Commit to ‘Zero Hunger’

Zero Hunger

Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), an initiative of the World Council of Churches (WCC), is calling churches and individuals to join in a world-wide “zero hunger” challenge.

No one should be hungry, especially in a world that already produces more than enough food to feed everyone.

Dr Manoj Kurian, interim WCC-EAA coordinator, highlighted the challenge as part of the Food for Life Campaign. “No one should be hungry, especially in a world that already produces more than enough food to feed everyone,” Kurian said. “We can build sustainable and waste-free food systems that nourish and support all people and empower the smallholder and family farms that produce the vast majority of the world’s food.”

Three years ago, Ban Ki-moon, U.N. secretary-general, issued a Zero Hunger Challenge to call on everyone to make a difference, from governments and the U.N. system, to civil society, business, farmers organizations, labor unions, consumer groups and the scientific and academic communities.

Now all individuals and organizations are being asked to join the challenge and pledge to make a difference.

800 milllion chronically hungry

Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance’s Food for Life Campaign has been part of the Zero Hunger Challenge since it began, recognizing that around 800 million people in the world are chronically hungry: just over one in nine people.

Malnourishment affects many more. About 500,000 children go blind every year because of a lack of vitamin A, with half of them dying within one year of going blind.

Approximately one third of food is lost or wasted globally every year during production, transportation and processing as well as through household waste.

An estimated 2.1 billion people are overweight or obese, many of whom would also be diagnosed as malnourished.

Approximately one third of food is lost or wasted globally every year during production, transportation and processing as well as through household waste.

Part of Christian faith

Kurian pointed out that for Christians, the commitment to ensuring adequate, nutritious food for all is part of their faith. “Scripture tells us many stories about hunger,” Kurian said. “Matthew 25 (‘For I was hungry and you gave me food’) speaks directly to us, along with so many other parables and biblical examples, about our role in ensuring all are fed.“

The Zero Hunger pledge asks groups and individuals to actively work to eradicate hunger. This includes advocating for actions and policies to

  • reach zero stunted children less than two years,
  • ensure 100% access to adequate food all year round,
  • sustainable food systems,
  • 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income, and
  • zero loss or waste of food.

Churches, organizations and individuals can “Join the Challenge” by signing up at Join the Challenge.

More information is available at Zero Hunger Challenge.

Editor's note: Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a diverse global network of churches and related organizations committed to campaigning together on common concerns for justice and human dignity. Current campaign issues are HIV & AIDS and food security and sustainable agriculture. In 2015, the alliance is being strengthened through the support of the World Council of Churches, which brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 500 million Christians and including most of the world's Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches.

Letter to the Editor