The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said today it will be highlighting the global hunger crisis at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Forum, which takes place this week, is an annual gathering of political and business leaders to discuss the world's most pressing issues.
WFP says it will be "taking part in discussions on how to solve issues such as hunger and malnutrition, and related issues such as poverty and gaps in primary education." There are 842 million people worldwide who suffer from hunger.
The UN food agency will be highlighting the Zero Hunger Challenge. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched the initiative to encourage governments, business and the public to do everything possible to end hunger in our lifetimes.
Ending hunger is crucial to a strong world economy. WFP, in a press release today, said, "Recent studies have shown that chronic undernutrition in early childhood has a lifelong negative effect on a person's ability to generate income. By limiting a country's citizens in this way, undernutrition also limits the growth of a country’s GDP."
Infant feeding programs, as well as school meals, help children fight off hunger and develop their potential. Without the food infants can suffer lasting physical and mental damage. School-age children who suffer from hunger can lose their chance at an education.
WFP is fighting hunger in over 70 countries, many of which are overcoming war, natural disasters or poverty. These nations cannot build a strong economy without tackling hunger and malnutrition.
WFP relies on voluntary funding from governments and the public. Raising awareness is crucial for gaining support for hunger relief missions around the world.