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Children from Turkana, Kenya, affected by the drought

World Food Day 2022

World Vision is one of the World Food Programme’s largest partners

Pictured: Children from Turkana, Kenya (see their story further down).

What is World Food Day?

World Food Day commemorates the date of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945.

When is World Food Day?

World Food Day is on 16 October and is an ideal opportunity to consider the global hunger crisis affecting 50 million people across the globe right now.

Conflict, Covid, climate change and the economic effects of the Ukraine crisis are interacting to create new – and worsen existing – hunger hotspots, reversing the gains families had made to escape poverty.

World Vision is a global leader in providing food assistance at scale – delivering food rations and cash or vouchers to refugees, displaced people, and communities suffering drought and extreme hunger.

Since March 2021, World Vision has reached

16m people affected by the hunger crisis, including 9m children in 25 countries

We are also one of the biggest partners of the World Food Programme (WFP), who, within their role in the United Nations, continually monitor and measure food security and malnutrition rates all over the globe.

Christine Barrett, World Food Programme Manager at World Vision UK
Christine Barrett: photo courtesy of Finley Jordan Photography

Christine Barrett, World Vision UKs WFP Grant Programme Manager, has visited several hunger hotspots in the past 10 years. She explains: “World Vision has been working with the World Food Programme for decades; it's a very well-established partnership. The WFP look for hunger hotspots, keeping an eye on them, bringing expertise and a global view. They use the worldwide acute food insecurity classification - the IPC - to decide which areas to work in.

“World Vision has good relationships with many communities around the world - where we have 15-year programmes in place - and we know how to work with communities at a local level."

World Food Programme trucks bringing food to families facing hunger
World Food Programme trucks bringing food to families facing hunger

“In our partnership, the World Food Programme provides the food, and the logistics to get the food, to the areas that we are working in. And then World Vision works with the communities to ensure they receive the food, especially mothers and babies, people with disabilities and the most vulnerable.

“Our grants typically last between two months up to a year.

“We are providing funds to work with conflict and climate change-affected communities, where starvation is a real risk,” Christine adds.

Although we are now seeing a global food crisis, people in East Africa are particularly impacted. After four consecutive years of failed rainy seasons, the drought means lack of water - and food - for so many. Watch our video from Somalia.

“Without the cash transfer, some of us could have died”

World Vision isn’t just responding to the hunger crisis with food and medical help. Cash transfers are life-saving.

Kenya is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years.

"Sometimes we would sleep without food," Pauline, a mother of seven from Turkana, says. (Some of her children and their friends are pictured at the top of the page.) Her family, along with so many others in Kenya, are facing hunger because of the devastating drought. Before the drought, they had 15 goats. When the drought came, all 15 died.

Pauline adds, "We would go to the bush for wild fruits. We had no animals. Only through this cash transfer did we have money."

Pauline, 30, her husband Simon, 31, and their children received a cash transfer from World Vision of 6,000 Kenyan shillings ($50), one of 330 households to receive a cash transfer benefitting nearly 2,000 people.

"Thank God," says Pauline. "Thank you ... without the cash transfer, some of us could have died."

Kenya mother and children, hungry
Pauline (right) with her family

In fact, the children are still so hungry that they fall asleep as Simon and Pauline tell their stories. They now have one goat. Pauline's family has received the second of four cash instalments.

Hopefully, Pauline’s life, and that of her children, will get better in the future, especially as six of her children have just chosen World Vision sponsors.

Kenyan children thrilled to be sponsored
Two of Pauline's children delighted to have chosen their sponsors

Child labour and child marriage

Hunger fuels other issues, like child marriage.

Christine explains: “When families and children need to survive, they’ll do whatever it takes and in this situation women and girls are disproportionately affected by hunger crises and their impacts. That might mean parents feel they have no choice but to marry off their daughters at a young age.”

World Vision works in many areas to help the whole community, as well as individuals, who are facing bleak futures; areas like child protection and psychological support.

As 50 million people face starvation today, many are facing impossible choices.

Globally, along with child marriage, hunger is also forcing children out of school to beg or undertake dangerous work.

As we consider World Food Day 2022, you can help families get the food they need.

Learn more