On World Food Day, leave no one behind

The motto of World Food Day is “Leave no one behind”.

“We need to build a sustainable world where everyone, everywhere, has regular access to enough nutritious food. No one should be left behind,” said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

There are steps you can take today to ensure those in need have food to survive.

At the beginning you support the non-profit organization Edesia in Rhode Island, which makes the peanut paste Plumpy’Nut. The paste helps save the lives of millions of infants worldwide who are most vulnerable to fatal malnutrition. This miracle food supports severely malnourished babies. A donation to Edesia and supporting their work as suppliers of Plumpy’Nut to the World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF and other charities will help many.

Women unload groceries at Nyal Harbour
Women unload food at Nyal Port in South Sudan’s Unity State, where the World Food Program is transporting food by canoe to avoid costly airdrops.
Photo courtesy of Eulalia Berlang/WFP

Also, contacting your local representatives to support the delivery of Plumpy’Nut to malnourished infants around the world is a good start. Every child deserves Plumpy’Nut when their life is at stake. There are currently too many shortages of life-saving nutrition for babies. More resources are needed to save more lives. Be an ambassador for a global child nutrition program so no child starves.

Awareness is the key. Malnutrition emergencies are rarely covered in the media until it is often too late. You can help change that by standing up for the hungry. It is needed now more than ever.

Food aid programs for young children are being curtailed due to lack of funds while others never get off the ground. This is particularly devastating for Yemen, where children suffer from malnutrition as a civil war exacerbates hunger. The World Food Program has been forced to suspend child malnutrition prevention programs there.

Time is of the essence as infants require nourishment for the crucial first 1,000 days of life. Without this nourishment they become crippled for life or may perish. Young children are starving in war zones, impoverished regions, areas of drought and flooding. Many could be saved if we prioritized getting them emergency food like Plumpy’Nut and taking preventative measures.

Yemenis receive food aid
Yemenis hard hit by eight years of conflict, blockade and economic crisis receive humanitarian aid on September 29, 2022 in Sana’a, Yemen.
Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images

In Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, where the drought is very severe, families have to walk for miles to find even the tiniest bit of food or water. “We see children arriving after incredibly long and difficult journeys. … Far too many of them die within 48 hours because they are too ill and malnourished to have any chance of survival,” said Raphael Veicht, MSF emergency coordinator in Ethiopia.

On World Food Day, write a letter to Congress urging it to increase appropriations for global food aid and support global initiatives on infant feeding and school meals. Every child should be able to receive infant formula and school meals so that they can grow up healthy.

Funding for overseas hunger relief operations is very low, limiting the ability of charities to provide life-saving assistance. The charity Action Against Hunger released a new report stating that “only 7% of requests for urgent hunger-related funding are being met through the United Nations humanitarian system, leaving a 93% hunger funding gap.”

With more disasters likely, more urgent funding is needed.

According to the WFP, the recent floods in Pakistan have drastically worsened hunger, food security and malnutrition there. An estimated increase from 7.2 million to over 14 million people will be in need of emergency food aid there.

In Haiti, civil unrest has exacerbated hunger and increased child malnutrition. And many other countries need help.

Fighting cattle goats and farmers
Cattle goats and farmers fighting are seen during the drought in Qarqora, Galmudug in Somalia.
Photo courtesy of Geneva Costopulos/WFP

On World Food Day, eat your favorite food, add up the cost and donate that amount to a charity that fights hunger. This way you share your favorite food with those in need around the world and help save someone who is fighting hunger.

William Lambers is an author who collaborated on the book with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). end world hunger. His writings are published by The Washington Post, Historical News NetworkCleveland’s The simple trader and many other news agencies. Lambers recently volunteered to write the Hunger Heroes section of the WFP online educational game Freerice.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

https://www.newsweek.com/world-food-day-leave-no-one-behind-opinion-1752083 On World Food Day, leave no one behind

Rick Schindler

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