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Washington, D.C. – A new report released today by the United Nations states that 821 million people suffered hunger in 2017, or 1 in 9 of the world’s people. After decades of gradual decline, this marks the third year in a row the hunger rate has increased.
According to the report, State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018, conflict and climate change are driving this reversal. See also Bread for the World Institute’s 2017 Hunger Report, Fragile Environments, Resilient Communities on the impact of conflict and climate change.
“We applaud Congress and USAID administrator Mark Green for their continued commitment to addressing global hunger, and for ensuring that development assistance remains an important component of the U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.
“We urge the leadership of the House of Representatives to pass the Global Food Security Act. The Trump administration supports the bill, the Senate has already approved it, and a bipartisan list of 130 members of the House have cosponsored it. This legislation would continue successful U.S. programs of assistance to struggling farm families in the world’s poorest countries,” Beckmann added.
The new report notes that the world continues to make progress against child malnutrition, but that more than one-fifth of the children under the age of five in developing countries are stunted. Chronic malnutrition contributes to an early death for millions of children and to irreparable damage to the brains and bodies of those who survive.
Hunger in conflict zones such as Syria, Somalia, and South Sudan requires not only humanitarian aid, but also diplomatic efforts to moderate conflict and agricultural assistance to help farmers struggling with climate change.
The U.S. government’s Feed the Future program provided agricultural assistance to nearly 11 million farmers and nutrition assistance to more than 27 million children last year. But the Global Food Security Act, which authorizes funding for the program, will expire on September 30 unless the House of Representatives acts.
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.