We love working with Action Against Hunger! Our partnership began in 2018 when the nonprofit joined Global Impact’s Charity Alliance for workplace fundraising services. Not long after, we began to serve the charity in an advisory capacity. Together, we developed many exciting initiatives over the years, from launching a COVID-19 fund to brokering funding partnerships across the corporate, foundation and individual donor segments, and now supporting their bi-annual gala. We were also honored to have Action Against Hunger’s CEO, Dr. Charles Owubah, join Global Impact’s Board of Directors last year.
“It’s a privilege to work with such exceptional leadership and staff at Action Against Hunger – all with incredible expertise, selflessness and integrity that advances the mission of the organization.”
– Amanda Meyer, Senior Director, Global Impact
For decades, world hunger steadily declined until recently. Now, the number of malnourished people around the world has risen by 150 million since 2019 due to COVID-19, poverty, conflict, climate change and disasters. Action Against Hunger’s mission is to ensure that millions of people across the globe are no longer hungry. Their best-in-class programs include building economies resilient to hunger, saving the lives of children and families during crises, and innovating solutions for systemic change. Hunger is 100% predictable, preventable and treatable. Knowing that, I was especially interested to read the organization’s 2023 Hunger Funding Gap Report to answer the question: Does rising hunger lead to increased funding for hunger programs?
The report includes an in-depth analysis and has an abundance of statistics, including an important finding: The world has a 53% gap in hunger funding. That means that while the hunger crisis has worsened, the response has not improved proportionally.
Here are the three key takeaways from the report that I think need our attention as the world faces increased hunger.
- The rise in hunger did not lead to increased funding.
Last year, the number of people around the world facing critical levels of hunger increased by 18% compared to 2021. In the report, Action Against Hunger identified 13 countries as the most urgent: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan.
For those countries, the response did not meet the need. In fact, only 47% of hunger funding needs are met, creating the hunger gap.
Additionally, out of what was given, the most funding didn’t go to the hungriest countries, as shown in the graphic from the report:
- We have the capacity to close the gap.
Our global ability to tackle this problem is not limited by our resources. There is enough money and food to nourish the communities in need.
According to the report, it would take $4 billion to meet the needs of the 13 countries mentioned above. Of course, $4 billion sounds like a lot to one person, but Action Against Hunger points out that it’s only a quarter of what Americans bet on the Superbowl and is close to the estimated cost of the 2030 Winter Olympics. It is also worth noting that $4 billion is only 2% of Elon Musk’s net worth and the U.S. foreign aid budget last year was 11 times as much.
- There are three core causes for the crisis: conflict, climate change and inequality.
Knowing that there is enough to feed hungry communities around the world, it is only natural to ask the question: Why is hunger still a problem? Each cause of the recent increase in hunger presents an obstacle.
The first cause is conflict. Even before Russia invaded Ukraine last year, other regions faced famine-like conditions due to instability. Now, since the war in Ukraine began, hunger has intensified because of disruptions to the economy, reducing food supply and increasing food prices. This cycle is hard to break because hunger is both a cause and effect of conflict.
Climate change is the second cause of the recent spike in global hunger. Countries with lower carbon emission often suffer the most from a problem they did very little contribute to. The most prominent example of this is seen in the Horn of Africa, where climate change had caused drought, storms and famine. Farmers are unable to yield enough crops, limiting the opportunity for prosperity in the region.
The third and final main cause is chronic inequality. Children living in poverty are usually malnourished and those with stunted growth early in life often have lower incomes later in life. This feeds into the poverty cycle. The Hunger Gap Report referenced Haiti, saying that it “has long been the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the latest reports show that 4.7 million Haitians are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity.”
Combined, these three causes make a perfect storm for hunger in underprivileged communities around the world.
The bottom line is that the population of people suffering from hunger is rising, yet the funding to support hunger programs is not. That is why we are proud to partner with and support Action Against Hunger as they draw attention to the hunger gap and already have the programmatic solutions in place to solve hunger. The best way to support work like this is to give to the End Hunger Fund or make a pledge to Action Against Hunger in your workplace giving campaign.
Learn more about our strategic partnership with Action Against Hunger and visit the Advisory Services page for further information.