Saturday, Oct. 16th is World Food Day, a day designated by the U.N.’s World Food Programme to raise awareness and support in the fight against global hunger.
From wfp.org: “World Food Day on October 16 reminds the world that around 1 in 7 people alive today are going hungry[...] [Though,] this year, the number of hungry people on Earth went down for the first time in five years, …there are still more than 925 million people, mainly children, who do not eat enough to be healthy.”
At Opportunity’s 2010 Fall Microfinance Conference last weekend, we were inspired by several influential hunger and food security experts.
Roger Thurow, co-author of Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, senior fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, told the conference audience:
[The number of people going hungry in the world] is an outrage to me. But my inspiration is that we have arrived at a great moment of potential opportunity in the fight against hunger. We have plenty of food surpluses in the West, but by helping the hungry to feedthemselves and increase their own agricultural production, it not only alleviates hunger but it can encourage economic and social stability overall.
Ambassador Tony Hall, the author of Changing the Face of Hunger, is a tireless advocate for hunger relief, poverty eradication and human rights. In a session, he told attendees what made him join the fight against hunger:
In 1984, as a Congressman from Ohio, I visited Ethiopia during the famine when, in the course of six months, a million people had already died. I went to camp where people were dying of famine, and the doctor told me that he could only help 5 children per day out of 3,000 who were suffering from extreme malnutrition. When the people in the camp saw me, they thought I was a doctor. They began handing me their children so that I could save them. But every single child they handed to me was already dead. There was nothing anyone could do. I never got over that.
So what can you do today, on World Food Day, to fight global hunger? Check out “10 Ways You Can Fight Hunger on World Food Day,” at wfp.org, and support Opportunity’s work to bring microfinance services to smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa by donating today.