When people band together, we can achieve incredible things. We have seen it time and time again. Fifty years ago, humans traveled to the moon. Forty years ago, we eradicated smallpox. More recently, public health efforts have changed the trajectory of the HIV/AIDS pandemic by reducing infection rates and allowing people who test positive to live longer.
People-powered movements - for equal rights, for justice, for change - drive progress in every generation. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when everyday people, scientists, governments, and activists are aligned towards common goals.
Now, it’s time for the world to band together against a disease that threatens the lives of 50 million children each year. That deadly threat is hunger.
Why now? While the number of people suffering from hunger had been decreasing the last few decades, progress has stalled for three years straight. Yet, we have the knowledge and wherewithal to eradicate this deadly disease. Hunger is a predictable, preventable, and treatable illness. Ninety percent of children who complete treatment are cured – yet fewer than one in four affected children are currently able to access care.
The fact is that many people don’t realize hunger’s deadly impact across the globe. In a public opinion poll issued by Action Against Hunger of more than 1,000 Americans last month, when asked how many children die each day globally, the average estimate was 2,254 children per day. In reality, approximately three times as many children die each day.
The good news is that, when Americans learn the facts, our poll found that 77 percent want to help. Across generations, more than 80 percent of those polled think the U.S. government isn’t doing enough on global hunger. This gives us reason for hope. Americans – and the broader global community – care, but often they don’t know how to solve a problem as pervasive as global hunger.
That’s where we come in. Today, on World Food Day, I am proud to announce Band Together – a global movement of activists, students, celebrities, foodies, companies, and people like you, who are committed to taking action against hunger. We can Band Together to ensure all children suffering from deadly hunger receive urgent, lifesaving medical treatment.
Saving the lives of malnourished children starts with a simple band. The band is a nutrition thermometer: a parent or health worker wraps it around a child’s upper arm and the band’s color shows their nutrition status – green indicates good health, but yellow or red means the child is malnourished.
With this simple tool, parents everywhere can quickly and easily see when their child needs urgent medical care at a health center. Our highly-effective treatment can bring malnourished children back to full health in as little as 45 days.
Join us today and beyond by banding together against hunger. From New York to Nairobi, politicians, actors, chefs, musicians, and people like you are taking action. We are also banding together with other leading NGOs fighting hunger. As we said in a joint statement today: “Today, on World Food Day, we are at a critical crossroads. We can choose to stay the course…Or we can transform the system and save millions of lives.”
Let’s harness our collective willpower to give every family what they need to diagnose their children. To treat every malnourished child. To save millions of lives – and to help every child grow up strong. If we can travel to the moon, we can band together to end hunger. For everyone. For good.
Will you join us?