Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen in a conference call along with other social good bloggers to hear World Food Program USA Board Chair Hunter Biden and WFP USA President & CEO Rick Leach discuss the “Live Below the Line” Challenge to help solve global hunger. The fact that 1 in 8 people in the world live in constant hunger – which means 925 million people will not get enough to eat this year (more than the populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union) is not only a tragedy but the world’s number one health risk.
The onset of the Syrian conflict over 21 months ago has been utterly devastating. Thousands of Syrians have been displaced and over 540,000 Syrians are registered refuges in the neighboring countries of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt. Unfortunately the refuge crisis is only getting worse. Bordering countries have seen a huge sudden increase of over 140,000 refuges in just the last six weeks. Furthermore, on Wednesday The UN predicted that if things don’t calm down in Syria and the ugly Civil War does not end soon, the number of Syrian refuges could explode to over 1.1 million by early summer.
As winter blankets Syria and her neighbors, the conditions at the refuge camps are grim. In some camps, women and children represent over 75% of the refugees such as in Zaatari, Jordan, which has 30,000 refugees at the moment. Families are struggling to survive and feed their families, living in tents under the freezing cold conditions with sadly no end of their desperate situation in sight.
Fortunately NGO’s such as World Food Programme (WFP) is there to help. The WFP has worked alongside the UNHCR (The United Nation’s Refugee Arm) to provide a regular supply of food to the families. While UNHCR is distributing such necessary supplies as blankets for fuel and cooking, the WFP has been supplying “dry rations” over the winter months that refugees can cook themselves. The Dry rations include rice, bulgur, wheat, yellow split peas, sugar and salt, which are provided along with a daily allotment of bread.
In the Zaatari refugee camp alone, over 100 communal kitchens have been built that services 30,000 people. The UNHCR is working to build more in order to ensure everyone has access. But the cold, cruel wind of winter is making situations miserable for many.
Meanwhile inside Syria, food insecurity is on the rise due to bread shortages and higher food prices, leaving millions of Syrians in desperate conditions and may lead to more people leaving the country and entering the already over-crowded refuge camps.
It is not a good situation, but you can help. Simply share this video to raise awareness or make a small donation to the World Food Programme that can help feed a family and save a life.
This post was written on behalf of the Global Team of 200. Information above is provided by the WFP as well as research on the web. To learn more about the World Food Programme’s work, click here.
The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.
“Born in 1961, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. We work towards that vision with our sister UN agencies in Rome — the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) — as well as other government, UN and NGO partners.
On average, WFP aim to reach more than 90 million people with food assistance in more than 73 countries. Around 15,000 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor.”
World Hunger is an enormous yet preventable problem. Per WFP, there are 870 million undernourished people in the world today. That means one in eight people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to the health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
The World Food Programme is working in Bolivia to provide nutritious meals for children in schools. You can ask a question for the children in Bolivia that will be translated and delivered by Ximena, WFP’s Communications Officer there.
Here is where you can direct your readers to ask a question. Simply click here and send your message.
I asked my question….will you?