Hunger In 2007: Inspired Help From A Caring World
Hunger in 2007: inspired help from a caring world
The year 2007 saw the United Nations World Food Programme - the world's frontline hunger agency - battling against the effects of climate change, soaring food prices, and the needs of millions of hungry people across the world.
Thankfully, the growing problem of global hunger has inspired new, creative efforts to galvanize more support to feed a hungry planet.
The internet, with its immense power and reach, combined with social networking, chalked up many successes:
Freerice.com : 11.5 billion grains of rice donated to WFP -- enough to feed more than half a million people for a day -- since this vocabulary-based game became an overnight success just three months ago; 500,000 to 1 million people have been playing on-line at any one time, including 500 registered groups on Facebook.
Chez Pim : US$90,300 raised (more than 9,000 raffle tickets sold) through a leading international food blogger's seasonal fundraiser, "Menu for Hope". Through sales of on-line tickets that give purchasers a chance to win a variety of donated "foodie" items, a unique connection was made between people with a fascination for fine food, dining and gastronomic delights, and the lives of impoverished farmers in Lesotho who stand to benefit from the funds raised.
Food-Force.com : 6 million copies now in circulation of the world's first and most popular humanitarian video game (http://www.food-force.com) designed for kids to understand more about hunger, an increasingly invisible and distant concept in the developed world.
Hungerbytes! 140,000 viewings of a provocative video designed to inspire students, would-be filmmakers and others unleash their creativity through a unique, international competition to produce the best, short video about 'byting' global hunger on YouTube
Walk the World: In its fifth year, over half a million people participated in "Fight Hunger: Walk the World" -- a global walk in all 24 time zones which raised US$1.5 million, supported by WFP's corporate partners, TNT and Unilever.
Rugby World Cup: Billions of rugby fans learned more about hunger through the "Tackle Hunger" campaign which was launched during the Rugby World Cup in France. WFP is the humanitarian partner of the International Rugby Board.
"World Hunger Relief Week": Through its customers in 35,000 restaurants in more than 110 countries and territories YUM! Brands raised awareness of hunger and mobilised over US$10 million to feed hungry people during its October campaign.
"Child Vitality": Unilever's marketing campaign in the Netherlands, Pakistan and Indonesia raised almost US$200,000 to support school children, while spreading the word about global hunger.
Top Chefs for Home Cooks ("Topkoks voor thuiskoks"): The current number one bestseller in the Netherlands, this recipe book brings together 52 famous international chefs to help WFP feed thousands of school children in Malawi through book proceeds ($10 per book); one of many initiatives launched by WFP corporate partner TNT.
The above initiatives helped strengthen efforts to get ahead of the hunger curve, but much more needs to be done:
Hunger's toll: 25,000 people a day die from hunger-related causes - one child every five seconds.
WFP: Will feed some 80 million people this year, in 80 countries -- more than 80 percent of those assisted are women and children. Almost 80 percent of the food WFP purchases with cash donations is bought in developing countries, benefiting local farmers.
In 2007, WFP received over $2.6 billion in contributions, mainly from donor governments.
Low overhead: Out of every dollar donated, 93 US cents directly supports WFP field operations.