World Food Day 2016: Promises Don’t Feed Hungry People
A Call to Action
It is a fact that our world produces enough food for every man, woman, and child on the planet. And yet, 795 million people still lack sufficient access to food to meet their daily needs. One year ago, world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit pledged to take action to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. And in fact, in the past 20 years, substantial progress has been achieved in reducing hunger around the world:
In the world’s least developed countries, the level of hunger has fallen by 29 percent since 2000 (2016 Global Hunger Index).
October 16th marks World Food Day. Action Against Hunger is determined to achieve zero hunger, and we celebrate the tremendous efforts of our partners and communities around the that have contributed to reaching these milestones.
However, we are also painfully aware that we still live in a world in which undernutrition is the single greatest threat to child survival, and in which massive humanitarian crises driven by conflict and climate change drive populations to the brink of hunger catastrophes in countries like South Sudan, Yemen, northeast Nigeria, and Ethiopia.
Last September, when world leaders met at the United Nations and committed to a new global development agenda, they promised to leave no one behind. But promises alone won’t feed the 795 million people who go to bed hungry every night, and promises haven’t been enough to help the 250,000 children in Borno, Nigeria whose lives are at risk today from severe acute malnutrition.
We are at a critical turning point in the fight against hunger: we must move from talk to action.
Levels of aid and domestic financing of nutrition interventions are far below what is required to meet the commitments for SDG2, ending hunger. An estimated 159 million children suffer from irreversible physical and cognitive stunting as a result of chronic undernutrition: one in every three children in the world’s least developed countries suffers from this easily preventable condition. One million children die every year from severe acute malnutrition. This is not just unacceptable: it is a scandal.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT: WE ARE THE GENERATION THAT CAN END HUNGER
We are the generation that can make hunger history: we face a revolutionary opportunity and a profound responsibility.
Ordinary people—along with policy makers, governments, civil society, academics, journalists, business leaders, youth, faith groups, and communities—must consider how we will move from “business as usual” to dramatic changes that stop enormous food crises like those in South Sudan and Borno, Nigeria from happening in the first place.
We must make a choice: are we passive bystanders in the fight to end hunger? Or are we the agents of change who refuse to accept that children are still dying from undernutrition when the world produces enough food for all of us? Will we stand up for the one million children whose lives could be saved every year with greater investments, policy change, and access to nutritious food and health care?
It’s World Food Day. What choice will you make?
Join us today. Together, we can build a world free from hunger. For everyone. For good.
ABOUT ACTION AGAINST HUNGER
Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children. We ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and health care. We enable entire communities to be free from hunger. With more than 6,500 staff in over 45 countries, our programs reached 14.9 million people in 2015.