Hunger

Hunger is a death sentence for millions of children – the hidden reason so many die. Nearly a third of children under five who die lose their lives because they can’t get the food they need. Our world has enough food for everyone – no child should die because they can’t get enough to eat. Yet millions are born into hunger and ultimately it’s why they die. We're fighting to end this scandal.

Nearly a third of  the 6.9 million children under five who die lose their lives every year die because they can’t get the food they need.

Children are left so weakened by relentless hunger that their starved bodies can’t fight off illnesses like diarrhoea or pneumonia.

You won’t see it on their death certificate, but malnutrition is the biggest root cause of children dying.

For those children who survive, the damage from malnutrition in their first few years often lasts a lifetime:

In poor countries one child in four suffers irreparable damage to their bodies and minds – a condition known as ‘stunting’.

It can make it incredibly hard for children to enjoy a real childhood, playing and learning, and it’s a direct consequence of them not having the nutritious food they need to grow and develop.

It’s also more difficult for them to make a productive contribution to society later in life – so it’s tougher for their countries to grow their way out of poverty. On average children who are stunted earn 20% less than those that are not.

What we're doing to reduce hunger

In February 2012, building on the success of our campaign to increase funding for life-saving vaccines, we launched a major push to end the scandal of hunger and malnutrition.

By 2014  we’ll make sure at least 2 million children get the kind of healthy food in their tummies to give them the vitamins, protein and minerals they need to grow up strong and healthy by:

  • persuading governments to invest in getting help to the children and families who need it
  • encouraging companies to make sure millions more children get food fortified with the right vitamins – just like our breakfast cereals
  • ensuring more babies are breastfed
  • giving poor mothers vouchers so they can buy the food they need before things get desperate – a form of aid that stimulates local markets so they can keep on supplying local communities for the long term
  • getting life-saving food supplies to vulnerable children when disaster strikes.

Race Against Hunger and the IF campaign

During 2012 and 2013 Save the Children along with hundreds of thousands of supporters stepped up our campaign against hunger.

In 2012 our Race Against Hunger campaign helped persuade Prime Minister David Cameron to hold a special hunger summit on the last day of the London Olympics with other world leaders.

The event saw India announce a doubling of its budget to improve the nutrition and health of 100 million children and women. The EU committed to reducing the number of stunted children by 7 million, and UK multinationals Unilever and GSK agreed to work ways of making affordable nutritious food available to poor families.

In January 2013 together with more than 100 other charities we launched the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign.

It was aimed at pushing G8 leaders meeting in the UK to act on four key issues that would help address the world hunger crisis.

Supporters emailed your MPs, signed and shared petitions, created craft pieces, dressed up as Chancellor George Osborne and came in their thousands to the Big IF London rally in Hyde Park. All this hard work resulted in millions of children’s lives saved.

Find out more about what we achieved with the Enough Food for Everyone campaign.

How you can help reduce hunger

We'll keep pushing world governments and others to tackle the scourge of hunger.

As the same time our world class programmes are helping give children the food they need to survive and grow into healthy adults.

You can support our efforts by making a donation today.

Together we can give children a life free from hunger.