Posts


Recent growth and investment in agriculture in Eastern Asia and Latin America have put the regions on the path toward eliminating hunger. On the other hand, climate change, conflict and poverty have prevented more than 50 countries from reaching international food availability goals. This list of the top 10 hunger stats references in-depth studies and highlights global trends. Additionally, the list offers perspective into the effects of hunger on impoverished communities. Ahead are the top 10 hunger stats.

10 Hunger Statistics

  1. Between 2014 and 2016, 794.6 million people faced undernourishment around the globe. This is equivalent to 10.9 percent of the global population.
  2. Of those undernourished between 2014 and 2016, 779.9 million lived in developing regions. This number is equivalent to 12.9 percent of the population of developing areas.
  3. In Africa alone, 232.5 million people were undernourished between 2014 and 2016. This represents 20 percent of the African population.
  4. Undernourishment in Eastern Asia has fallen by nearly 50 percent in the last two decades, from 295 million undernourished between 1990-1992 to 145 million undernourished between 2014-16.
  5. In 2011, undernutrition was estimated to be the cause of 3.1 million child deaths — 45 percent of all child deaths.
  6. In 2013, 51 million children under the age of five suffered from wasting, or a decrease in fat and muscle tissue, with 17 million of those affected severely. Two-thirds of those children lived in Asia and almost one-third lived in Africa.
  7. In developing countries, close to 40 percent of preschool children are estimated to be anemic, or iron-deficient.
  8. An estimated 250 million preschool children across the globe do not have adequate levels of Vitamin A. Of those 250 million children, between 250,000 and 500,000 go blind each year. Additionally, half of that number die within 12 months of onset.
  9. Conflict increases hunger. In 2012, the estimated number of conflict-affected residents represented 21 percent of the estimated 805 million undernourished people in that year.
  10. In 2013, there were a dozen countries with a rate of under-five mortality at 10 percent or higher. They are all on the continent of Africa. The country of Angola is the only country in the world with an under-five mortality rate greater than 15 percent.

Hunger begets hunger. Many times malnutrition and undernourishment leads to low weight and poor human growth and development. These symptoms cause future health and financial problems. These top 10 hunger stats represent that, while the numbers of hunger are improving, past deficiencies have stunted growth for many nations.

Shaun Savarese

Photo: Flickr

world hunger facts
While progress has been made in the effort to end world hunger, one in nine people around the world still go to bed hungry. Here are 20 world hunger facts:

Top World Hunger Facts

  1. Roughly 795 million people, or one in nine, of the 7.3 billion people in the world are suffering from chronic undernourishment.
  2. Of the 795 million suffering from hunger, 780 million live in developing countries. That is 12.9 percent of developing countries’ population.
  3. World hunger is dropping. The number of undernourished people in developing countries was reduced by 42 percent between 1990 and 2014.
  4. Hunger is most prevalent in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Two out of three of the world’s undernourished people live in Asia. In addition, one in four people in sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished.
  5. There are two types of malnutrition. The first is protein-energy malnutrition, which is a lack of calories and protein. The second is micronutrient deficiency, which is a shortage of vitamins and minerals. While both are important, protein-energy malnutrition is the focus of world hunger discussions.
  6. Every year, hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
  7. Sixty percent of the world’s hungry people are women.
  8. Hunger affects women’s pregnancies. Each year, around 17 million children are born undernourished because their mother was undernourished while pregnant.
  9. Every 10 seconds a child dies due to a hunger-related disease.
  10. World hunger is caused by inequality and poverty, not a shortage of food. The world already produces enough food to feed roughly 10 billion people.
  11. Food waste contributes to global hunger. One-third of the food produced each year is wasted, which costs the global economy close to $750 billion annually.
  12. In developing countries, approximately 896 million people live on $1.90 a day or less.
  13. Food aid, not including emergency relief, is often more damaging in the end. This is because free or subsidized food shipped from the U.S. and Europe and sold below market prices hurt local farmers who cannot compete.
  14. Approximately 66 million primary school-age children in the developing world attend classes hungry. This has a negative impact on their futures, as hungry children spend fewer years in school and cannot concentrate.
  15. The U.N.’s World Food Programme works to end world hunger by providing free meals and snacks in schools around the world. In 2015, the program provided 17.4 million children with meals or snacks. This not only helps to feed children around the world but is also an incentive for parents to send them to school.
  16. People involved in agriculture are especially susceptible to hunger. Fifty percent of hungry people in the world are farming families.
  17. Gender equality is a vital part of efforts to end world hunger. Around half of the world’s farmers are women, but they do not have access to the same tools, such as training and land rights, as men. If men and women had the same resources, female farmers could increase their productivity to help reduce world hunger for approximately 1.5 million people.
  18. One possibility for reducing world hunger is sustainable agriculture, which aims to preserve the Earth’s natural resources, through things like crop waste recycling and more precise fertilizer use.
  19. Microfinance also has the potential to end world hunger. These programs help to reduce poverty and improve gender equality through providing poor people, particularly women, with credit to develop small businesses.
  20. The U.N. estimated that it would take roughly $30 billion a year to end world hunger.

Undernourishment remains a pressing issue in both developing and developed countries; however, new research and technology reveal promising solutions to help end world hunger.

Alexi Worley

Photo: Flickr


For most, hunger is a nagging rumble in one’s stomach that signals lunch or dinnertime. However, for millions of people worldwide, the definition of hunger is a persistent state of physical and psychological harm caused by a lack of nutritional and economic resources.

Characteristics of Hunger

On a global scale, the simplest definition of hunger is a scarcity of food in a country. This occurs when the population of a country quite literally does not have enough to eat. In most developed countries, only a relatively small percentage of citizens suffer from hunger. However, in poorer developing countries this portion of the population can be as high as 73 percent. In fact, almost 98 percent of world hunger happens in underdeveloped countries.

On an individual scale, hunger occurs when a person consumes an insufficient amount of calories to sustain them, called malnourishment. When a person has an insufficient amount of the right kinds of foods to keep them healthy it is malnutrition. In most countries where hunger is a significant social and economic problem, both malnourishment and malnutrition are common. Poverty is the number one cause of hunger since it results in a lack of ability to buy food and pay for the expansion of agricultural programs.

Another definition of hunger involves the mental uncertainty of future access to food; in other words, not knowing where the next meal is coming from. The technical term for this phenomenon is food insecurity. Many organizations working to end hunger, such as Bread.org, seek to achieve the goal of global food security. The World Food Summit defined this as when “all people at all times have access to sufficient safe and nutritious food for an active and healthy life.”

The costs of hunger are far-reaching and have long-term negative impacts on populations. Those who suffer from hunger are more susceptible to illnesses. Children who face malnutrition during their first two years of life experience lifelong consequences. If nutritional needs are not met during this key window of roughly 1,000 days between conception and age two, stunted growth and learning impairments develop.

Hunger Prevention Efforts

Fortunately, great strides have been made to end world hunger. The Millennium Development Goals program was successful in cutting malnourishment in 72 out of 129 countries by half. The current Global Goals for Sustainable Development campaign, which launched in 2016 and is comprised of 193 different world leaders, seeks to provide food security for the remaining estimated 795 million people still suffering from hunger by 2030.

Dan Krajewski

Photo: Flickr

World Hunger Statistics facts
While great strides have been made towards fighting hunger and malnutrition, world hunger remains a persistent problem. Hunger is detrimental to developing countries, as it pushes impoverished families into a downward spiral and prevents further development. This article discusses the leading world hunger statistics.

Top 15 World Hunger Statistics

 

  1.  Approximately 842 million people suffer from hunger worldwide. That’s almost 12 percent of the world’s population of 7.1 billion people.
  2. Ninety-eight percent of those who suffer from hunger live in developing countries. 553 million live in the Asian and Pacific regions, while 227 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Latin America and the Caribbean account for 47 million.
  3. India has the highest population of hungry people. In 2014, over 190.7 million people were undernourished in India.
  4. Approximately 9 million people die of world hunger each year according to world hunger statistics; more than the death toll for malaria, AIDs and tuberculosis combined in 2012.
  5. Over 60 percent of the world hungry are women, who have limited access to resources because of the patriarchal societies in which they live.
  6. Because of the prevalence of hunger in women in developing countries, malnutrition is a leading cause of death for children. Approximately 3.1 million children die of hunger each year, and in 2011 poor nutrition accounted for 45 percent of deaths for children under five.
  7. Malnutrition is a primary symptom of hunger. Forty percent of preschool-age children are estimated to be anemic because of iron deficiency, and anemia causes 20 percent of all maternal deaths. In addition, it is estimated that 250 to 500 thousand children go blind from Vitamin A deficiency every year.
  8. Malnutrition causes stunting among children, a condition characterized by low height for a child’s age. In 2013, it was estimated that 161 million children under 5 were stunted worldwide.
  9. Malnutrition also causes wasting, a condition characterized by low weight for a child’s age. In 2013, it was estimated that 51 million children under 5 were wasted.
  10. Great strides have been made towards ending world hunger. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations estimates that the total number of hungry people worldwide has been reduced by 216 million people since 1992.
  11. 11. The regions that have made the greatest progress towards ending world hunger have been Latin America and South-East Asia. Latin America reduced its hunger rate from 14.7 percent in 1990-1992 to 5.5 percent in 2012-2014, whereas South-East Asia reduced its hunger rate from 30.6 percent to 9.6 percent in the same period.
  12. One region that has shown little reduction in hunger has been Sub-Saharan Africa. While the hunger rate in this region fell 10 percent from 1992-2014, the number of hungry people has actually risen during this time period, from 175.7 million to 220 million.
  13. The world produces enough food to feed everyone. Food availability per capita has increased from approximately 2220 kcal per person per day in the 1960s to 2790 kcals per person per day in 2006.
  14. Poverty is the number one cause of world hunger. The World Bank estimates that 10.7 percent of the world’s population, or 767 million people, lived on less than $1.90 per day in 2013.
  15. Over 75 percent of the world poorest grow their own food. This causes widespread food insecurity in developing countries, as drought, climate change and natural disasters can easily cut off a family’s food supply.

World hunger has proven to be a difficult problem to solve, despite the efforts of many nations and organizations working to eradicate it. However, world hunger statistics show that great progress has been made towards reducing it, and regions such as East Asia, South-East Asia and Latin America have met the Millennium Development Goal for developing countries to cut their hunger rates in half by 2015. If efforts from organizations like USAID and UNICEF continue, even more progress can be made to fight world hunger.

Chasen Turk

Photo: Flickr

 

World Hunger SolutionsWhat are the ways to stop world hunger? Work tirelessly for an international organization? Donate old clothes and toys to our local Salvation Army? Or is it even possible? There are hundreds of theories on how we can end world hunger and activists debate many of them. Some have been effective and others not. One thing is certain, and that is that we must do something. Discussed below are 10 effective world hunger solutions.

Top 10 World Hunger Solutions

1. Sustainable Food
Heifer International is an organization that helps transform agriculture. They fund projects so people can provide food for themselves in a sustainable way. This is very powerful, because ultimately we would like to see many impoverished areas not reliant on aid from foreign countries (which often causes debt) and able to create their own, steady, supply of food.

2. Access to Credit
Many organizations are helping people in poor countries to gain access to credit. Most of these credit loans are repaid, and they have created many industries, such as farms, that help create a sustainable provision for people and also develop nations economically. If these people do not have access to credit, they cannot start up industries that combat poverty.

3. Food Donations
Although ideally it would be better to get the entire world to a place of self-sustainability, it is not something that will happen overnight. In the meantime it is important to lend a helping hand. The impact of donations, both cash and food, have had an immense impact on world hunger. Organizations such as Food for All have customers donate $1-5 when checking out. Last year they raised a whopping $60 million to fight world hunger.

4. Transitioning
Many families dealing with poverty need help transitioning into a state of self-dependance. 15 Feeds Family is an organization that helps with this transition. They start by providing families with food, but then slowly find solutions to empower families to be self-sufficient. This is important, because self-sufficiency allows for a certain food income, when relying on donations does not always guarantee food.

5. Urban Farming
Almost one-quarter of undernourished people live in an urban environment. Recently, there has been a big push for urban farming. Urban farming empowers families to gain control over their own food source.

6. Access to Education
Education is the best weapon against poverty and hunger. It is especially powerful in underdeveloped countries. Education means better opportunity and more access to income and food. Additionally, some countries have food-for-education programs where students are given free food for coming to school. This may seem like a basic idea in the United States, but it is life saving in many under developed nations.

7. Social Change
This is extremely hard and will not take place overnight. However, many social issues, such as war, pose a fundamental problem to halting world hunger. Ideally, this will happen when world powers, such as the United States and many western European nations, choose to focus on solving these issues instead of exacerbating them. However, this can only start when people in developed nations begin to care about those issues as well and pressure their governments to be productive in ending conflict.

8. Government Intervention
Aid to foreign nations needs to be more focused on government intervention, like programs that provide food to mothers and their children in poor areas. This is not much different from many programs available in the United States.

9. Empowering Women
There is a direct correlation with hunger and gender inequalities. Empowering women to gain access to food, be providers, and lead their families has had a major impact on food access and ability to change financial situations.

10. Birth Control Education
High birthrates pose a problem when trying to solve hunger. Many people are not educated on reproduction or do not have access to contraceptives. Gaining access to contraceptives allows for family planning and economic freedom.

– Zachary Patterson
Photo: Flickr

Sources: WTP, Millions of Mouths, HuffingtonPost

 

 

World Hunger Relief

Although it might seem logical to believe that world hunger relief can be solved by increasing food production, top research shows that lack of food is not the major factor contributing to world hunger. In its new report, “Farming for the Future: Organic and Agroecological Solutions to Feed the World,” Friends of the Earth reports that world hunger is primarily influenced by the economic and social factors that prevent people from accessing food.

The global network Friends of the Earth advocates for a healthier world by focusing on the economic factors that contribute to environmental degradation. Its report presents four decades of research about sustainable farming techniques that preserve natural resources. The report claims that this form of agriculture, called agroecological farming, is the best way to combat the environmental problems that threaten global food security.

Here are the report’s three myths about farming and how agroecological methods can provide world hunger relief:

1. Increased food production will help feed more people.

Farmers already produce enough food to feed about 10 billion people, which is far more than the 7.3 billion who currently live on the planet. Much of this food is wasted or used for purposes besides feeding the impoverished.

Many crops are used for feeding livestock and for biofuels, which limits space for crops that could go to feeding people in poverty. Because of this, the report suggests that better farming techniques, reductions in global food waste and consumers shifting to plant-based foods can provide world hunger relief.

Also, smallholders makeup about 90 percent of farmers worldwide and produce about 80 percent of food for developing countries. Even so, they are often impoverished due to increasing corporate control and low crop prices. The report calls for public investments in these farmers and better policies to elevate them out of poverty.

2. Organic farming cannot feed the entire human population.

According to the report, organic farming is an agroecological farming technique that can make plants more resilient to climate change than plants grown industrially.

The report cites a UC Berkeley study that found that depending on the crop and technique, organic farming systems can produce as much or more crops than conventional techniques, increase profits for farmers, and reduce water toxicity due to the use of less synthetic chemicals. Organic methods also provide low-income farmers with more accessible farming techniques and more job opportunities in their communities.

3. Industrial farming is more efficient in providing world hunger relief than organic methods.

When calculating efficiency based on health, social, and environmental devastation, industrial methods are not more efficient than organic methods. “Rather than feeding the world sustainably into the future, the industrial food system is cutting off the branch we’re sitting on by degrading the ecosystem functions we rely on to produce food,” the report states. Although the calorie and economic efficiency of industrial methods might be higher, conventional farming methods destroy the environment and threaten food security for the future.

Since agroecological farming methods cut down on environmental damage costs and improve incomes for farmers, the report presses for policy makers to invest in low-income farmers who use organic methods. It also warns that large-scale trade deals can cause farmers to go into debt through input-intensive farming.

Similarly, genetically engineered (GE) farming systems restrict farmers to expensive contracts. Most GE foods go to livestock feed and biofuels instead of to the impoverished. For these reasons, agroecological farming methods are better suited to support small farmers and provide world hunger relief.

Hopefully, global policymakers and leaders will consider some of the arguments that Friends of the Earth lays out in its new report in order to help solve world hunger in more environmentally responsible ways.

For the full report, click here.

Addie Pazzynski

Photo: Flickr

Ending Hunger in Italy

In the past few years, remarkable progress has been made toward ending hunger in Italy and throughout Europe. However, there are still 836 million people living in poverty worldwide along with 795 million people struggling with chronic hunger.

By looking at Italy’s approach to addressing hunger and poverty–both domestically and internationally–the achievements and shortcomings of Italy’s social policy reveals the complexities of the fight to end global hunger by 2030.

10 Facts About Ending Hunger in Italy

  1. The rate of undernourishment in Italy is at 5 percent, according to the Global Food Security Index. This low figure is in part due to Italy’s food safety net programs, school lunch programs and high nutritional standards.
  2. Italy has one of the highest child poverty rates in Europe. Children are subsequently more at risk of living in a food insecure household. About 15.9 percent of Italian children live in relative poverty, according to UNICEF. Relative poverty is defined as living in a household where disposable income is less than 50 percent of the national median income when adjusted for family size and composition.
  3. Over one in four Italians are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, according to Italian news agency ANSA. In 2015, Italy’s poverty risk rate rested at 28.4 percent versus the European Union average of 24.5 percent after years of facing an economic crisis.
  4. According to UNICEF, an estimated 13.3 percent of children in Italy are deprived of some basic necessities even if they don’t live below the poverty line. UNICEF included 14 items on the deprivation index including whether or not children had access to three meals per day, fresh fruits and vegetables every day, and at least one meal with a rich protein source.
  5. If you’re homeless and hungry, it may not be a crime to steal food from a supermarket in Italy, according to an Italian court ruling this year. The Supreme Court of Cassation revoked the conviction of Roman Ostriakov, a homeless man from Ukraine, attempting to leave a supermarket with cheese and sausage in his pocket after only paying for some breadsticks. The circumstances under which Ostriakov stole was enough for the court to decide that he stole in a state of immediate and essential need which does not constitute crime, according to ANSA.
  6. Social welfare resources in Italy, such as the Social Card, are inadequate for alleviating poverty and ending hunger in Italy. According to a national report by Combatting Poverty in Europe (COPE), the Social Card is a debit card charged on a bimonthly basis – financed by public resources and private donations – and is used to purchase groceries and pay basic utilities. The Social Card has been subject to heated debate due to the strict and very limited eligibility of getting a card, and the inadequate financial assistance the card provides to low income families.
  7. In response to the apparent need for improving social welfare programs in Italy, organizations like the Costa Crociere Foundation formed to provide humanitarian assistance. The Costa Crociere Foundation addresses the main causes of poverty by “giving people the tools they need to lift themselves out of hunger” in the long term while working to ease the short-term effects of hunger and homelessness. They do this through food assistance programs and providing shelter for the homeless.
  8. In 2015, Expo Milano was hosted in Milan, Italy centered around the theme “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life.” The exposition’s primary objective is to foster international dialogue on the challenges concerning food security, malnutrition and sustainable agricultural practices. Expo Milano was visited by an estimated 20 million people, according to the Brookings Institution.
  9. While the Italian government and local organizations continue to grapple with alleviating poverty and ending hunger in Italy, the country is also a top donor for international hunger relief programs. According to the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Italy is as a generous donor and partner with IFAD in their shared mission to make food security a reality worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations also recognizes Italy’s contribution to 39 projects that have been implemented in 85 countries “with the aim of addressing poverty and improving food security by enhancing agricultural productivity.
  10. Ending hunger in Italy is not Italy’s only goal. The United Nations, including Italy, aims to end world hunger by 2030. The UN and partner organizations plan to end world hunger by primarily focusing on increasing investment in rural infrastructure and agricultural resources in developing countries and reforming food security policies worldwide.

Daniela N. Sarabia

Photo: Pixabay

End World Hunger GMOs
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals whose genetic codes have been altered by the insertion of genes from a different plant or animal in order to gain advantageous traits. Plants can be modified, for example, to better resist disease, pests and drought.

GMOs undergo rigorous testing (a period ranging from five to eight years) conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration to make sure the genetically modified food is safe for human consumption. Currently, there is no legislation requiring food packagers to label the genetically modified food that sits on supermarket shelves.

AgriLife Research at Texas A & M investigated the introduction of spinach proteins into citrus trees to help protect them against citrus greening, a disease responsible for millions of dollars in citrus crop losses annually. The spinach protein-infused citrus trees were less susceptible to citrus greening compared to normal citrus trees, allowing a larger crop to be harvested for consumption.

 

GMOs Tackle World Hunger

 

With the success of many GMO projects, research is being done to determine how this technology can be used to address the issue of world hunger. Modified crops that can benefit developing countries include C4 Rice, which is being funded by the Gates Foundation. Rice naturally photosynthesizes through the C3 pathway, which is less efficient than the C4 pathway utilized primarily by grass crops such as maize and sugarcane. Converting the cellular structure of rice from C3 to C4 will allow the crop to support more people than is currently possible. While a single hectare of land in Asia produces enough rice to feed 27 people, the International Rice Research Institute has estimated that by 2050, that same hectare will need to produce enough rice to feed 43 people, a problem that genetically modified C4 rice may be able to address.

Since rice provides one-fifth of the calories consumed by people worldwide, more efficient rice crops have the potential to combat world hunger related to population growth.  Other projects, such as editing and deleting genetic information in crops using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, are making headway in an effort to produce crops that are less reliant on chemical pesticides and more adaptable to inhospitable growing conditions.

GMOs have the potential to help solve food production issues in the future, making a dent in the fight against global poverty. Yet it is important to recognize the reality of and work to address the downsides, as the introduction of GMO crops (large, industrialized yields) to a country’s economy could change local farming practices (smaller, local yields), may dominate their food markets, can harm the environment through the required pesticides and can result in large-scale monocultures.

– Bayley McComb

Photo: Flickr

How to end world hunger
Ending world hunger is far less complicated than most people assume. In a world where one in every nine people goes to bed hungry, how do governments and their respective societies ensure people have access to the nutrition they need? Many international organizations are leading the charge to end world hunger, setting manageable goals and creating guidelines to fight against poverty. The World Food Programme’s former executive director, Josette Sheeran outlined a straight-forward approach on how to end world hunger in 10 steps.

 

How to End World Hunger

 

  1. Humanitarian action is the first and most direct solution suggested by Sheeran. Spreading resources around the world has been the most popular form of fighting hunger and it continues to grow. According to the Global Humanitarian Assistance Initiative, international humanitarian assistance reached a record of $24.5 billion in aid in 2014.
  2. Providing school meals is an efficient way of supporting both nutrition and youth education in society. Schools are already a haven for youth in developing countries. Adding school meals ensures students stay in school longer and receive a better education.
  3. A social safety net can defend people from falling back into poverty when disaster endangers their ascent. Farmers and their laborers are especially vulnerable to changes in weather patterns and natural disasters, which can destroy their crop and their wealth in one fell swoop.
  4. Connecting small farmers to markets is an essential method of increasing the income of subsistence farmers in developing countries. CNN reports that there are 600 million small farmers and herders in the world. Initiatives such as fair trade products and companies have brought more income to these small farmers.
  5. Decrease infant mortality rates. The first 1,000 days represent the most important period in an infant’s life. During this critical period, the child must receive the necessary nutrition and care from its mother in order to ensure its survival. Improving the chance that children born in poverty receive this care is essential in fighting high child mortality rates and stunting.
  6. Empowering women would unlock a new pool of human capital in the fight against poverty and world hunger. Making political and economic opportunities available to the female population in a country only improves the social institutions of the nation.
  7. With the support of safety nets, a resilient population can resist the pressures of poverty-inducing crises like economic downturns and military conflicts. Preparation can be implemented at the community or governmental level, or however hunger prevention can be mobilized most efficiently.
  8. Bringing the technological development that has occurred in developed countries to their emerging peers can accelerate the development of entire nations. For instance, the output and efficiency of farmers can be augmented by the use of various agricultural technologies.
  9. The power of the individual in a community should not be underestimated by organizations looking to fight hunger. Mobilizing just a small group of people can yield huge results through technology and communication on the internet.
  10. Finally, there needs to be some sort of local leadership in the fight against world hunger. While organizations like the United Nations and the World Food Programme have taken charge on the international level, more local groups need to lead in individual communities if world hunger is to be truly eradicated.

The United Nations, UNICEF and The World Food Programme are just a few examples of groups that have brought widespread relief to nations around the globe.

Jacob Hess

Photo: Flickr

Howard Buffet

Farmer and philanthropist, Howard Buffet, made it his mission in life to help end global hunger. He was recently interviewed by PBS on his current work in Africa helping farmers to generate sustainable agricultural solutions.

Buffet told PBS that his foundation, The Howard G. Buffet Foundation, invests in global food security while currently working on a few different projects. Primarily, they are building three hydro plants in the Eastern Congo. Hydro plants produce impressive amounts of electricity for communities.

Harvard University professor, Juma Calestous, told PBS news how the willingness Buffet shows to go hands-on and visit the Democratic Republic of Congo has brought him respect across the continent.

“The Democratic Republic of the Congo is an area where not many donors are interested in operating,” Calestous said in a PBS news video. “He’s taking very high risks in going to those areas.”

Howard Buffet said in the video that areas of conflict, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, are where impoverished people need the most help because they have devastated infrastructure and no governance. However, his other project is taking place in the peaceful nation of Rwanda, focused on training young Rwandan farmers.

“I also think we [the U.S.] have a huge responsibility internationally, because we are a leader,” Buffet said in a PBS news video. “And we need to maintain that leadership.”

Buffet’s work in Africa is critical because although the continent has vast agricultural potential, its per capita food production has drastically declined. The Howard G. Buffet Foundation seeks to invest where others have not and it fills critical gaps that lead to sustainable change.

“We’re not going to end world hunger,” Howard Buffet said in the PBS video. “But, you know, I think every step we can take in that direction is something positive.”

Kerri Whelan

Photo: Flickr