End World Hunger: Solutions to Save Lives

World hunger: a complex issue

After decades of steady decline, world hunger took a dangerous turn in 2014 — and the number of people who suffer from hunger has slowly increased since then. As a result, about 829 million people were hungry in 2021.

Hunger is more complicated than empty bellies: it is driven by interconnected, systemic issues: poverty, inequality, conflict, climate change, gender discrimination, weak government and health systems, and other factors.

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In Northeast Nigeria, displaced women learn farming techniques to grow nutritious food and support their families.

Photo: Sébastien Duijndam
for Action Against Hunger,

For a multifaceted problem, an array of solutions

To end hunger, we must tackle its root causes. The world has already made incredible progress in reducing malnutrition and child mortality rates: since 1990, the proportion of malnourished children in the world has been cut in half. Now — as progress has begun to stall — the global community strives to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to “end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” by 2030.

A world without hunger will never be achieved alone — collective action and commitment from people everywhere is required. That’s why we are proud to collaborate with affected communities, foundations, companies, governments, and humanitarian partners to achieve zero hunger

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Other players are making progress in their areas of expertise, such as eliminating conflict, reducing poverty and gender inequality, tackling climate change, or engineering complex agricultural solutions.

When a child under five years old dies, malnutrition is a root cause nearly half of the time. That's why, at Action Against Hunger, our work focuses on the most deadly form of hunger: acute malnutrition.

For Action. Against Hunger.

Together, we are creating a better way to deal with hunger. For everyone. For good.

The Action Against Hunger approach

Deadly hunger is predictable, preventable, and treatable. We fight hunger by focusing on the approach that saves the most lives: treating severely malnourished children and preventing children from becoming malnourished in the first place.

We know how to treat severe acute malnutrition: we have the science, the tools, and the know-how to save the lives of these children – in fact, 90 percent of malnourished children who complete treatment are cured.

A child's upper arm is measured for malnutrition. Using this simple color-coded diagnostic band, parents, community volunteers, and health workers can easily see when a child is malnourished and in need of treatment.

Photo: Lys Arango
for Action Against Hunger,
South Sudan

In fifty countries around the world, our teams:

Detect Malnutrition: When malnutrition is diagnosed earlier, treatment protocols are simpler and children can recover more quickly. We equip community health workers, volunteers, parents, and other caregivers with the simple tools and skills they need to screen children for malnutrition close to home.

Treat Malnutrition: Action Against Hunger scientists invented F100, the first-ever therapeutic formula to treat severe acute malnutrition. F100 was used to create ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) - a transportable treatment for malnourished children age six months and older. RUTF -- also known as Plumpy’Nut -- is medical intervention combining key vitamins and minerals in easily-digestible, calorie-rich, and ready-to-eat packets. RUTF requires no refrigeration, enabling children to continue taking RUTF after they are released from health clinics. Our teams can bring a child from a medical crisis to full health in as little as 45 days, with careful monitoring. A life can be saved for as little as $150.

Prevent Malnutrition: To prevent hunger, we team up with local leaders to understand what drives malnutrition in their area; once we see patterns of risk, we collaborate with communities to develop sustainable solutions. We recognize that the first 1,000 days – between the start of a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday – is the most powerful window to protect that child’s growing body and brain. So we empower expectant and new moms with the nutrition and knowledge they need to welcome healthy children into the world, and to support their children’s growth and development. We also work with men, who are vital partners in fostering equitable decision-making and sustainable livelihoods.

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A young boy eats Plumpy'Nut, the ready-to-use therapeutic food that is widely and effectively used to help malnourished children recover their health.

Photo: Christophe Da Silva
for Action Against Hunger,

These interventions require highly-trained staff and coordinated operations. From sophisticated analytics for predicting treatment needs, to strong relationships with local leaders, to world-class logistics for pre-positioning necessary supplies — Action Against Hunger maintains a layered and nuanced infrastructure to ensure our programs are efficient and effective. 6

While we are treating more children than ever before, we continue to innovate and evolve: Action Against Hunger’s greatest strength is our capacity to identify and try new solutions to old problems. More than forty years ago, we were founded on the notion that the world needed a better way to deal with hunger. Today, together, we are creating it. For everyone. For good.

For Action. Against Hunger.

We save the lives of children and their families. We will never give up. Until the world is free from hunger.

Action Against Hunger is committed to the United Nations’ goal of achieving zero hunger by 2030. But we can’t do it alone — we need your support. Band Together with us: Please donate today or start a fundraiser to do your part in helping create a world where no child dies of hunger.