When we were younger, we would get reprimanded whenever we do not finish the food on our plate. “It’s not right for you to waste food, make sure that you can finish the food you put on your plate,” our parents would remind us. They would never fail to mention how there are hundreds of people around the world who go to bed hungry. As kids, we do not fully comprehend what it means. Sometimes, we think it’s just their way of making us feel guilty prompting us to eat everything on our plate. But as we grow older, as we get exposed with the true state of the world around us, we realize that our parents are right. Hunger is a reality that a lot of people are dealing with every single day.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. They work with national governments, NGOs, corporate partners and other UN agencies as they pursue their vision of a world where every man, woman and child has access to food that they need for an active and healthy life. In 2011, WFP aims to reach more than 90 million people from over 70 countries with food assistance.
Extreme hunger is sometimes projected on TV screens as mothers who are too weak to nurse their children, infants who can barely sit up because of starvation or people lining up under the hot sun while waiting for food rations. There is also a less visible form of hunger – – malnutrition. Sadly, most who suffer from malnutrition are children. Twenty five percent of all the hungry people in developing countries are children. World Food Programme’s role is not only to treat malnutrition but also to prevent it from becoming worse.
WFP has a school meals programme which aids various nations in their quest to combat malnutrition amongst school children. In countries where parents are made to choose whether they will allow their children to go to school or make them work on a farm to help put food in the table, WFP and its partners tirelessly work toward their aim of reducing hunger. The school meals they provide have actually motivated the parents in sending their children to school because they know that they will be provided with a nutritious meal. WFP aims to eliminate hunger as an obstacle in the development of school children thereby assuring them of a better tomorrow.
In the Philippines, World Food Programme has been helping not just in emergency situations like providing food assistance to typhoon victims but also in providing aid in areas that desperately need assistance such as the conflict-affected provinces in Mindanao. WFP recognizes that in places such as these, school children are greatly affected. To address this, WFP together with the national and local government, private companies and NGOs, have launched an emergency school feeding programme. It aims to get children into school and out of hunger.
In its effort to raise awareness and money to help feed hungry children, WFP and its partners, TNT, Unilever and DSM conduct the annual End Hunger: Walk The World campaign.
Walk The World Pilipinas, to be held on May 29, 2011, Sunday, 5:00-10:00AM at the SM Mall of Asia, IMAX Parking Lot, is open to walkers and runners who are passionate about fighting world hunger. Aside from the traditional 2-km walk, there will be a 5-km run open to both male and female enthusiasts, and a 10-km group run. Proceeds from the event will support approximately 80,000 school children, particularly in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Norte, and Lanao del Sur. To show support to this worthy cause, my husband and I have agreed to participate in the 2-km walk.
Let the fight against child hunger begins with a big step, join Walk the World 2011 of World Food Programme!
See you at the SM Mall of Asia on May 29!
Actress, singer and Philippines Ambassador Against Hunger KC Concepcion travels to the island of Mindanao for a look at one of her country’s most intriguing regions. The only island in the Philippines to host a large Muslim population, Mindinao also suffers from high levels of child malnutrition. KC’s journey takes her from a school where local children are celebrating the Islamic New Year to a woman’s cooperative and health centre where food is provided to those in need.