A ‘tough subject’: Hunger

An empty paper plate. Photo by: zharth / CC BY-NC-ND

Close to a billion people around the world suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition. But hunger is a “tough subject” that only a few people understand, writes Greg Barrow, head of the U.N. World Food Program office in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

With a myriad other crises hogging the headlines and major donors’ foreign aid budgets facing potential cuts, it can be difficult to keep hunger on top of the development agenda. But Barrow makes the case for why the conversation on hunger should keep going.

Hunger “holds back development, stirs up social unrest, and shames those countries of the world where the biggest challenge is still how to limit food waste, rather than to end food shortage,” Barrow said.

He said simple things such as free school meals keep children in school, allow their brains and bodies to develop, and help them reach their potential.

Barrow looks forward to the day when the world can celebrate its success against hunger on World Food Day. But with the problem continuing to afflict a billion people, the “party will still be on hold this Oct. 16.”

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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