690 million people suffering malnutrition
According to the recently published Global Hunger Index, some 690 million people around the world are suffering malnutrition right now. Worst affected are sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia. In 2000, the international community set itself the goal of eradicating world hunger. This is also one of the key objectives of humanitarian assistance, given the inextricable association between food security and peace: political stability can be achieved only if people have enough to eat.
As a result of this commitment, the number of those experiencing hunger initially fell steadily, reaching its lowest point in 2015. Since then, the figure has been rising again. The reasons are violent conflict and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events as a consequence of climate change. These destroy fields and crops, and disrupt supply chains. COVID-19 now threatens to exacerbate the situation still further.
Federal Foreign Office providing 627 million euro for food assistance
The Federal Foreign Office has already made 627 million euro available for food assistance this year. This supports the humanitarian organisations of the UN, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and humanitarian non-governmental organisations.
Of the total, 800,000 euro went to a project in Burundi, for example, where more than 284,000 people in Kirundo Province are dependent on humanitarian assistance. Many of the people there have no access to land which they could use for food, and many are displaced. Where land is available, farming methods are often inefficient.
That is where the work of the German Welthungerhilfe aid organisation comes in. On the one hand, the project in Kirundo supports those who have no access to land. They receive food, financial aid and help looking for ways to earn a living. It particularly benefits people who were driven out of their homeland and are now returning to Burundi from the refugee camps in Rwanda and Tanzania. Another aspect of the project is aimed at people who do have access to land, providing better-quality seed and targeted training to improve agricultural output.
Germany second-largest donor to World Food Programme
As its second-largest donor, Germany is also working with the World Food Programme in the short term to save lives, and in the long term to eradicate hunger. In 2020 alone, Germany has so far supplied the organisation – whose work was recently recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize – with 542 million euro.
Congratulating the WFP, Foreign Minister Maas commented:
The World Food Programme stands for the international community’s responsibility for every single human life. Every day, its untiring efforts save millions of people from hunger and malnutrition.