Michael Kors: World Food Programme Ambassador
World-renowned fashion designer Michael Kors is helping feed hungry people around the world. Through his Watch Hunger Stop campaign, which launched in 2013, he has delivered 10 million meals to hungry children.

Kors’ brand partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme in 2013. Together, they have sought to create a world with zero hunger.

After first partnering with World Food Programme (WFP), Kors said, “Millions of people all over the world are struggling to feed themselves, and their families, every day. I want to lend my voice and my efforts to this international cause.”

Since then, Kors has been involved in Watch Hunger Stop, where each sale of a Michael Kors 100 Series watch enabled 100 children in need to receive a nutritious meal through WFP.

Additionally, Kors donated 100 meals for every “selfless selfie” which featured fans posing in Michael Kors Watch Hunger Stop t-shirts.

Kors says, “We couldn’t have done this without the compassion and efforts of our fans and customers whose support of this important cause is inspiring.”

In 2014, actress Halle Berry worked alongside Kors for Watch Hunger Stop. This year, actress Kate Hudson will partner with Kors and WFP.

Hudson says, “As a mother, I can’t think of anything more important than raising a healthy and educated generation of children and WFP’s School Meals Program is committed to exactly that. This is a cause that I’m eager to be a part of because I believe we can all make a real and significant difference.”

In October 2015, Hudson and Kors will launch two limited-edition styles of the Bradshaw watch. With every sale of the Bradshaw 100. 100 children will be given a meal through WFP School Meals program. In addition, customers and visitors to Michael Kors retail stores can make a donation to World Food Programme at the register.

In July 2015, Kors was recognized for his efforts to end world hunger; he was named a Global Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme.

“It’s an honor to be named a Global Ambassador Against Hunger, and a further inspiration to me to continue the important work of ending world hunger hand in hand with WFP.”

To encourage others to contribute to the battle with hunger, he says, “We’re making real progress toward our goal of zero hunger. You can see a visible reaction, a positive reaction, when you hand someone a plate of food. Whether you get involved on a local level, a national level or a global level, you really make a difference in people’s lives. We have enough food in the world for everyone. The challenge is to get people to realize this and to work to change.”

To find out more about Kors’ Watch Hunger Stop campaign, visit their website or Michael Kors’ website.

Kelsey Parrotte

Sources: Michael Kors 1, Michael Kors 2, World Food Programme 1, World Food Programme 2, Look to the Stars
Photo: Flickr

Food Companies Leading in the Fight Against World Hunger - BORGEN
One out of nine people in the world go to bed hungry according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The United Nations World Food Programme is dedicated to reducing global hunger by offering food aid to developing countries in need. WFP has provided food for more than 90 million people. WFP partners with and receives funding from a few well-known food companies.

Yum! brands started the World Hunger Relief campaign as the largest consumer outreach campaign on the hunger issue. It is the world’s largest restaurant company with more than 40,000 restaurants in 125 countries. It is leading in the fight against global hunger through the campaign, as well as through the mobilization of the 1.5 million employees as advocates for global hunger relief.

Yum! brands’ World Hunger Relief campaign has raised $100 million for WFP since 2007 with the help of global spokesperson Christina Aguilera. Yum! brands include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnSf2xj6URs

PepsiCo is another partner of WFP. The company is more well known for its food and beverages than for the philanthropic PepsiCo Foundation. PepsiCo Foundation has donated $3.5 million to WFP to produce a food product made of chickpeas to help treat malnutrition in Ethiopia.

Unilever partners with WFP to make people more aware of global hunger through fundraising and campaigns as well as educational plans. They have targeted their consumer base in 13 countries in their campaigns against global hunger. Unilever has also assisted WFP in identifying what are the nutritional needs of the children to better help them.

Kellogg’s, though not a partner with WFP, does important work to fight global hunger. Kellogg’s donates over $20 million per year in food products for disaster relief and hunger. The company also has an initiative called “Breakfast for Better Days.” The initiative is focused on alleviating hunger specifically in South Africa, pledging to feed 25,000 children every school day in 2015. The company will dedicate one billion servings of Kellogg’s snacks and cereal for global poverty alleviation by 2016 and has donated nearly eight million breakfasts to FoodBank South Africa already.

An increase in awareness of global hunger has also increased the number of food companies coming on board to bring global hunger relief.

Iona Brannon

Sources: World Food Programme 1, World Food Programme 2, Hunger to Hope, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Kellogg
Photo: Flickr

 

 

food_assistance
As fighting persists in Syria, life for the population remains a struggle and food security a challenge. Millions of people have been affected amid the escalating violence and the situation is rapidly deteriorating. The U.S. has announced a contribution of $65 million dollars to the World Food Program, which is operating within the Syrian borders.

The armed conflict in Syria, also called the Syrian Civil War, has been ongoing for years since unrest began in 2011. In the wake of the Arab Spring, a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurred across the Arab world. What began as protests against the government gradually morphed into a rebellion after a violent military force used by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

As of January 2015, the death toll in Syria had risen above 220,000 and approximately 6 million people have been displaced, cut off from basic human needs such as water, food and electricity.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is giving $65 million dollars to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to achieve their goal of providing food assistance to 4 million starving people inside the country and 1.6 million more in the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt.

In Syria, the WFP has been running dangerously low on funding but the money infusion from USAID will keep the WFP afloat and operating through November preventing what could have been a complete shutdown.

The U.S. being the biggest donor to the Syrian crisis has contributed more than $4 billion dollars overall, allowing millions of needy families within Syria and those affected outside access to food and clean water.

According to USAID, the U.S. has now given more than $1.2 billion to the WFP for its Syrian operations – including more than $530 million for operations inside Syria and more than $693 million for operations benefiting Syrian refugees.

Although USAID has donated billions to the WPF, the international community has for the most part dropped the ball, forcing the WFP to devalue their food vouchers by half to refugees and lowered the amount of food in monthly household parcels inside Syria. USAID and the WFP continues to reach out to other governments hoping to rally more support and pressure them to take more actions.

In a press release by USAID on Friday, July 31, 2015, Dina Esposito, Director of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace said, “we have heard tragic stories of hungry refugees returning to war-torn Syria and taking children out of school to beg.” He continued, “We hope this new funding will help mitigate such difficult choices and help Syrians as the winter months approach.”

In war torn Syria, families are fleeing what were once their homes, desperately seeking safety. Starving and suffering from illness, people are getting life-saving food, water and medical care, thanks to the WFP and the disaster averting financial rescue from USAID.

Jason Zimmerman

Sources: USAID, Reuters
Photo: Huffington Post

world_food_program
The World Food Programme is waging war on hunger and fighting an uphill battle in six of the world’s hunger hot spots; Syria, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan, Nepal and the Ebola-affected regions in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Most of the world’s population lives in developing countries. Many of them are mired in extreme poverty, with little hope of access to clean water and often reduced to scavenging for food in trash heaps lining their decrepit shanty town streets, just to feed their children. But in these six emergencies, the situation is even more urgent.

The World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian aid agency fighting hunger, is the food aid branch of the United Nations, working to address hunger across the globe and promoting food security. Workers are on the ground in these areas trying to ease the crisis by providing needy families with life-saving food.

In Syria, the WFP is struggling to meet food need demands, as nearly six million people have been displaced. The ongoing armed conflict in Syria has been growing worse and the situation steadily deteriorating. Although the WFP has been reaching approximately four million people using hand to mouth operations, funding is running low and the need is increasing drastically.

Iraq has been in crisis for years and continues to be. The recent upsurge in violence has left 1.8 million displaced without access to water or food. The WFP reports having reached out to about a million people since June, providing assistance.

Yemen is a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian emergency. With around half of all children under five being stunted (too short for their age), Yemen already stands as having one of the highest child malnutrition rates in the world. Millions of people are being cut off from basic human needs such as food, water and electricity as fighting persists and fuel shortages continue.

Although the food security threat in South Sudan has been stabilized for now, sustainable assistance is essential in the region as the situation remains extremely fragile. The WFP has been able to reach more than 2.5 million people this year but if fighting continues, the situation in South Sudan could turn into a full-blown catastrophe.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25th, 2015 devastated the region, leaving approximately eight million people affected and living without access to food, water or shelter. With the epicenter being just outside of Kathmandu, large populations were displaced and 30 out of 75 districts in the country were ruined. The Nepalese government issued a state of emergency and the WFP is currently in the country providing assistance.

The WFP has responded in force to the Ebola emergency plaguing West Africa and has met the needs of people affected by the outbreak since April in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Along with food assistance, the WFP is also helping get the humanitarian staff and equipment into the crisis zones.

According to www.worldhunger.org, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 805 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2012 to 2014. Almost all the hungry people, 791 million, live in developing countries, representing 13.5 percent, or one in eight, of the population of developing counties.

When disaster strikes or when war tears through a nation, humanity can be taken to the breaking point. With help from organizations like the World Food Programme, families fighting for survival can find some relief and possibly some hope.

Jason Zimmerman

Sources: WFP, World Hunger
Photo: Action Against Hunger

soya

Malnutrition, an ugly consequence of poverty. runs rampant in developing countries. In Afghanistan, the World Food Programme (WFP) is introducing a source of protein less known there. Soya could help stop hunger in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Malnutrition is defined as the lack of proper nutrition, caused by not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things or being unable to use the food that one does eat. Malnutrition is commonly due to the absence of quality food available to eat and is often related to high food prices and poverty. A lack of breast feeding may contribute, as may a number of infectious diseases such as gastroenteritis, pneumonia, malaria and measles, which increase nutrient requirements.

There are two main types of undernutrition: protein-energy malnutrition and dietary deficiencies. Protein-energy malnutrition has two severe forms, marasmus (a lack of protein and calories) and kwashiorkor (a lack of just protein), both of which can be fatal without quick intervention and care.

Soya has been widely used in China for centuries and was even considered one of the five holy crops along with rice, wheat, barley and millet. Soya is very versatile in diets and very healthy, with a high level of complete protein, which means that they contain significant amounts of all nine essential amino acids.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed that foods containing soy protein may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Soya is fairly inexpensive. It’s much cheaper than meat or other protein rich vegetables, making it a perfect fit to deliver a protein punch to a poverty-stricken nation such as Afghanistan.

Rates of malnutrition in Afghanistan are incredibly high. More than 40% of children under the age of five are chronically malnourished; nearly 10% of children and 9% of women of reproductive age are acutely malnourished, and almost one-fourth of children are underweight.

Soya, with all its health benefits, was virtually non-existent in Afghanistan and very few people knew of its value. The WFP saw soya as a possible answer to the malnutrition poisoning the country and began establishing it in 2014.

According to the WFP, more than 8,000 Afghan farmers were trained in how to grow the protein-rich bean, with over 84 metric tons of seed handed out to farmers. Six factories have now been established in different parts of the country, and several types of soya products are now available in the Afghan markets. The WFP in partnership with Nutrition Education International is teaching communities in Afghanistan to familiarize themselves with soya and several public awareness workshops have been established and are being attended by thousands of people.

Afghanistan is unquestionably one of the most poverty-stricken countries in the world, and malnutrition is a genuine danger effecting the lives of its people. Efforts by the WFP and the introduction of soya with its nutritional benefits could certainly be instrumental in relief for a population plagued by years of war and poverty.

Jason Zimmerman

Sources: WFP, Food and Development (Young)
Photo:
Flickr

World’s Poorest Need Just $160 Per Year to Eradicate Hunger
A new report released last week by the United Nations has predicted that only $160 per year for each individual currently living in extreme poverty is necessary to eradicate hunger in the world by 2030.

The joint report, which was prepared by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Program (WFP), and International Fund for Agricultural Development, argued that such funding to eradicate hunger should be provisioned through both the transfer of cash and certain investments considered supportive of impoverished areas.

In order to meet the current base poverty line of $1.25 per day stipulated by the World Bank, the UN hopes that cash transfers will assist in the immediate elimination of hunger. Officials estimate that this undertaking would cost $116 billion per year, of which $75 billion would be designated to rural areas.

The UN has also estimated that an additional $151 billion per year will be necessary to fund “pro-poor” investment projects designed to support the predicted decreases in the frequency of poverty while also encouraging sustainability. Such endeavors could include the expansion of irrigation systems, the construction of more effective sanitation systems or infrastructural repair.

The FAO stated within their report: “Eradicating world hunger sustainably by 2030 will require an estimated additional $267 billion per year on average for investments in rural and urban areas and social protection so that poor people have access to food and can improve their livelihoods.”

The FAO estimates that over 800 million people across the earth still do not have access to adequate and sustainable food resources. A large portion of these people have been found to live in rural areas, a geographical prevalence which has caused many organizations to shift the focus of development projects towards rural regions in recent years.

Noting the necessity for increased efforts to eradicate hunger, José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the FAO, recently stated: “If we adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach, by 2030, we would still have more than 650 million people suffering from hunger.”

Graziano also argued, “The message of the report is clear: Given that this ($267 billion) is more or less equivalent to 0.3 percent of the global GDP, I personally think it is a relatively small price to pay to end hunger.”

The Sustainable Development Goals, which are new objectives designed by the United Nations to replace the outdated Millennium Development Goals, will be completed this fall and currently have created 17 different goals regarding global development. The second Sustainable Development Goal is focused on the issues of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

In regards to the structure of plans outlined by the new report, Graziano stated: “We are championing an approach that combines social protection with additional targeted investments in rural development, agriculture and urban areas that will chiefly benefit the poor.”

James Thornton

Sources: Business Day Online, Reuters, India Times
Photo: NDTV

guinea-bissau
Hunger and malnutrition are significant concerns in the country of Guinea-Bissau that can be attributed to several factors including food insecurity, poor health and sanitation, limited access to water and low literacy rates.

According to a report released by the World Food Programme, only seven percent of people living in Guinea-Bissau are food secure. The report also revealed that 93 percent of the rural population in the country is food insecure as a result of cashew prices. In addition, an estimated 15,000 children suffer from malnutrition across Guinea-Bissau.

Due to Guinea-Bissau’s political instability and socioeconomic uncertainty, the country’s food security remains compromised. Poverty rates have increased from 65 percent in previous years to 75 percent and although the country has ample natural resources, a substantial amount of rainfall and good soil, Guinea-Bissau is still dealing with political disruption that makes it susceptible to poverty.

A large aspect of the country’s economy can be found in the agricultural sector, which 85 percent of the population relies upon. The population of 1.6 million not only relies on agriculture as a main source of income, but also as a main source of nutrition. Cashews account for 98 percent of the country’s revenues, while other crops such as rice are grown for sustenance.

In the past several years alone, food insecurity in Guinea-Bissau has increased as a result of strikes and political upheaval, both have devastated the cashew nut season and compromised the country’s main source of income. This disruption not only affected revenues, but it also limited access to food and further burdened households in rural areas.

In past years Guinea-Bissau had not been making a political commitment to combating hunger in the country; however, recently the country along with several other organizations including WFP have partnered up in an effort to reduce hunger.

“Thanks to the work we do with our partners on emergency preparedness, support to family farmers, nutritional assistance – particularly in a child’s first 1,000 days – and building the resilience of communities to withstand shocks, millions of people are now better able to focus on building a future free of hunger for themselves and the next generation,” said WFP Executive Ertharin Cousin.

WFP and the government of Guinea-Bissau have launched several initiatives in hopes of alleviating hunger and combating malnutrition in the country. The initiatives aim to provide immediate food aid, operate school meal programs and aid small-scale farmers. WFP is currently providing meals to 86,000 school children and handing out rations as a means to increase attendance among girls. As part of the initiative, an estimated 36,000 women and children have received resources to combat malnutrition.

“Every year, we witness hunger’s devastating effect on families, communities and whole economies,” Cousin says. “But despite horrific crises engulfing entire regions, we are making real progress in the fight to sustainably and durably end hunger and chronic malnutrition.”

– Nada Sewidan

Sources: World Food Programme, International Food Policy Research Institute
Photo: DNS Tvind

Djibouti
Throughout its long history, Djibouti has served as an important part of international exchange. Located in the center of the Horn of Africa, Djibouti has been a principle port of trade, exchange and shipping for nations like Saudi Arabia, France and China.

Yet, in spite of its historical significance, Djibouti’s small population of 886,000 people, most of whom are urban residents, cannot afford food or proper dietary provisions. This number includes children, approximately 109,000 under the age of five, who are at risk of stunted growth, improper mental development and death due to malnourishment. It is estimated that 29.8 percent of children under the age of five in Djibouti are underweight.

In recent years, severe drought has caused the traditionally pastoral society of Djibouti to lose up to 70 percent of its livestock. With less than .10 percent of Djibouti’s land considered arable, it is difficult to maintain sustainable agriculture or for families to feed themselves. Due to a combination of high communicable disease infection, low crop production and extreme poverty, child mortality rates are increasingly high, with 81 of every 1,000 live births resulting in death. Though child mortality has declined considerably in the last 24 years, children continue to suffer greatly in the region.

Djibouti has one of the world’s highest rates of chronic child malnourishment. The latest statistics provided by WHO show that 18 percent of children suffer from malnutrition and 5.6 percent face severe acute malnutrition. Djibouti currently ranks at 165 of 187 countries in the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index, indicating poor development and improper nutrition throughout the average Djiboutian’s lifetime.

In an effort to combat malnutrition and child mortality rates in Djibouti, a number of international organizations have developed programs and assistance intended for the ‘under five population’ and mothers. In June of 2014, the World Bank announced a $5 million dollar credit to the Social Safety Net Program, which provides food assistance and cash-for-work incentives to mothers with young children. It emphasizes the ‘first 1000 days’ of a child’s life as being critical to developing proper nutrition and health.

In 2011, UNICEF installed a therapeutic feeding center in the Balbala community in Djibouti, offering treatment and nutritional supplements to malnourished children. The feeding center also offers resources to mothers in order to prevent future cases of malnutrition. The World Food Programme has also been a leading contributor of food and health assistance in Djibouti. Its assistance in Djibouti has helped over 90,000 people in Djibouti, especially children.

The WFP said, “WFP also helps fight against malnutrition by providing fortified food to children under five, as well as to pregnant and nursing mothers at health centres in both urban and rural parts of the country.”

Additionally, The World Bank, WFP, UNICEF and other organizations have helped Djibouti become self-sufficient by aiding in efforts focused on education, environmental sustainability and useful crop production. These efforts have contributed to the ongoing decline of malnutrition throughout Djibouti.

Candice Hughes

Sources: The World Bank, UNICEF 1, UNICEF 2, WHO 1, WHO 2, World Food Programme
Photo: Flickr

djibouti

Djibouti is a small country on the Eastern coast of Africa populated by malnourished people. Because of its location, Djibouti is a shipping hub for Eastern Africa, and so it has a large urban population. Still, a World Food Programme Emergency Food Security Assessment in 2012 found that three-fourths of assessed households were “severely or moderately food insecure.”

In rural areas, where one-third of Djibouti’s population lives, there is a severe hunger crisis. One in five children aged one to four  years is malnourished and, in the rural areas, about 70,000 people were food insecure in 2012. In the slums, Arhiba and Balbala, there is a high rate of child mortality from malnutrition.This is in part due to the fact that the country has very little natural resources and there have been recurring severe droughts in the region.

Additionally, in recent years Djibouti suffered from a cholera epidemic. The droughts have damaged food production from crops and livestock in rural areas, and because the rural villages are spread out across the country, it is difficult for aid organizations to send food and healthcare to each community.

Many rural families have moved to cities in search of work and a better life. However, work is often difficult to find and, with more people migrating to the cities, the unemployment rate has increased quickly. Other rural families are fleeing to the slums to escape the harsh conditions of rural life.

Most households are receiving assistance, without which they could not survive. Fewsnet found in a 2012-2013 report that, in some areas, “households are marginally able to meet minimum food needs only through accelerated depletion of livelihood assets and adoption of unsustainable coping strategies such as charcoal sales.”

Prices and unemployment are rising as the droughts continue. The people of Djibouti need strategies for clean water, agriculture, health and nutrition. Until these needs are met, World Food Programme, Action Against Hunger and other organizations and governments are working to provide citizens with basic needs and helping the government develop programs for sustainability.

-Kimmi Ligh

Sources: Relief Web, Action Against Hunger, World Food Programme, The Guardian
Photo: Flickr

zillow
Years ago, prospective homeowners would go to local real estate agencies to look for housing. It used to be that real estate agents held exclusive knowledge of the local and national housing market and that any buyer had to go through their local agency to find and purchase a new house.

Today, companies like Zillow Inc. and Trulia Inc. streamline the process with their online platforms. They offer searchable databases of real estate data for free to any online user, and make profits on advertising and agent listings. Together, both companies dominate the online marketplace and have 68.4 million unique users as of June.

On July 28, Zillow Inc. announced it had agreed to acquire Trulia Inc. for $3.5 billion in stock transactions. The purchase comes at a time when both sites are booming with user interaction, but profit from the online platforms is not yet optimal. Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff believes the acquisition of Trulia Inc. will help both companies cut costs and increase efficiency overall. As the Chicago Tribune reported, Rascoff told financial analysts that both companies “independently [have] very large rental audiences and…both [are] in the early stages of monetizing those rental audiences.”

The deal has the potential to help consumers engage with real estate data more efficiently and at a cheaper price, but the money spent on Zillow’s acquisition is substantial. If spent on advancing the interests and development of the poor, that money would have a tangibly greater social impact.

The World Food Programme (WFP,) for example, recently announced that it was unable to provide food to nearly 800,000 due to budget shortfalls. United Nations WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres urged donors to provide an additional $186 million in funding to provide food rations to nearly 800 thousand. If not, food aid would have to be cut, threatening already high levels of malnutrition and anemia among refugee populations.

If the same money that was spent acquiring Trulia Inc. went to providing food to refugees, approximately 15.1 million more refugees would benefit from food rations from the WFP. Put another way, 2.4 million refugees depend on food aid from the WFP each year. If $3.5 billion was invested, every African refugee would have his or her nutritional needs met for over six years, based on U.N. and WFP figures.

The money spent on advancing the online potential of the real estate industry is an important development to consumer interests; however, even small monetary developments can have significant impacts when invested in the poor.

– Joseph McAdams

Sources: Chicago Tribune, LA Times, World Food Programme
Photo: LA Times