More than 260 non-governmental organisations signed an open letter yesterday urging governments to donate $5.5 billion to prevent famine from reaching 34 million people in 2021.
The sum was called for by the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in March to swiftly scale up action to avert famine.
The NGOs said donations so far this year had been a mere fraction of what was required to prevent situations from worsening in hunger hotspots around the world.
The letter was penned by NGOs working with an estimated 270 million people "facing hunger, starvation or famine all over the world".
They include Oxfam, Christian Aid, World Vision, Tearfund, Save the Children and Care International.
"In Yemen, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Honduras, Venezuela, Nigeria, Haiti, Central African Republic, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Sudan and beyond we help people who are doing all they can to simply get through one more day," the letter said.
"These people are not starving, they are being starved," the NGOs insisted. "There is no place for famine and starvation in the 21st century. History will judge us all by the actions we take today."
The WFP and FAO call issued last month sought to avert famine through measures including humanitarian food assistance and cash transfers.
The WFP estimated that up to 270 million people were acutely food insecure or at high risk at the outset of 2021.