Taiwan is leading the way on international food aid projects to alleviate malnutrition abroad. The island nation off the coast of China, whose sovereignty is the center of political debate, is home to more than 23 million Taiwanese.

With a literacy rate higher than 98 percent, an estimated GDP per capita of $47,800 and the unemployment rate of almost four percent in 2016, poverty and hunger in Taiwan aren’t seemingly large issues. In 2012, there was an estimated 1.5 percent of the population living below the line of poverty.

It is debated whether Taiwan should be considered a developed or a developing country. When it comes to the topic of hunger, Taiwan is actually a leader in providing food for others who are suffering around the globe. Over the past few years, the country has begun producing many foods within their own borders with a focus on self-sustainability.

According to Food for the Poor, Taiwan has spent more than the past ten years, “providing life-saving food for hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti and many other countries.” At the end of last year, Taiwan was even specifically thanked by a group of volunteers from Africa for the significant role the country is taking on in alleviating world hunger.

In 1985, after nearly 20 years of help from abroad, World Vision Taiwan reached a point to be able to handle the hunger issues within their own country. Since then, Taiwan has been giving to hunger initiatives in more than 70 countries.

It’s clear that the issue is not so much those dealing with hunger in Taiwan — instead of that, “Taiwan is making tremendous contributions to combating global challenges such as poverty and hunger.” With famine and malnutrition being a life-threatening reality for many right now, perhaps other countries can follow Taiwan’s lead.

Shannon Elder

Photo: Flickr

From February 2nd to 3rd, over 50,000 Taiwanese attended the 30-hour famine campaign in Kaohsiung (a province of Taiwan). This was part of a larger 30-hour famine campaign, the 30 Hour Famine Hero Rally, run by “World Vision Taiwan.” It was the 24th year of this campaign, and it has been growing in strength as the years have passed.

World Vision Taiwan is part of World Vision: 30 Hour Famine, a global campaign to raise awareness of world hunger. The 30-hour famine is a worldwide experience that students, as well as anyone else, take part in once a year.

Participants gathered together and did not eat solid food for 30 hours, in order to experience what it feels like to live in poverty with scarce or no food. The 30-hour famine campaign in Kaohsiung, just like all of the 30-hour famine campaigns, had two parts: raising awareness about world hunger and fundraising for the hungry.

In the past twenty years, the 30-hour famine campaign in Kaohsiung is one event that has helped lower world hunger. The rate of hungry children has dropped by 50%. The goal of this rally was to raise $13.5 million U.S. dollars to help eradicate poverty and hunger not only in Taiwan but worldwide.

The donations do far more in disaster areas than they ever could do in countries like the United States. World Vision uses the donations to feed children and families in high-risk areas, but also teaches them how to overcome hunger on their own, and provides them with the proper tools to do it. Anyone can take part in a 30-hour famine, or host their own.

Visit the 30 Hour Famine website to learn how to host your own fasting event for the sake of world hunger.

– Corina Balsamo

Sources: Gospel Herald, World Vision Taiwan
Photo: Want China Times