Hunger: the top risk to health worldwide

One out of every seven people on the planet does not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. That’s a staggering statistic from the United Nation’s World Food Programme, which recently released a nifty map that charts the depth of hunger around the world.

There are more than 1 billion undernourished people in the world today. In fact, hunger and malnutrition are the number one risk to health worldwide — greater than AIDS, Malaria and tuberculosis combined!

The saddest fact: hunger is preventable. The international community has the knowledge and resources to end world hunger, but it is lacking the motivation to face the problem head on. For now, the solution comes one food program at a time.

Below is a story from one of our Catholic mission partners in the Philippines who is doing its part to help eradicate this dire problem:

Maria used to save most of the food she received at a feeding program in her Philippines community for her mother, who often went without a meal.
Maria used to save most of the food she received at a feeding program in her Philippines community for her mother, who often went without a meal.

As Maria ate her portion of boiled rice and cabbage, she pushed most of it to the side of her plate and was eating only a small bit. One of the nuns helping at the feeding center came over and asked, “Maria, don’t you like the food?”

Maria looked up at the sister, her eyes wide and face solemn, and said, “I’m saving some to take home for my mama.”

Touched by the little girl’s words, the sister replied, “Tell your mama and papa they can come here to eat with you.”

Maria’s parents returned with her the next day, and more people began flooding to the center hoping for a meal. Soon the program grew from 100 to 300. Now 350 desperately poor people from Malabon, near the Catmon Dump Site, receive a nutritious meal at the center each day.

We support several feeding programs like this one around the globe. Want to help? Check out our project catalog.


1 thought on “Hunger: the top risk to health worldwide”

  • 1
    Brian on Wednesday

    The map seems to show that Africa is having the biggest problem with hunger. Is it possible for Cross to organize a special “hunger in Africa” campaign highlighting this and seeking public support for more food shipments there? I know I’d contribute!

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