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Food for life: nourishing those who need it most

Did you know that, according to the World Food Programme, hunger kills more people annually than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined? Food is one of the most basic and sustaining life sources, and yet so many in the world go without it.

The facts of hunger *
  • Approximately 805 million people worldwide, most of them in the developing world, do not have enough to eat
  • 1 in 4 children in the world are physically and/or cognitively underdeveloped due to malnutrition
  • Nearly half (45%) of deaths of children under 5 are caused by poor nutrition
  • And yet, there is ample food in the world to ensure every person is healthy
So, why are so many people without food?

A variety of different factors can contribute to this, including:

  • Poverty
  • Remote location/lack of trade
  • Climate and weather
  • Natural disaster
  • Conflict
  • Health emergencies
How is Plan helping fight hunger?

Plan has helped thousands of people in developing countries secure the nutrition and energy they need to take on life. We provide the skills and resources to combat hunger as part of both our emergency relief response efforts and our ongoing, preventative program work. Here are just a few examples of how we’ve taken action to promote food security for children and families around the world.

Food relief programs:

In Kenya

Kathina and her grandmother.

Kathina, 4, and her family live in Kenya, where a drought caused them to lose all their cattle. They had only enough for 1 basic meal a day.

Children receive cups of food.

Plan-aided communities affected by the drought through a food distribution program. Here, children received a full cup of corn.

In South Sudan

A bowl and plate of food.

A dry spell in South Sudan has limited food supplies and trade – reducing family income and increasing market prices. Eleven people shared this plate of pumpkin leaves and boiled sorghum flower as their only meal of the day.

A smiling boy with food at school.

James, 13 (pictured with food at right), received additional meals at school thanks to Plan and community volunteers. Beyond helping with malnutrition, the program has increased school enrolment and attendance.

In Niger

A man stands in a dry field.

In Niger, A shortage of rainfall, along with the effects of pests like locusts, caused millet crops, such as this one, to fail, eliminating vital food sources for villagers and animals and putting many lives at risk.

Children display their food.

School-feeding programs and cereal banks – where millet is abundantly available for a minimal cost – helped relieve hunger caused by chronic food shortage across Niger.

In Ethiopia

A woman carries bare branches.

A drought in rural Ethiopia rippled out to affect families in urban areas as well, leaving thousands at risk.

Workers distribute food.

Plan fed 300 malnourished children and 50 breastfeeding mothers to improve their health and nutrition. “Since we started using the supplementary feeding centre my baby and I are becoming stronger and healthier,” said one woman.

Proactive food training:

In Guatemala

Boys hold a plant in a field.

The lack of rain in Guatemala causes recurrent droughts, which impact food production. These students learned about gardening to help improve, adapt and protect future agricultural development.

A woman with a food diagram.

A Guatemalan woman used information she learned through a nutritional security program to create an informative diagram and instruct her family on how to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

In Timor-Leste and Bolivia

Students cook.

These students learned how to cook thanks to a youth training program. The program supported business and life skills to help youth sustain themselves economically and nutritionally.

A toddler eats.

Plan provided nutrition sessions in Bolivia, educating parents on various foods to integrate into their children’s diets. This guidance can help prevent malnutrition and improve health.

You can help too!

Help fill hungry stomachs today by purchasing a food basket through Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope program. Filled with staples like beans, cooking oil, fortified cereal blends and sugar, these baskets will nourish families in need today, and provide hope for the future.

*Source: World Food Programme

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