donate to for hunger
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that around 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world –  that is, one in eight – were suffering from undernourishment between 2010 and 2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million to be exact, live in developing countries.

There are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries. Thankfully the number of undernourished people has decreased almost 30 percent in Asia and the Pacific, from 739 million to 563 million.

The decline in hungry people could be accredited to charities that make it their mission to end world hunger. One charity helping alleviate hunger for example treated 42,000 severely malnourished children in Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012. This charity is called Action Against Hunger.

Action Against Hunger has 30 years of expertise in specific areas like conflict, natural disaster and chronic food insecurity. It runs life-saving programs in over 40 countries benefiting seven million people each year.

In America, the number one charity to donate to for hunger is Feeding America. Formerly known as America’s Second Harvest, it provides food assistance to more than 25 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including more than nine million children and almost three million seniors. Feeding America services all 50 states with more than 200 food banks.

While considering which charity to donate to, a third charity to consider is the Bread for the World Institute. The Institute is a lot like The Borgen Project in that it aims to educate its advocacy network, opinion leaders, policy makers and the public about hunger in the United States and abroad. One of the primary goals of the Institute is to end hunger in the United States by 2030.

Thanks to donations and hardworking volunteers, world hunger has been cut in half; however, hunger still kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. For example, Asia currently has the most people on its continent that are hungry, making up about two thirds of the area. In order to stay on track and end hunger by 2030, donations are imperative and any of the charities listed above are rapidly working to make sure the money donated is used in the most efficient way.

– Brooke Smith

Sources:, Bread for the World Institute, Action Against the World, WFP
Photo: flickr


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

hunger in zambia
The African country of Zambia has been working to end its epidemic of hunger.  While the World Bank considers the country lower-middle income, hunger is still extreme because economic disparities have grown with the GDP.  The 2012 Human Development index gave Zambia a poor review, ranking it 163 out of 186 countries.  The number of people at risk of food insecurity rose from 63,000 in 2012 to 209,000 in 2013.

An influx of 34,000 refugees, 6,000 of whom receive no assistance from the country, increases the food burden.

Hunger in Zambia has been a major concern, as the country suffers from high rates of malaria, malnutrition, an HIV rate of 12.7% and an extreme poverty rate of 42.7%.  This poverty rate rises much higher in the countryside, where subsistence farming flourishes.

Zambians are highly dependent on rain-fed agriculture, which relies on one harvest that can make or break a farmer’s year.  There is little economic incentive to pursue other fields, and when food and money are tight, farmers often do casual labor at other farms to supplement their incomes.  This causes their own harvests to suffer because they are not devoting enough time to their own land.  Food prices are also high, meaning the supplemental incomes do not stretch as far as they need to when harvests do not supply enough food.  This has led to a 45.4% rate of malnutrition; almost half of Zambian children are deficient in vitamin A and iron.

Malnutrition and the dependence on unreliable agriculture has led the country to low educational and economic attainment.  Farmers do not have the ability to focus on anything other than putting food on their tables.  While educational enrollment has increased, Zambians only complete an average of six years of education.

These agricultural burdens have become a focus for the nation.  Zambia is part of the Scaling Up Nutrition program, which focuses on bolstering nutrition in over 50 countries.  Scaling Up Nutrition also supports the First 1000 Most Critical Days program, making infant care a priority.

Another organization working in Zambia is Women’s Empowerment through Animal Traction (WEAT).  WEAT works with Heifer International and the World Food Programme to provide households with draft animals.  The focus is on providing women with a means to support their families.  The draft animals allow women to plant crops quickly and efficiently, while also supplying milk.  The offspring of these animals go to other families in the community, allowing more farmers to increase their outputs.

Action Against Hunger works specifically with families affected by HIV and AIDS.  The organization helps people take up activities that create income, such as raising rabbits or poultry.  It also educates people about HIV and AIDS.

Innovations for Poverty Action funded a study in 2012-2013 which gave loans of maize to farmers during the lean season.  The goal was to keep farmers from needing to seek additional employment on other farms.  The results showed that food consumption increased, casual labor decreased and there was evidence of an increase in local wages.  These positive signs led the study to expand in January 2014.  Now IPA will give 3,000 households the opportunity to receive loans of food and cash, and it will measure crop yields and nutrition at the end of two years.

In addition to all of these programs, Zambia has joined with other African nations to plead with their governments to invest more in agriculture.  The request is for an increase in effective agriculture investments of at least 10%, with a focus on support for small farmers, especially women.  Vice-president Guy Scott received the petition for Zambia.  In total, over two million African citizens have signed petitions in support of this legislation.

Monica Roth

Sources: World Food Programme, Action Against Hunger, Innovations for Poverty Action, Scaling up Nutrition, Africa Science News
Photo: Irish Aid

action against hunger

Founded in France in 1979 with a mission to affect humanitarian change by transforming the political landscape to prevent misfortune rather than merely responding to misfortune as it occurred, Action Against Hunger continues to be a major leader among humanitarian organizations. With more than 870 million people in the world still chronically undernourished, Action Against Hunger’s revolutionary approach to hunger is important now more than ever to eradicate hunger.

Action Against Hunger (which is also known as ACF, the initials for the organization’s name as it appears in French,) operates according to six central principles: direct access to victims, independence, neutrality, non-discrimination, professionalism and transparency. Their clear values have made them one of the most trusted nonprofit organizations in the last 30 years.

In those three decades, the organization has seen its fair share of hardship, serving communities in over 40 countries as they dealt with food insecurity, natural disaster, conflict situations and national emergencies. What is remarkable about Action Against Hunger, though, is that it does not simply seek to provide food to those who need it; Action Against Hunger also works to ensure the dignity of the communities and individuals it serves and to install sustainable solutions to hunger.

The organization also places high emphasis on children, and a large fraction of the 7 million people it serves per year are children.  Approximately 1 million children die unnecessarily of malnourishment – Action for Hunger’s work has driven that number down within the last several years, but its continued work to bring every child adequate food and healthy, accessible water will drive that number even further south soon.

With over 5,000 staff in the field to help carry out this admirable mission, Action Against Hunger brings yet another important weapon to the table: a nuanced understanding of the cultures within which it is working. By interacting in the communities they serve, organization employees and volunteers gain a crucial understanding of which strategies will work where, making the organization extremely effective at what it does.

 — Elise L. Riley

Sources: Action Contre la Faim, World Hunger, Action Against Hunger
Photo: Flickr

Think of one child. This child could be your brother, sister, son, or daughter. This person is someone you love and care for dearly. Now imagine watching this child go through the stages of acute malnutrition. As lack of food and nutrients wear on their body, their metabolism begins to slow. Their body slowly eats away at their muscle tissue and their kidneys begin to fail. The suffering of this loved one is something you can’t stop, as there is no food to give them. Their body is just shutting down.

This may sound like a foreign scenario to those able to provide daily meals to their loved ones, but 55 million children in the world today suffer from these serious consequences of malnutrition. These children are susceptible to disease, mental and physical impairments, and possibly death.

For 30 years, Action Against Hunger/ACF International has fought to help these children. An international non-profit organization, ACF has 4,600 health professionals in over 40 countries working to provide nourishment, clean drinking water, and sustainable living conditions to those suffering from malnutrition.

ACF International works to provide both an immediate and long-term impact. Children suffering from malnutrition need assistance now; however, ACF strives to not only get these children healthy but to keep them healthy for good. Accordingly, ACF accepts donations and sends supplies to affected areas, while working to create a long-term presence in international communities through programs and leadership.

The support for this cause remains strong. Sponsor partners, such as Weight Watchers, Pentair, and North American Power, offer unique and relevant ways in which they contribute to eradicating malnutrition. For example, Weight Watchers and Pentair have dedicated over two million dollars each to the cause, while North American Power donates a dollar for every electric bill paid.

With help from these partners and others, Action Against Hunger/ACF International continues to change the world. In 2012, 157,000 children were saved from deadly hunger. Additionally, 550,000 farmers were equipped with the tools necessary to provide their communities with food and economic growth. Progress is being made, but too many children remain hungry.

For more information on how you can become involved with Action Against Hunger and ACF International, visit Put yourself in their shoes. Make a difference.

– William Norris

Sources: Action against Hunger, World Food Programme
Photo: African Starving Children

heifer international mother's day gift

While you’re eating brunch with your mother this weekend and toasting her for all she’s done for you, anti-hunger organizations think a better tribute would be a gift to help other mothers around the world. Well-known anti-hunger organizations are offering Mother’s Day themed donations this month.

Action Against Hunger has a dedicated section of gifts for your mom on its website. In the organization’s virtual gift catalog you can find the perfect gift for your mother: help for another mother who desperately needs it. There are gifts for every wallet. A $20 donation provides a fuel efficient stove for a mother trying to provide cost-effective, home-cooked meals to her family; an emergency hygiene kit is $25; an $87 donation gets a pregnant mother-to be or nursing new mother a full month of fresh, nutritious food; $100 buys a family a dairy goat; $525 gives 25 women access to a fruit and vegetable garden; and $1,200 gives a group of 10 moms microfinance seed capital to start a business.

Heifer International is also marketing meaningful gifts for mom, urging donors to “gift different” this year by giving the gift of livestock to mothers around the world. The organization’s site says a donation “helps moms in need around the world reach lives of dignity and self-reliance. Instead of just a Mother’s Day card, gift basket or flowers for mom, donate a goat or give a tree to help end hunger in her name. Support mothers around the world this year.”

On the Heifer International site $20 gets a flock of chicks, $60 gets a tree and $120 buys a goat for a family in need. There are also smaller donations possible to buy a share towards one of the more expensive items.

What better way is there to honor all that mothers do for the world than helping a struggling family in need? Sharing a gift with the people who need it most may be the best Mother’s Day gift of all.

– Liza Casabona

Sources: Action Against Hunger