Promises don’t feed hungry people: World Food Day 2017

Our world produces enough food for every man, woman, and child on the planet—yet 815 million people still lack sufficient access to food to meet their daily needs.

We believe—with sufficient investment, collaborative action, and political commitment—that number could soon be zero. It’s a promise that global governments have already made: two years ago, world leaders pledged to take action to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.

A world free from hunger is possible, and we have already seen what progress looks like: between 2000 and 2015, hunger levels in the world’s poorest countries fell by a remarkable 29 percent. But we have also seen setbacks: according to the latest data from the United Nations, conflicts, displacement, and climate change caused hunger to rise in 2016—threatening the remarkable achievements we have made in the last 20 years. In 2017, 20 million people in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen face the threat of famine and are struggling to survive.

October 16th marks World Food Day. Action Against Hunger is determined to achieve zero hunger. Even as we celebrate the tremendous efforts of our supporters, partners, and communities around the world, we urge action and a renewed commitment from global leaders.

Undernutrition is the single greatest threat to child survival. An estimated 155 million children suffer from irreversible physical and cognitive stunting as a result of chronic undernutrition: one in every three children in the world’s least developed countries suffers from this easily preventable condition. One million children die every year as a direct result of severe acute malnutrition. This is not just unacceptable: it is a scandal.

World leaders declared 2016-2025 “The Decade of Nutrition” and have committed to a new global Agenda for Sustainable Development that charts the course for ending hunger, promising to leave no one behind.

But promises won’t feed the 815 million people who go to bed hungry every night.


Levels of international aid and domestic financing of nutrition interventions are far below what is required to meet the commitments for SDG2, the global goal for achieving zero hunger by 2030. Today, we are at a critical turning point in the fight against hunger: we must move from talk to action.

All of us—along with policy makers, governments, civil society, academics, journalists, business leaders, youth, faith groups, everyday citizens, and communities—must move from “business as usual” to real action to stop enormous food crises like those in South Sudan and Nigeria from happening in the first place.

We are the generation that can make hunger history: we face a remarkable opportunity and a profound responsibility.

We must make a choice: are we passive bystanders in the fight to end hunger? Or are we the agents of change who refuse to accept that children are still dying from undernutrition when the world produces enough food for all of us? Will we stand up for the one million children whose lives could be saved every year with greater investments, policy change, and access to nutritious food, clean water, and health care?

It’s World Food Day. What choice will you make?

Join us today. Together, we can build a world free from hunger. For everyone. For good.

For a world free from hunger