People who Fight Poverty
Poverty is a global issue that affects at least 80 percent of the world’s population. The number seems frightening and can intimidate any person who might want to help. Some come together to fight as a united front and tackle the worldwide issue due to the sheer magnitude of the dilemma. Either way, every solution starts with a single person and a single idea. Below describes the top five people who fight poverty today, who they are and what they do (or did) to combat poverty.

Top Five People Who Fight Poverty

  1. Suzanna Mayo Frindt Empowers Rural Communities
    She is the current President and Chief of Staff of The Hunger Project, a nonprofit organization which aids countries in South Asia, Latin America and Africa. The organization provides aid through the establishment of self-reliance within the community. The Hunger Project begins by encouraging women to take active roles within the locale by training them to obtain leadership positions. Then, it enforces self-reliance. It does this by having individuals mobilize their peers through local government to take action and improve the conditions of the area. Finally, The Hunger Project works closely with these governments to ensure it is aiding the people. This system helps bring entire communities out of poverty. As President, Frindt is in a powerful position to fight poverty. She earned her position through 25 years of experience in the field as she worked in impoverished areas, like Peru. Additionally, she co-founded the firm, 2130 Partners. The firm is another organization that dedicates itself to guidance and education. Though these are just a few of her accomplishments, these key points showcase why Frindt is one of the top five people who fight poverty.
  2. Ellen Gustafson Feeds the Hungry
    This woman is an entrepreneur, activist, author and speaker whose primary cause is to work to eliminate world hunger. She focuses on hunger of particularly impoverished areas where the problem is most prominent. Gustafson co-founded FEED Projects, a charity which provides food for people around the world. As of 2019, it has provided 60 million meals to schools around the world. She has also tackled the issue of obesity through educational activism. Overall, Ellen Gustafason’s goals may center around food, but her work has improved the lives of impoverished people in places where they often need help the most.
  3. Bono Advocates Against Poverty
    He is an American musician and frontman of the popular music group, U2. Bono’s infamy stems not only from his musical persona but also from his philanthropic efforts. The singer is the founder of ONE, an advocacy organization that works to raise awareness of poverty and fight against the issue. Similar to The Borgen Project, ONE addresses its cause through legislation and lobbying of governments. ONE focuses on reducing poverty in Africa’s poorest areas. It is just one of the few organizations Bono supports with a target against poverty. This fact showcases the musician’s dedication to both his art and beliefs.
  4. Anthony Lake Leads UNICEF in the Fight Against Poverty
    He has been the director of UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) since 2010. He earned his role through a longstanding career as a foreign policy advisor to various presidential candidates and officers of the United States. During the office of President Bill Clinton, Lake served as National Security Advisor. His political career prepared him well to undertake the leadership position of UNICEF, the organization responsible for a significant amount of the world’s humanitarian aid. Specifically, it focuses on the needs of children in over 190 countries. As Lake has taken directorship, his prominence in the fight against poverty has risen immensely.
  5. Bill Gates Shares His Financial Success with Developing Countries
    People primarily know Bill Gates as a technological innovator and a record-breaking billionaire. Through the creation of Microsoft, he has amassed substantial financial benefits. People also know Gates as an impressive philanthropist who gears his saving towards aid programs. Specifically, he has established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a joint project between him and his wife. The program receives a significant amount of his donations. Since its establishment in 2000, the foundation has “spent more than $36 billion to fund work in global health, emergency relief, education, [and] poverty,” as reported by Business Insider. The organization is using some of that money to fight malaria and ebola outbreaks in developing countries.

From political professionals to celebrities, these five people who fight poverty show that stepping up for the world’s poor does not require a designated hero. Anyone, with the right drive and ambition, can make a change for the better. The list features only a few prominent people who fight poverty, though it does not have to end there.

– Eleanora Kamerow
Photo: Flickr

End Global HungerWorld Food Programme and Palantir have recently announced a five-year partnership. WFP delivers 12.6 billion rations across the globe every year. Palantir’s technology has the potential to help WFP reach even more people in need while saving money.

Palantir’s Track Record

Palantir is a private software company that focuses on data analytics. Palantir emerged in 2004 with the intention of providing a different kind of technology than the ones it had seen fail before. The company has worked with several government agencies and other nonprofit organizations such as Mercy Crops and NCMEC. Both organizations have stated that Palantir has helped them become more efficient and that they had become a vital part of the organization’s operations.

How Will Data Mining Help World Food Programme?

World Food Programme has recently stated that it believes that technological innovation is a vital part of reaching its goal to end global hunger by 2030. With Palantir’s help, WFP can develop new analytical technologies to further enhance its global reach. WFP generates tons of data every year with its immense purchases and deliveries of rations. The benefits of the WFP and Palantir’s partnership have already been seen in the two organizations’ pilot application.

WFP and Palantir’s partnership has come from its foundational project together on WFP’s Optimus. An application that pulls together different datasets about types of food which allows for better decision making. Optimus saved WFP $30 million during operation and WFP projects to save up to $100 million. The success of the Optimus application has pushed WFP to partner with Palantir.


Although the WFP and Palantir partnership could be extremely beneficial, many worry that it could actually harm the people that it aims to help. Some claim that without oversight, this collaboration could put impoverished people’s data at risk which could be exploited. However, WFP has already expressed that it would not give Palantir access to data about specific people. The nonprofit has also expressed its trust in Palantir and that the company will not use WFP’s data for its own benefit or use the company for data mining unless authorized by WFP.

Although WFP has expressed that this partnership will not put people in harm’s way, it still worries some. However, there have been great benefits from Palantir’s other partnerships with nonprofits and with WFP’s own Optimus project. The WFP and Palantir partnership has great potential and may allow WFP to reach even more hungry people in the next five years.

– Olivia Halliburton
Photo: Flickr

World Hunger With almost 800 million people globally without enough food, at least one group is looking to college students to find world hunger solutions.

Although many things are being done to reduce these numbers, the world population is on course to reach over nine billion by 2050. Fortunately, one organization is taking a unique approach to battle the approaching issue of food security and fight world hunger.

Thought For Food (TFF) holds an annual event called the TFF Challenge where teams of university students dedicated to finding world hunger solutions through technology and innovation compete for a $10,000 grand prize to come up with a way to feed more than nine billion people by 2050. Teams are judged on the quality of their innovation, implementation, uniqueness and team spirit.

Registration is open until Oct. 31.

In the latest round of the TFF Challenge, more than 450 teams are expected to enter in hopes of being named finalists. Only 10 teams actually make it past the first round, but competitors have good incentive to be one of lucky teams that do make it beyond prize money. Competitors are also offered  valuable training and mentorship opportunities.

First, finalists enroll in an online business building course to help them improve their pitch. After they finish the business course, they are invited to TFF boot camp, where they gain startup building experience. Finally, teams go to the TFF Global Summit, where they present their ideas on stage in front of industry leaders and thinkers.

Although only ten teams enter the final round, the TFF community is available to all entrants. The TFF community, made up of past and present teams, provides an opportunity for teams to communicate, network and improve ideas with others who share a common passion.

The latest finalists of the TFF Challenge had a wide variety of ideas on solutions to world hunger and how it should be tackled. One group, Fruiti-cycle, engineered a better means of produce transportation for farmers. Another called B-Box, provides a high-tech bee hive that farmers would keep on their land. Not only would the bees produce honey for consumption, but they would significantly increase food yield through higher rates of pollination.

One team even created a cooking oil made from meal worms that is low in fat and high in nutrients. Though it may not sound appetizing, there are many undernourished people around the globe that could benefit from an enriched food.

These are just a few of the hundreds of ideas that the TFF Challenge attracts. By offering premium incentives TFF brings out the best in some of the world’s finest up-and-coming innovators. In doing so, TFF members say they hope to see the world move a little closer to finding solutions to world hunger.

Weston Northrop

Photo: Flickr

Tackling and eliminating global hunger may sound like an impossible task but it is a real and attainable goal. World hunger is down from 20 percent in 1990 to 16 percent currently. However, this is still 6 percent shy of the 10 percent goal that was set for 2015.

Nearly one in seven people do not get enough nutritious food to be healthy and lead a normal, active lifestyle. Hunger and malnutrition are a couple of the most serious health issues worldwide.

The biggest cause of hunger is poverty. More often than not, if someone is living in poverty, they can’t afford the barest necessities, including food. This leads to chronic hunger and subsequently, malnutrition.

The good news is, there are many ways to stop global hunger in its tracks both on a global and individual scale effort. Here are the top 10 ways that we can end global hunger:

  1. School meals help to promote school attendance as it may be the only time a child gets a full nutritious meal. Parents will send their children for this reason alone and will allow the children to get a proper education.
  2. Revolutionary technology, such as a pre-paid voucher sent to the phone of a refugee to use in a local store, benefits everyone. It saves money, provides profit, and means the consumer, store owner, and farmer all suffer less during times of crisis.
  3. A Backup Plan in case of a disaster or financial crisis. Food is an important factor in coping with shock.
  4. Providing farmers of developing countries with a market for their products and the tools with which to navigate those markets will allow them to produce more and better quality food. This can also help the farmer and their families financially.
  5. Humanitarian action in the form of food assistance, especially during a time of crisis. This will provide the necessary nutrition, especially during a time of hardship and will support the continuance of things such as education.
  6. Providing adequate nutrition during a child’s first 1,000 days of life has been proven to be instrumental in the development of a healthy mind and body.
  7. Recognize and utilize the power of the individual. The possibility of a global scale effort through social media communication is impossible to imagine. If we can motivate and activate individuals worldwide through the use of the internet, we could have a more cohesive, dedicated force behind the fight against hunger.
  8. Having strong influential leaders willing to rally the troops and lead the way to end hunger on a global scale.
  9. Donating your time or money to organizations like Stop Hunger Now which packages and ship life-saving meals to all over the world to the poor. 88.5 percent of donations directly fund their meal programs.
  10. Educate your friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances. Just because the problem isn’t in our faces, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Ending global hunger is really just a matter of caring enough, and making a concentrated, worldwide effort to do so.

Drusilla Gibbs

Sources: Revolution Hunger, Stop Hunger Now, World Food Programme, Helping Hands
Photo: Planet Matters and More

A recent U.N. report focused on ending global hunger highlighted the additional international financing needed to do so.

According to the report, “Achieving Zero Hunger,” countries need to invest an extra $267 billion per year to make the goal of eliminating hunger a reality within the next 15 years.

This is an average of $160 a year for each poor person until 2030.

While that may not seem like a lot, it still gives people living in extreme poverty access to more food and better living.

The report emphasizes the need for a new approach to achieving zero hunger, such as the public and private sectors teaming up and combining investments and efforts. The hope is that, in doing so, those living in extreme poverty will see increases in productivity, which will in turn lead to rises in income.

There are currently 836 million people living in extreme poverty worldwide, half of what the number was in the 1990s. This year, it is estimated that 175 million people will break free of extreme poverty.

Specifically, Asia and Africa are home to some of the world’s poorest people. In the Asia Pacific region, 490 million people are suffering from hunger, around two-thirds of the total number of people globally who don’t have access to enough food.

Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.25 a year. While that amount may be enough to cover the essentials, it doesn’t allow for any savings, meaning it is not sustainable in the long run.

Matt Wotus

Sources: Rappler 1, Rappler 2
Photo: Al Jazeera