What do we do?
Action Against Hunger is building a world where no one dies from hunger.
Life-threatening hunger is predictable, preventable and treatable, so a world without it is possible.
We tackle it where it hits and stop it. Whenever and wherever people need our help.
More than that, we work to prevent it in the first place by leading research that will create a world free from hunger. Forever.
How do we work?
We train parents and healthcare workers to spot the first signs of malnutrition.
We deliver life-saving care to people who need it.
We lead research to drive forward understanding of how to predict, prevent and treat life-threatening hunger.
We work as part of a global network in more than 50 countries, assisting over 26 million people each year.
We have enough food to feed everyone on earth. So why can’t 2.3 billion people get the food they need Poverty, conflict, climate change and inequality keep life-giving food out of reach for many.
Poverty. Even before the pandemic, millions of people couldn’t afford to feed themselves and their families. Covid-19 wrecked economies and made people poorer. So now even more people can’t afford decent food to eat. When countries are poor, they have no money for schools, hospitals, clean water – the things that protect people and help people thrive. That means millions of people don’t have safe water to drink. Dirty water and unhygienic conditions cause diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera. Untreated, these can cause malnutrition.
Conflict. War disrupts growing and exporting crops, all over the world. Some combatants use hunger as a weapon of war, withholding food from local populations, starving them into submission. Conflict forces people to flee their homes, land and livelihoods. And conflict causes price increases, making food unaffordable.
Climate change. Drought is baking the earth. Water is becoming scarce. Typhoons tear down homes. Flash floods swallow fields. Crops wither and livestock die. Extreme weather spikes life threatening hunger.
Inequality. In some of the poorest countries in the world, women and girls eat last and least. Girls may be forced into early marriage – to get a hungry mouth out the house.
When babies and children don’t have enough food, their brains and bodies suffer. It stops them from growing, learning, working. It locks them and their families into a life of poverty.
Left too long, hunger kills. But, hunger doesn’t need to take lives.
We can predict it and prevent it.
How do we tackle hunger?
We PREDICT, PREVENT and TREAT life-threatening hunger.
We tackle it when it happens.
And we tackle its root causes.
When all else fails and life threatening hunger and malnutrition take hold, we step in quickly and save lives.
Hunger is predictable.
So we have set up revolutionary early warning systems that spot the early signs of life-threatening hunger.
One of these is called the Pastoral Early Warning System (PEWS). We use satellites to detect crops and water. We combine the images with data from people on the ground who tell us what’s happening. We then send alerts to farmers so they know what areas to avoid, where to go to feed their livestock and where they can get the best price for their produce. PEWS also lets us know when people are experiencing hunger so we can step in before the problem really deteriorates.
But that’s not all.
Funded by the UK government and working with international experts, we are developing a sophisticated system that looks at climate, conflict, household income, food availability, number of local health clinics and other data that, together, can predict when and precisely where food shortages will happen.
We also do face-to-face surveys to get a detailed picture of what’s happening – and we share it with others like the UN. That way, we can get our teams in place before hunger takes hold.
Hunger is preventable.
We address the underlying causes of life-threatening hunger and malnutrition.
We ensure communities have clean water and plenty of it, so they can drink it, give it to their livestock, and use it on their crops.
Then they can grow their own food and sell some for cash.
We help farmers to grow drought-resistant crops.
We teach them how to vaccinate their livestock to prevent them from catching diseases.
We give people cash so they can set up their own businesses.
That way they can make their own money to buy food to feed themselves.
We know that conflict and climate change are causing more hunger.
We demand decision makers do more to change policies and practice to reduce the impact of both of these issues.
Hunger is treatable.
So when it’s not possible to stop life-threatening hunger, we treat it.
We run specialist nutrition centres where health workers use a Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) band to assess whether a child under five is suffering from moderate or severe acute malnutrition.
If the mother is too malnourished to breastfeed and if the baby is severely acutely malnourished, we give babies nutrient-rich formula milk called F100, which our scientists developed in the 1990s. If the mother is not malnourished, we encourage breast-feeding because breast milk contains the nutrients a baby needs.
We give older children under five a peanut-based paste, called Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). Action Against Hunger was the first organisation to test this in the field. When diagnosed on time and with the right treatment, a child’s life can be saved in just six weeks.
Where do we work?
How are we unique?
Action Against Hunger is a world leader in the treatment of life threatening hunger among children.
We are pioneers in the field of hunger and malnutrition: our scientists developed F100 milk powder and we were the first to test RUTF in the field.
We have a team of nutrition experts who carry out research and share it with others in the sector in order to improve the effectiveness, scalability and sustainability of our nutrition programmes globally.
We develop innovative solutions to mitigate hunger – whether that be transporting solar panels for irrigation by donkey across land with no roads, or developing a photo app to detect severe acute malnutrition.
And we are a humanitarian agency, responding to conflict, disasters and emergencies, as and when they happen.
We work relentlessly to save lives and create a world free from hunger.