The Hunger Project has a unique approach to ending global hunger. We don’t give handouts or provide food aid. Instead, our programs empower people to lead lives of self-reliance in which they can end their own hunger.
The Hunger Project works in 24,000 communities throughout Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Our programs are based on an innovative, holistic approach, which empowers women and men living in rural villages to become the agents of their own development and make sustainable progress in overcoming hunger and poverty.
The Hunger Project started in 1977 with a bold new vision: the end of hunger was achievable and could become our reality. At that time, 30,000 children were dying each day due to hunger. Now, that estimate has been reduced by more than 70%. That means that today — and each day — 21,000 fewer children are dying from hunger-related causes. It is time to rethink world hunger.
The end of world hunger is not only possible. It is now within reach. The global community is joining together to eradicate hunger by the year 2030.
While adapted to meet local challenges and opportunities wherever we work, all our programs have at their foundation three essential pillars that we know get results: starting with women, mobilizing everyone and fostering effective partnerships with local government. Here’s why these elements are key to ending hunger:
1. Starting with women
Empowering women and girls is critical to ending hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition around the world. When women have equal access to education and participate fully in decision-making, they are the key driving force against hunger and poverty. Women with equal rights are better educated, healthier, and have greater access to land, jobs and financial resources. Their increased earning power in turn raises household incomes.
By enhancing women’s control over decision-making in the household, gender equality also translates into better prospects and greater well-being of children, reducing poverty of future generations. Indeed, if women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.
2. Mobilizing Everyone
Mobilizing communities to be the agents of their own change is central to ending hunger. Hungry people are not the problem – they are the solution. People living in conditions of hunger and poverty are best placed to come up with answers to the challenges they face. They have both the talent and the will to take charge of their own lives. They know their own needs and are aware of the resources their communities have and those they lack.
That’s why mobilizing the “people power” that gives communities the clout and voice to demand the resources that are rightfully theirs ignites communities to end their own hunger.
3. Foster effective partnerships with local government
Working with, not alongside of, government is central for long-term, sustainable development and ending hunger. Working with existing local democratic institutions to strengthen capacity and make the most of the resources that are already available makes for lasting change. Local government is closest to the people and has the mission of working with people to meet their basic needs. Working in partnership with local government bodies to ensure that they are effective, include the leadership of women, are directly accountable to local people, and provide access to resources and information are what gets results.
With these strategies, we can break through age-old conditions such as corruption, conflict, racism and the subjugation of women. The result is social transformation: a fundamental shift in the way society is organized. Thus, the solution to hunger is not about hand-outs and a top-down approach, but a bottom-up approach that starts with women, works with local government and mobilizes communities to take self-reliant actions.