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Fighting Hunger WorldwideWFP and the MillenniumDevelopment GoalsBuilding a nutritional foundation for a world free of hunger


“The Millennium DevelopmentGoals (MDGs) have triggered thelargest cooperative effort in worldhistory to fight poverty, hunger,and disease. They have become arallying cry in poor and richcountries alike, and a standard fornon-governmental organizationsand corporations as well.”Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of theUnited NationsThe historic rise in the world’s hungry people tomore than one billion demonstrates that theMillennium Development Goal of halving theproportion of people who suffer from hunger andundernutrition by 2015 has been more challengingthan the global community expected. Hunger hasincreased in recent years because of high food prices,the global economic crisis and increasing naturaldisasters and conflict. With just a few yearsremaining, reaching the Millennium DevelopmentGoal on hunger by 2015 will require both moreresources and more political will.The cost of hunger is high. Hunger andundernutrition must be prioritized, as they arefundamental to achieving the other MDGs, especiallythe ones relating to education, gender, child andmaternal mortality and health.WFP and the Millennium Development GoalsMDG 1: Eradicate extreme povertyand hungerHunger and undernutrition lead to lower productivity,compromised health and educational achievement andhigher rates of poverty. WFP reaches the hungry withlife-saving food and supports long-term food security.WFP Tools: WFP food assistance, including cash andvoucher transfers to the hungry are vital, especially inthe immediate aftermath of a natural disaster. WFP’ssophisticated mapping tools and assessments of exactlywhere the hungry live help to ensure that foodassistance is targeted where it is needed most. Ourlogistical expertise is an asset that is deployed for thebenefit of the entire humanitarian community, and ourexpertise in establishing communications systems forthe humanitarian community is vital in the midst ofemergencies.MDG 2: Achieve universal primaryeducationHunger and undernutrition lead to lower cognitivedevelopment in children and affect school attendance,performance and long-term educational gains.WFP Tools: WFP school meal programmes thatencompass everything from a hot meal, to a snackand a take-home ration, work as an incentive forparents to send their children to school and help tobuild the nutritional foundation that is so essentialfor a child’s future intellectual development andphysical well-being.MDG 3: Empower womenWomen are the front line of food security and manysmall-scale farmers in developing countries arewomen. Putting the means to access food into thehands of women ensures that it gets to those who needit most. In times of crisis, women and girls bear thegreatest burden in terms of hunger.WFP Tools: Our school meal programmes encourageparents to send more girls to attend classes. Inaddition, WFP targets women at food distributionpoints as research and experience has shown that thishelps to ensure an equitable distribution of foodassistance among the whole family.MDG 4: Reduce child mortalityHunger and undernutrition are the leading cause ofchild mortality. Globally, 195 million children under5 are chronically under nourished, or stunted, andundernutrition is responsible for the deaths of morethan 3.5 million children each year — accounting formore than one-third of all deaths among childrenunder 5.WFP Tools: When a crisis hits, whether it is a naturalor a man-made disaster, WFP programmes focussharply on ensuring that the most vulnerable groups —especially children — are the first to get foodassistance. WFP is also providing more nutritionallyenhancedfood products that are packed with vitaminsand minerals and designed to deliver the right food atthe right time, particularly to the very young. Ourschool meal programmes help provide healthy meals toolder children once they start going to school.


With more resources, and greater political will,progress on reducing undernutrition and hunger ispossible. We know what interventions work. Workingwith partners and governments, WFP is continuing towork towards a hunger free era.The fight against hunger requires:• Prioritising initiatives which alleviate hunger andunifying the national strategic frameworks for foodsecurity and nutrition. These require one nationalplan, one budget, one legal, policy and institutionalframework and one reporting mechanism;• Focusing our energy on the hunger hotspots and theworld’s most vulnerable populations, including veryyoung children, mothers and those who arechronically ill;• Scaling up food fortification and micronutrientprogrammes that deliver the right food at the righttime, feeding people better, feeding people smarterand building and nourishing the next generation;• Strengthening and scaling up social protectionprojects, including food and nutrition safety nets likeschool meal programmes, and food for workprogrammes where food is used as an incentive forpeople to rebuild community assets like schoolsor roads;• Building resilience so that communities that arevulnerable to natural disasters are better able to copewhen floods or droughts occur.MDG 5: Improve maternal healthHunger and undernutrition are associated with mostmajor risk factors for maternal morbidity andmortality. Malnourished women are at higher risk ofdying during pregnancy and childbirth.WFP Tools: WFP’s aim to deliver the right food atthe right time is particularly relevant in the case ofchildren under the age of two. Hunger can be inheritedby children in the womb and ensuring that pregnantmothers have access to good nutrition helps to stopmalnutrition from being passed down throughgenerations.MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS and otherdiseasesHunger compromises anti-retroviral therapy andincreases the chances of TB infection as well asreducing malaria survival rates.WFP Tools: Nutrition and food security are criticalcomponents of care and support for people living withHIV and other diseases. Providing nutritional supportalongside programmes that provide drugs to combatdisease can improve a patient’s chances of survival.Without targeted food support, patients can struggle toimprove their body mass index and grow strongenough to return to a full and productive life.MDG 7: Ensure environmentalsustainabilityHungry people are less equipped to implementenvironmental sustainability measures and maybe forced to exploit natural resources for income tobuy food. WFP’s food-for-assets and food-for-trainingprojects help protect the local environment andenhance resilience.WFP Tools: WFP works closely with governmentsand communities to develop early warning systemsthat help them to prepare for sudden onset disastersand minimize risk. Climate change is increasing therisk to the lives of millions of vulnerable people livingin developing countries. WFP projects such as MERETin Ethiopia — which helps to rehabilitate degradedagricultural land — are part of climate changeadaptation. Working with governments, WFP is alsopromoting disaster risk reduction through initiativessuch as index-based weather insurance, vulnerabilityanalysis and mapping.MDG 8: Engage global partnershipsfor developmentWFP works closely with its NGO partners andcontinuously engages new partners from the private,public and academic sectors to support its fight againsthunger and poverty.WFP Tools: NGO partners are a vital component inWFP’s food assistance programmes, providingexpertise and personnel, and helping to deliver food towhere it is needed most. WFP is also seeking to catalysechange through innovative private sector partnershipsin the fight against hunger. Companies help WFP toraise funds, as well as share access to equipment andknowledge.


WFP in ActionThe World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian organization in the world leading thefight against hunger. Every year, WFP aims to provide, on average, more than 90 million people inmore than 70 countries with food assistance. WFP’s broad scope of work goes beyond its traditionalfood assistance mandate to adapt to the increasingly complex nature and causes of hunger andundernutrition. WFP employs a wide set of innovative tools to fight hunger, including:• Cash transfers and vouchers to enhance access to food;• New nutritional products, targeting the right food at the right time;• School meals and take-home rations to increase attendance, particularly of girls;• Purchase for Progress (P4P) to connect smallholder farmers, especially women, to markets;• Food-for-work or cash-for-work to build productive assets for the community and increaseresilience, including against extreme-weather events resulting from climate change;• Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation;• Vulnerability assessment, analysis and targeting;• Logistics expertise, which WFP provides for the entire humanitarian community in an emergency.One Billion Hungry, take action.Sign the petition at wfp.org/billionPrinted: June 2010 Photo credits, front cover: WFP/Rein Skullerud Back cover from left to right: WFP/Shehzad Noorani, WFP/Vanessa Vick, WFP/Barry Came, WFP/Laura Melo Design by CP Publications UnitWorld Food ProgrammeVia C.G. Viola, 68/70 - 00148 Rome, Italy

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