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Hunger in Politics and War
The Borgen Project has published this article and podcast episode, “Recognizing the Role of Hunger in Politics and War,” with permission from The World Food Program (WFP) USA. “Hacking Hunger” is the organization’s podcast that features stories of people around the world who are struggling with hunger and thought-provoking conversations with humanitarians who are working to solve it.

 

Two years ago, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2417. The resolution made clear that conflict-induced hunger is a peace and security issue.

But two years later, too little has changed. Around the world millions of people are still trapped in the man-made cycle of conflict, displacement, and hunger. Starvation has been defined as ‘the cheapest weapon of mass destruction available to armies’ — cheap and easy to kick off.

It’s important to reflect on the significance of the resolution and discuss the impact that novel coronavirus pandemic might have on peace and security globally. One place where the link between conflict and hunger is painfully obvious is South Sudan.

Since December 2013, a civil war has been tearing the country apart, causing widespread destruction, death and displacement. Around 1.47 million people are internally displaced and another 2.2 million are refugees in neighboring countries. A collapsing economy, reduced crop production and dependence on imports seriously undermine people’s ability to secure sufficient nutritious food all year round, putting millions of lives at risk.

Matthew Hollingworth is the United Nations World Food Programme’s country director in South Sudan. He has worked to relieve hunger in several countries at war. On this episode of Hacking Hunger, asked about his perspective on Resolution 2417, and what he has witnessed from the field.

Interested in learning more? Visit World Food Programme Insight, where Simona Beltrami asks three experts to discuss the significance of UN Security Council resolution 2417 and cast a look at hunger, peace and security in the post-COVID world.

Click the link below to listen to Matthew Hollingworth talk about Resolution 2417 and his experiences working to relieve hunger in war-torn areas.

 

 

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Poverty Policy and Pandemic
The Borgen Project has published this article and podcast episode, “Poverty, Policy and Pandemic with Johan Swinnen,” with permission from The World Food Program (WFP) USA. “Hacking Hunger” is the organization’s podcast that features stories of people around the world who are struggling with hunger and thought-provoking conversations with humanitarians who are working to solve it.

 

When it comes to ending global hunger, policy plays a powerful role. It shapes the operation and strategy of humanitarian organizations and influences their ability to make an impact. Smart policies enable WFP, for example, to reach even more people with the lifesaving support they need.

That’s why organizations like International Food Policy Research Institute – known as IFPRI – are critical to advancing the fight against hunger. IFPRI provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Its solutions have influenced government and NGO policies across the globe.

As COVID-19 threatens to increase rates of global hunger and poverty, IFPRI’s insights are more critical than ever as governments desperately seek to lessen the virus’ economic impact.

On today’s episode of Hacking Hunger, we caught up with Johan Swinnen, IFPRI’s director general, to get the inside scoop on his predictions of the virus’ impacts, challenges and potential effects, and solutions that might protect vulnerable people from it now and in the future.

Click the link below to listen to what Johan Swinnen’s predictions are regarding the pandemic.

 

 

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Navigating a Global Crisis
The Borgen Project has published this article and podcast episode, ““Everything Changed Overnight.” WFP USA CEO Barron Segar on Navigating a Global Crisis,” with permission from The World Food Program (WFP) USA. “Hacking Hunger” is the organization’s podcast that features stories of people around the world who are struggling with hunger and thought-provoking conversations with humanitarians who are working to solve it.

 

Three months after Barron Segar joined WFP USA as president and CEO, disaster struck. COVID-19 hit and uprooted life as we knew, forcing Barron and WFP USA leadership to reimagine many of their plans. Barron is no stranger to crisis – he has decades of experience navigating uncertain times, including fundraising during the Great Recession. His experience has shown through as he leads WFP USA through this current crisis, so we wanted to ask him just a little bit more on how he does it. We sat down with Barron to ask about his background, goals and leading in the time of COVID-19.

Click below to listen to Barron Segar give his thoughts about navigating a global crisis.

 

 

Photo: Flickr

Solve Hunger During a Pandemic
The Borgen Project has published this article and podcast episode, “How Innovation Can Help Solve Hunger During a Pandemic,” with permission from The World Food Program (WFP) USA. “Hacking Hunger” is the organization’s podcast that features stories of people around the world who are struggling with hunger and thought-provoking conversations with humanitarians who are working to solve it.

 

As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, it brings more than the threat of disease, it also brings the threat of hunger. Currently, 135 million people suffer from severe hunger, and it’s estimated that the pandemic will double that number by year’s end. WFP is ramping up to meet the rapidly increasing need.

Technology and innovation have always been a key part of WFP’s emergency response, but now, during a global pandemic, they are perhaps more critical than ever before. That’s why it should come as no surprise that WFP tapped its Innovation Accelerator program to aid in its COVID-19 response.

The WFP Innovation Accelerator sources, supports and scales high-potential solutions to hunger worldwide. Each year, it hosts several bootcamps where technology starts ups hone their innovative ideas help solve  global hunger. So far, more than 60 innovations have been deployed within WFP’s operations and have been making a critical difference.

Since the Coronavirus hit, the Innovation Accelerator has adjusted its plans and operations, but it hasn’t slowed down. In fact, it’s now doing even more. We dialed up Bernhard Kowatsch, Head of WFP’s Innovation Accelerator, to learn more about how it’s helping WFP overcome challenges they face in this unprecedented time.

Click the link below to listen to Bernhard Kowatsch talk about innovative ways to deal with hunger during COVID-19.

 

 

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Food Systems and COVID-19
The Borgen Project has published this article and podcast episode, “Food Tank, Food Systems and COVID-19: A Conversation with Dani Nierenberg,” with permission from The World Food Program (WFP) USA. “Hacking Hunger” is the organization’s podcast that features stories of people around the world who are struggling with hunger and thought-provoking conversations with humanitarians who are working to solve it.

 

To say Danielle Nierenberg is passionate about food is an understatement. A world-renowned researcher, speaker and advocate, she’s spent her career fighting for food-systems change and is an expert on all things food and ag.

In 2013, Danielle co-founded Food Tank, a global community pushing for food systems change. Food Tank aims to educate and inspire and highlight solutions that will create change.

We’ve been curious to learn more about Danielle and her work for a while. And during this unprecedented time, we wanted to get her expert insight into how coronavirus will affect food systems as well. So, we dialed Danielle up to talk about her career, Food Tank and COVID-19.

Click below to listen to Danielle Nierenberg’s conversation about food systems and COVID-19.

 

 

Photo: Flickr

Global Food Security
The Borgen Project has published this article and podcast episode, “COVID-19 and the 5 Major Threats it Poses to Global Food Security,” with permission from The World Food Program (WFP) USA. “Hacking Hunger” is the organization’s podcast that features stories of people around the world who are struggling with hunger and thought-provoking conversations with humanitarians who are working to solve it.

 

Entering 2020, the number of hungry and malnourished people around the world was already on the rise due to an increase in violent conflict and climate change impacts. Today, over 800 million people face chronic undernourishment and over 100 million people are in need of lifesaving food assistance. The novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, risks undermining the efforts of humanitarian and food security organizations seeking to reverse these trends.

As former International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Director General Shenggan Fan, writes, “COVID-19 is a health crisis. But it could also lead to a food security crisis if proper measures are not taken.”

Every major outbreak in recent memory—Ebola, SARS, MERS—has had both direct and indirect negative impacts on food security. On this episode of Hacking Hunger, Dr. Chase Sova, WFP USA senior director of public policy and research, tells us what the experts are saying about the likelihood and nature of such impacts from COVID-19.

Click below to listen to what Dr. Chase Sova has to say about the threat COVID-19 poses to global food security.

 

 

Photo: Flickr

 

 

Women in the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis
The Borgen Project has published this article and podcast episode, “Inside the Lives of Women Living Through World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis,” with permission from The World Food Program (WFP) USA. “Hacking Hunger” is the organization’s podcast that features stories of people around the world who are struggling with hunger and thought-provoking conversations with humanitarians who are working to solve it.

 

Hunger is cruel to everyone, but it’s not completely blind. Women – especially in times of war – are more at risk of the suffering it bestows. Women are 60 percent more likely to suffer from hunger and its consequences. They eat last and least and are often forced to drop out of school or marry early when there isn’t enough food.

Yemen is no exception to this rule, and as the nation’s conflict drags into its fifth year, women find themselves in increasingly difficult circumstances. But women are resilient, and despite their suffering, they find ways to remain hopeful and strong.

In this episode of Hacking Hunger, we spoke with Annabel Symington, head of communications for WFP in Yemen. She’s been working in Yemen for the past year and offered us insights into the unique challenges, stories and strength of women living through this war.

Click below to listen to Annabel Symington provide stories about women in Yemen during the present war.

 

 

Photo: Flickr

 

How Can We End World Hunger?
The Borgen Project has published this article and podcast episode, “How Can We End World Hunger? Travel Expert Rick Steves Visits Guatemala and Ethiopia to Explore Answers,” with permission from The World Food Program (WFP) USA. “Hacking Hunger” is the organization’s podcast that features stories of people around the world who are struggling with hunger and thought-provoking conversations with humanitarians who are working to solve it.

 

Rick Steves is no stranger to exploration. The renowned travel expert has built his career around investigating the nooks and crannies of Europe and sharing his discoveries with curious travelers. Recently, however, Rick ventured beyond Europe to explore one of the most pressing problems of our day: the problem of global hunger. He documents his journey in a new TV special, Hunger and Hope: Lessons from Ethiopia and Guatemala.

On this episode of Hacking Hunger, we caught up with Rick to discuss what this project taught him about the challenges and innovative solutions to solving global hunger and the inspiring people and organizations (including WFP) he met along the way. Listen and discover what he found.

Click the link below to listen to Rick Steves’ views on how the world can end hunger.

 

 

Photo: Flickr

Hunger War and an American Dream
The Borgen Project has published this article and podcast episode, “Hunger, War and an American Dream,” with permission from The World Food Program (WFP) USA. “Hacking Hunger” is the organization’s podcast that features stories of people around the world who are struggling with hunger and thought-provoking conversations with humanitarians who are working to solve it.

 

In the early 1990s, Abdi Nor Iftin was a child. Just like other children across the globe, he loved playing outdoors, bickered with his brother and dreamed of being a Hollywood star. Unlike most other children, however, Abdi was starving – simply because he was living in Somalia during a time of drought and civil war.

Abdi lived through the unthinkable, but he was one of the fortunate ones; he survived. Rescued from the brink by perseverance, luck and humanitarian aid, he’s now a successful author living in the U.S. with a story he’s eager to tell.

“I want the world to know both what I went through and how I was helped,” Abdi says. “Maybe then, we can prevent these tragedies from happening again.”

Click on the link below to learn more about Abdi’s inspiring journey.

 

Photo: Flickr

Podcasts for Perspective: Three Shows Raising Global Inequality Awareness Since podcasting began to take off, this audio medium has really carved out a significant space for itself in American media with its on-demand, radio-like content. According to Edison Research’s 2018 podcast statistic report, 26 percent of Americans (73 million people) listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. Podcasts are easily available online or through any smart device and target virtually every interest and topic, including global inequality awareness.

Whether someone is new to podcasts or a regular listener, they are a great way to learn new things, expand people’s interests and gain perspectives on different topics. Below, are three suggestions for globally-minded podcasts. Though each of these podcasts has a different focus, they all contribute to raising awareness for global inequality issues relating to poverty.

Hacking Hunger

Produced by World Food Program U.S.A., Hacking Hunger shares stories about hunger from around the globe. Hacking Hunger connects listeners to the voices of aid workers and families involved with the World Food Program. By highlighting direct experiences, this podcast helps listeners imagine the realities of hunger from refugee camps to conflict zones.

Rarely longer than 30 minutes, Hacking Hunger offers concise, yet poignant stories from the frontlines of countries combatting hunger. According to the M.J. Altman, editorial director at World Food Program U.S.A., Hacking Hunger is most successful when it moves and motivates its listeners. By bringing attention to hunger issues worldwide, Hacking Hunger both raises awareness about and generates support for hunger relief funds.

Circle of Blue Podcasts

Circle of Blue is a non-profit, resource advocacy group that focuses on sanitation and water. Circle of Blue’s podcast covers water issues in depth by looking at how water relates to energy production, food, health and environmental topics. Though Circle of Blue has several programs (among them H2O Hotspots and What’s Up with Water), they are combined under “Circle of Blue WaterNews” on various podcast provider platforms.

With news-like quality and tone, Circle of Blue updates listeners on water issues worldwide. This podcast combines case-specific stories with connections to larger trends over time. Circle of Blue is a good podcast for listeners who want to explore how access to water contributes to inequality worldwide. Keep an eye out especially for the H2O Hotspot episodes, which feature in-depth stories on areas in danger of water-related conflicts.

Global Dispatches

From the team of the U.N. Dispatch, Global Dispatches covers foreign policy issues and world affairs. The show highlights policy-makers, aid workers, development experts and global affairs leaders through in-depth interviews. The varying content promotes global inequality awareness in many fields. For example, recent topics have included the link between poverty and vaccines, political conflict in Haiti and “energy poverty” in developing countries.

Despite the diverse content, the editor of the U.N. Dispatch blog, Mark Leon Goldberg, hosts the podcast and gives it a consistent voice between episodes. Global Dispatches contextualizes the central topic of each episode very well, making it easy to understand without prior knowledge. Episodes are generally fewer than 45 minutes long and updated frequently. This podcast is ideal for listeners who want to keep up-to-date with a diverse range of foreign policy issues.

Podcasts are a great way to stay informed when it seems like there are not enough hours in the day because they can be listened to on a walk or in the car. Listening to these podcasts (and others like it) can help people stay updated on different aspects of global issues and poverty as well as increase their global inequality awareness.

Morgan Harden
Photo: Flickr