Photographer Misan Harriman and UN Goodwill Ambassador Sabrina Dhowre Elba launch “On the Brink” as millions more driven to extreme hunger due to conflict, climate change and spiralling food prices.

New analysis released today by Hungry for Action reveals that an estimated 18.3 million people have died globally from hunger since the Ethiopia famine in 1984. The deaths equate to over 1,000 a day, or the equivalent of the populations of London and New York combined. 217 million people have died due to hunger related diseases in the same period.

The new figures come as Hungry for Action, an alliance of charities including Save the Children, The One Campaign and Global Citizen, releases its new interactive virtual reality (VR) film, bringing to life the devastating consequences of hunger and climate change. ‘On the Brink’ is being officially launched on the 25th of January by photographer and director Misan Harriman and UN Goodwill Ambassador, activist and model Sabrina Dhowre Elba.

On the Brink was shot in drought-devastated communities in Somaliland last year, where years of failed rains, conflict and rising food prices have plunged millions into poverty. It tells the stories of Ayan, who lost her four-year-old son to malnutrition, and Faisa, whose one-year-old grandson died from hunger related illnesses.

Using advanced 360 technology and a process of photogrammetry, the production creates interactive scenes by stitching together thousands of pictures to make this a fully immersive experience, taking audiences inside the same Save the Children-supported intensive care ward for severely malnourished children visited by Misan Harriman in 2022.

Save the Children Ambassador and photographer Misan Harriman, who is an advocate for ending the global hunger crisis, said:

“For millions of people to be on the brink of famine 40 years after the world said ‘never again’ to the horrors in Ethiopia breaks my heart. There’s no doubt that climate change is driving and exacerbating the global hunger crisis and affecting the poorest communities year after year – from drought, to floods, to conflict – people are enduring so much, and children are bearing the brunt.”

Sabrina Dhowre Elba, Activist, UN Goodwill Ambassador and chair of Global Citizen’s Europe board said:

“It’s heartbreaking that in a world where there is enough food for everyone, children are begging for food as they become weaker by the day. Children should not have to suffer like this. I hope this film will make this crisis feel less remote and compel people to learn more and unite in action.”

According to research released by Save the Children in November, at least 17.6 million children, or one child every two seconds, were born into hunger in 2023, which is a 22% jump from a decade ago. The charity predicts that 17.8 million children will be born into hunger this year ².

Record levels of conflict and the worsening climate crisis are driving people from their homes and exacerbating global hunger. Gaza is now home to half a million people on the edge of famine, with the entire population suffering from crisis levels of food insecurity³, whilst the war in Ukraine has sent food prices skyrocketing due to grain shortages, which has had a devastating impact on the world’s poorest communities.

468 million children are currently living in conflict zones, with the denial of humanitarian access, including food, frequently being used as a weapon of war.

Chilufya Chileshe, from the Hungry for Action campaign, said:

“Since the world said, “never again”, 18.3 million people across the globe are estimated to have died of hunger. This must be a shocking wake up call to world leaders, confirming that current efforts are insufficient and compelling them to raise the level of ambition to save lives now and build resilience to future crises. We cannot look back in another 40 years’ time and wish the world had taken bold action. The world must act now.”

Hungry for Action are calling on world leaders to take the following bold actions to save lives, build resilience and secure the future:

  • Scale up action to treat and prevent childhood wasting and malnutrition
  • Act to prevent famine
  • Ensure our food systems deliver affordable healthy diets and are climate resilient
  • Support those on the front lines especially smallholder farmers
  • Deliver on their climate pledges, including the doubling of climate finance for adaptation



Trailer available here –

Photos and videos available here –

Full 360 version of the film available on request –

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