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Young Bangladeshi man pointing to UN Sustainable goal, zero hunger
10 November 2023

Is a world free of hunger possible?

Lukman believes so and he wants us to raise our voices

Today, more than 2 billion people worldwide do not have enough food to eat. This is a startling figure. And, sadly, it includes millions of children, who should have all the nutritious food they need to grow healthy and strong. 

Children are bearing the brunt of this global hunger crisis. And they are paying the price with their health and their lives.  

Unless something drastic changes, so will their children. 

Conflict, climate change, and the cost-of-living crisis

As we mark World Children’s Day, meet Lukman from Bangladesh. At 16, Lukman is an inspiring young leader. These are his own words… 

"As you know, the terms conflict, climate change, and high prices are familiar to all of us and they are a cause of worry and concern in the present world. If we think deeply, we can see that these issues are closely related to the hunger crisis.

"For example, 70% of the world's hungry people live in areas affected by war, armed conflict and violence. Conflict causes food shortages and high commodity prices, resulting in a hunger crisis. Also, due to the climate crisis, where global temperatures and sea levels are rising, we are experiencing more heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones and world fires. Those conditions make it difficult for farmers to grow food, and for the hungry to get it, which causes a hunger crisis." 

LEARN MORE: How conflict impacts children

"I believe it is possible to build a hunger-free world" - Lukman, 16

Child labour and child marriage biggest challenges 

Lukman continues:

"In my country, Bangladesh, child labour and child marriage are two of the biggest challenges affecting child rights and we found that poverty is most responsible for this.

"Due to hunger, poor parents are forced to send their children to work and hand over their daughters for marriage at an early age. As an example, one of my friends in my neighbourhood had a dream to complete her studies like other children but, due to poverty, she was married off when she was in class eight. This was done in exchange for a small handful of food. There are thousands of girls like my friend in the alleys of Bangladesh. Also, this is not only an image that can be seen in Bangladesh but one that can be seen in different countries around the world. 

"In this way, children in different parts of the world are dying prematurely due to hunger. But no more, that's ENOUGH. Now, it is high time to raise our voices against hunger and work for the hungry people. We need to break the cycle of conflict and hunger, increase sustainability and fight the climate crisis. We have to come forward to prevent the hunger crisis. Then, it will be possible to create a hunger-free, child-friendly world." 

LEARN MORE: Discover how one teenage girl is fighting child marriage

Three young leaders at the UN Global Summit, New York, September 2023
Lukman, Genoveva and Emmanuella each attended the UN Global Summit

Taking action at the UN Global Summit 

Lukman attended the UN Global Summit in September, alongside fellow young leaders Genoveva, from Tanzania, and Emmanuella, from Ghana. There, key issues – including hunger – were raised with leaders from across the globe. 

Hunger is driving the poverty cycle

As Lukman says, hunger is the driver of increased child marriage and child labour. When families lack food and children go to bed with empty stomachs, their parents face impossible decisions. It can seem wise to some to marry off a daughter or remove a child from school. In the short term it reduces the burden.  

But in the long term, it only serves to renew the cycle of poverty, since these children miss out on a quality education and the opportunities this gives them for a better life. When they go on to have their own families, they find themselves in similar situations.

“Children are the primary victims of the hunger crisis” - Genoveva, 13

Improving lives 

Working alongside children and their communities, World Vision is helping people improve their own lives, one day at a time. This happens in numerous ways, such as skills and business training, training in agricultural techniques, empowerment classes, or savings groups. All these initiatives – and others – help communities generate sustainable incomes and become more resilient.  

Can we end world hunger? 

World Vision’s answer to this question is a resounding yes.  

We believe there is ENOUGH food for everyone. We believe that children can enjoy nutritious food – while staying in school and dreaming of a brighter future. 

This can be true even in the hardest places – where conflict, disaster and climate change threaten to devastate people’s lives and livelihoods.  

World Vision works with vulnerable children to give them hope and a future. You can join with us today and make a long-lasting difference in their lives. 

Learn more