THIS is why we need to end world hunger

THIS is why we need to end world hunger

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This is the fourth blog in a series by our fantastic Youth Ambassadors in New York for this year’s United Nations General Assembly  – where world leaders just agreed on a set of new Global Goals. Phil Reed is our Youth Ambassador in the UK and is writing about why it’s so important to achieve #GlobalGoal number 2: Zero Hunger.

Fact Graphic - Goal 02-02

I am going to be honest with you, nutrition is something that keeps me awake at night. It’s not because I am trying some new fad diet where you must only eat hopping from foot to foot, it keeps me awake because worldwide there are nearly 800 million people who do not have enough to eat to live active and healthy lives.

This lack of healthy food has a tremendous impact on people’s prospects and is the reason I am here in New York to campaign – to ensure that the Global Goals which include the promise to end hunger by 2030, are known to everyone.

KASUNGU, MALAWI - MARCH 17, 2011 - On request from the Government of Malawi, WFP began supporting school meals in 1999 with small pilot projects targeting 24 schools and 23,000 children. Following success of the initial trial program, WFP expanded nationally, with the current program reaching an estimated 683,222 students in 681 schools. Target schools are selected based on the degree of food insecurity, enrollment levels, dropout rates, accessibility by road, availability of storage space, potable water, and evidence of community commitments to participate fully. Mawango School, which opened in 1998, began receiving WFP support in 2002. Over the past decade, enrollment has grown from 156 to 777 students and 12 teachers. The 437 girls enrolled in Mawango make up about 56% of the school population. Each child receives a mid-morning serving of corn soya blend porridge each day. Girls and orphan boys in grades 5 through 8 also get a monthly take-home ration of cereals during the ìleanî season, January-April, conditioned on 80% attendance. Parents arrive each day to prepare and serve meals to the children. The school also receives support from UNICEF, the European Union, and TNT Global Experience Program with building infrastructure, including a kitchen, storeroom, feeding shelter, toilets, desks, and learning material. The United States, through USAID and the Department of Agriculture, is a major contributor to WFP. (Photos by Morgana Wingard)

KASUNGU, MALAWI Photo credit: Morgana Wingard

Why it matters to me
Under-nutrition is the biggest single underlying cause of child mortality across the world. In 2013, it accounted for 45% (3.1 million) deaths in children under the age of 5. But this lack of nutrition also affects a child’s potential.

Imagine the course of your life being decided by events beyond your control. Within the first thousand days of your existence, your potential has been shaped by the situation you have been born into. Insufficient nutrition at a young age scars a person for life. They fare worse at school and later in their jobs, are far more likely to fall sick and as a cruel consequence, their children are likely to suffer a similar fate.

How can we make it better
The world has made tremendous steps since the end of the last century to reduce the numbers of those affected by malnutrition, due in part to an increased commitment within the Millennium Development Goals to halve extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. Other efforts such as the Nutrition for Growth summit and Enough Food If campaign helped push these issues to the top of the political agenda.

However, if we are to eradicate hunger completely we have to keep the pressure on our leaders to continue to tackle these problems. We have to look beyond what has been done before and use new, innovative approaches to tackle these issues.

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What you can do (right now!)
Last Friday I had the incredible honour of being on stage with Malala at the opening of the Sustainable Development Conference while she called for global action from world leaders. On Saturday night my fellow Youth Ambassadors and I attended the Global Citizen concert to tell 60,000 people why these goals are so vital for the world and why everyone needs to know about them. You can help me by sharing this post, telling you family and friends about the goals and why they matter!

If you want to help us make sure that no one goes to bed hungry, join us and stand as ONE today!

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