The Hunger Project: ending hunger through food sustainability

food for all

The Hunger Project: ending hunger through food sustainability

The Hunger Project: ending hunger through food sustainability

A 40-year grassroots commitment to eradicating hunger, involving women and local communities, in perfect harmony with the UN’s sustainable development goals and the initiatives developed by the BCFN to ensure food sustainability.

Global hunger remains an unresolved and disturbing problem, despite the efforts made at various levels to stop it in its tracks. The report The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017, written by five international agencies and published in September 2017, states that the downward trend in the number of people suffering from hunger observed in the past has juddered to a halt and currently 11% of the global population do not have a secure supply of food. “There are still 155 million children suffering from hunger, which has a negative impact on long-term cognitive development and consequently on future prospects” added the experts from The Hunger Project (THP), which was founded in 1977 as a result of growing interest in the problem of world hunger, emerging from the first global conference on food held in Rome in the same year.  

Ten principles for combatting hunger

According to the THP website, “the rather discouraging data presented in the recent international report shouldn’t hinder efforts to end global hunger”, listing a series of success stories achieved in various countries in the battle to eliminate hunger. The ultimate goal of the work carried out as part of the THP projects, perfectly in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals, to which the BCFN also subscribes, is “a world where every woman, man and child leads a healthy, fulfilling life of self-reliance and dignity”. A grand total of 395,000 leading volunteers and over 16,000 communities in various continents are working together to achieve this objective, motivated by a shared determination and ten founding principles on which all activities and initiatives are based. The key principles are based on human dignity, gender equality, raising awareness to help people achieve self-reliance and organising initiatives which are far-reaching enough to give everyone a voice. Nevertheless, to resolve the problem, it is also crucial to focus on links between the various stakeholders, social transformation, a holistic approach, decentralisation and a new type of leadership which works “with” people and not “over” them. 


The experts at THP explain that “hunger can be ended, but we need to remember that hunger is primarily a human issue, and ending hunger requires principles that are consistent with our shared humanity”. 

The three pillars of success 

Today the THP network is carrying out programmes in Africa, South Asia and Latin America, based on an innovative and holistic approach, involving men and women living in rural areas. 

The idea is to make these people responsible for their own development”, explains John Coonrod, the Executive Vice President of THP. And in order to achieve success in their various initiatives, all the projects which the experts from THP implement are based on three founding pillars.

The first is to boost the power of women, who are recognised as a key element in bringing about change. THP argues that “women bear the major responsibility for meeting basic needs, yet are systematically denied the resources, freedom of action and voice in decision-making to fulfil that responsibility”.

The second is to mobilise entire communities to build solid self-reliance. In order to achieve this, it is important to involve the community as a whole and from the grassroots, including local organisations which the project aims to support by providing the necessary tools and information. Finally, it is essential to create collaborations with and encourage the involvement of local governments. Indeed, local authorities are the closest to the communities and best placed to understand and fulfil their most pressing needs. 


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