Today we observe World Hunger Day, an initiative from The Hunger Project to raise awareness on what hunger really means and how it is not just about the lack of access to food. The Hunger Project is a global movement of both organizations and individuals founded in 1977. Its footprint spreads through 23 countries globally and its work is focused on Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. If you want to read more about their approach to things (which as a first step tackles gender inequalities), you can do so here.
So why is it necessary to have an awareness day focused on world hunger? Well, here are a few data points that should make it clear:
- Despite more than enough food is being produced globally to feed the 7.7 billion humans in the world, 690 million people globally live with chronic hunger (a state of long-term undernourishment, i.e., not being able to consume sufficient calories given your height and weight on a regular basis to lead a normal, active and healthy life) and 2 billion people suffer from malnutrition today.
- 60% of them are women and girls.
- The UN’s World Food Program currently estimates there are 270 million people at risk of starvation. This figure increased over 82% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 20 million babies are born with low birthweight each year, in 2019 it was estimated that 144 million children under 5 were stunted (significantly smaller than average because of poor nutrition or constant infections) and 49.5 million children were wasted (with acute malnutrition).
- World Vision International estimates the number of wasted children increased by 6.7 million due to the pandemic’s impact.
- Half of the deaths in children under 5 (3 million lives), are due to malnutrition.
- 50% of the people with hunger are farming families.
- Each year 297 thousand children under 5 die due to diarrhea.
- In Latin America, the FAO estimates there are almost 48 million people with hunger (7.2% of the population).
- In Mexico, 27 million people are undernourished, and 15 million people live with chronic hunger.
- There are 1.2 million Mexican children who are chronically undernourished, with 1 out of every 3 indigenous children living in such conditions.
- 81% of rural households in Mexico have food insecurity.
So now, what can we do about world hunger?
While this problem can be perceived as to big to fix by any of us, we can definitely contribute towards solving it. Here are a few ideas:
- Discuss it, make sure everyone is aware of how dire the situation is for many people, make it visible.
- Aim for zero food waste at home. When you can, donate what you will not eat. Many companies are doing this at a bigger scale (and if you can direct your organization to do this, please go ahead). But if your reach is limited to your household, you can still help.
- Support organizations that are fighting this problem every day (in whatever way you can support them).
- Work directly with poor people (see how you can help feed people in poverty and hungry in your surrounding neighborhoods).
And if you are in Mexico (like us) and don’t know which organization are dealing with this project, we suggest to take a look at the following options:
- Bancos de Alimentos de México: https://www.bamx.org.mx/
- The Hunger Project Mexico: https://thp.org.mx/
- Acción Contra el Hambre: https://www.accioncontraelhambre.org/es
I hope you found this interesting. As usual, if there is anything we can help you with, please reach out.
CEO, Miranda ESG
Contacts at Miranda Partners