasing their short and long-term support to food-insecure countries, especially those withering in the face of a warming planet.

A woman from Ethiopia described hunger to our staff this way: ‘The fuel of the human being is food – to stand, to walk, to work, even to speak. When I am hungry, my heart is tired. My stomach feels sick. I lose my ability to think or communicate. I lose my power. I can only sleep.'

Our time to act is running out for this woman and so many others. We know what we need to do. Now we must do it before it’s too late.”


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Nikki Gamer

Senior Public Affairs Manager

Nikki Gamer
September 21, 2022

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Senior Public Affairs Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement...More