There is more than enough food in the world to feed every man woman and child, and yet nearly 870 million people face starvation and malnutrition every day. Through innovative partnerships and with the political will, we can and will end chronic hunger and abject poverty.
That’s why World Food Program USA is a proud partner in the Global Citizen movement. Global Citizens believe that solving global hunger and poverty is not an act of charity but a matter of justice.
September 29 marked a defining moment in the movement and in history, the Global Citizen Festival. More than 60,000 passionate change makers united in New York’s Central Park for a concert featuring Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters and Somali-born rapper K’naan, among others. But the real highlight was the over $30 million commitment to solving hunger. “This unprecedented coalition came together and outlined what we need to do to end hunger," said Rick Leach, WFP USA’s President and CEO.
Hunger is a complex issue with many root causes – poverty, civil conflict, natural disaster and accessibility. WFP USA believes hunger is the world’s greatest solvable problem; food is only one part of the solution.
We get the right types of food to the most vulnerable people, pregnant women and young children, at the right time: the first 1,000 days of life. Malnutrition during this critical 1,000-day window causes life-long and irrepreparable damage to child’s mind and body. Childhood malnutrition contributes to 3.5 million deaths each year; each of these deaths is 100 percent preventable. WFP USA will invest $15 million over five years to give children in Central America a strong and healthy start to life.
WFP’s school feeding programs provide the promise of a hot meal; sometimes a child’s only guaranteed meal in a day. Children in school can concentrate on their studies instead of their empty bellies. They are also a powerful incentive for families to send the their kids to school and keep them there. Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Lauren Bush Lauren’s commitment to provide 6 million school meals through FEED Projects is an investment that will empower millions of children to lift themselves out of poverty.
When disaster strikes and hours can mean the difference between life and death, we mobilize to get life-saving emergency supplies to those who need it most. But we also work to build the resiliency of vulnerable communities so that when a natural disaster occurs, they have a safety net to keep them from utter ruin. In 2011, severe drought in the East Africa contributed to one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has seen. More than 13 million people faced starvation. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute pledged $15 million to help nations in the drought-prone Horn of Africa region to increase food security, build resiliency and prevent another hunger crisis as dire as the 2011 hunger crisis.
In total, NGO partners pledged $21.3 billion to solve the world’s most pressing problems. The Global Citizen Festival was a huge moment in an ongoing movement that will continue to grow and continue to bring people together to extreme poverty and global hunger within our generation. Be a part of the solution and join the Global Citizen movement today:www.globalcitizen.org.
This blog is part of a series in recognition of the UN's International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Oct. 17.
Photo: (L to R) Richard Leach, Presidnet and CEO, World Food Program USA; Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO and Founder, FEED Projects; and Jeff Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute ©WFP USA/ Meighan Stone.
This piece was originally published on World Food Program USA's blog on 10/18/2012.