by Jill Robinson
A historic 1.02 billion people are going hungry everyday according to a study posted on June 19, by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This number is staggering, not to mention hard to grasp, but of course this is coming from someone living in a country where our portion sizes alone are putting pressure on the grain markets.
With a world-wide economic crisis creating lowered incomes and unemployment, this effect has trickled down to a reduction in accessibility to food by the poor, according to FAO’s website. Developing countries have been the hardest hit, and 642 million people living in the Asia-Pacific region make up the largest group going hungry.
BBC News posted these statistics in accordance to FAO’s studies on population of people experiencing a hunger crisis:
Asia-Pacific: 642 million
Sub-Saharan Africa: 265 million
Latin America and Caribbean: 53 million
Middle East and North Africa: 42 million
Just 15 million people are left hungry in the developed world.
What can we do?
A couple sites I found on the web feature organizations whose missions focus on ending world hunger. Here are a few ways to get involved.
Fight Against Hunger – “The mission of Action Against Hunger is to save lives by eliminating hunger through the prevention, detection, and treatment of malnutrition, especially during and after emergency situations of conflict, war and natural disaster. From crisis to sustainability, we tackle the underlying causes of malnutrition and its effects by using our expertise in nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, health and advocacy. By integrating our programs with local and national systems we further ensure that short-term interventions become long-term solutions.” -from Fight Against Hunger’s web page
CARE – “Our mission is to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world. Drawing strength from our global diversity, resources and experience, we promote innovative solutions and are advocates for global responsibility. We facilitate lasting change by:
- Strengthening capacity for self-help
- Providing economic opportunity
- Delivering relief in emergencies
- Influencing policy decisions at all levels
- Addressing discrimination in all its forms
Guided by the aspirations of local communities, we pursue our mission with both excellence and compassion because the people whom we serve deserve nothing less.” – from homepage of Care.org
The Hunger Project – “The Hunger Project is a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. In Africa, Asia and Latin America, The Hunger Project seeks to end hunger and poverty by empowering people to lead lives of self-reliance, meet their own basic needs and build better futures for their children. The Hunger Project carries out its mission through three essential activities: mobilizing village clusters at the grassroots level to build self-reliance, empowering women as key change agents, and forging effective partnerships with local government.”
These are just three of hundreds of organizations participating in the fight against hunger. In a time where we can spend five dollars on a super-sized order of fries, soda and burger, it would be beneficial for our population to be aware that most people don’t have that luxury.