In the developed world most people have no idea what stunting is. It is a health problem we do not have to worry about because access to nutritious and fortified foods is largely available in our supermarkets and restaurants and ultimately our kitchens. For us, the stark opposite of stunting for our children is our major dilemma. In developing countries, however, stunting is an everyday part of life for many.
It is a cultural challenge. You will go to communities where food is available, but it is not given to the children. These foods are there, but you will find women are making maize porridge and giving it to children. Food is available in the communities. It is a question of knowledge. Geoffrey Kirenga, CEO of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania
In Tanzania, forty-four percent of all children are stunted according to numbers released by the World Bank. Feed the Future says the number is slightly lower at 42 percent. This number is “highly unacceptable” says Obey N. Assery, the Director of the Department of Coordination of Government Business. Stunting occurs, of course, when children do not receive adequate nutrition for proper growth. Surprisingly, adequate nutrition for children begins in the womb during the first 1000 days before birth through a child’s second birthday. That means mothers play a pivotal role in ensuring the proper growth of their children even before they are born which makes decreasing the stunting rate in Tanzania more difficult to manage.
Currently 805 million people are undernourished worldwide. That number is based on a number of factors including chronic and systemic poverty, a lack of access to improved growing methods and resources for small-holder farmers, a lack of purchasing power, as well as a lack of highly nutritious foods.
Researchers believe forests can help remedy the hunger problem worldwide. Even though 61.3 percent of the world’s forests are wholly owned by individual governments, that is a sharp decline from 71.4 percent in 2002 according to the newly-released report, Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition [PDF].
Over 60 forest scientists contributed to the new report which outlines the best ways in which available forestland can be utilized to curb hunger. The first way is via tree crops that are often rich in vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients and are associated with more diverse diets. Examples include cashews and the African locust bean.
We will join Global Impact to discuss these aforementioned women’s and girls’ issues on Friday, March 13 at 1 PM EST. Join us using #HerDay2015.
In Ormoc, Philippines women tend to take on village leadership roles to ensure children under five get their scheduled vaccinations and routine check-ups. These women also provide medical information to mothers and families who live deep in the rural parts of Ormoc and have a harder time attaining health services.
These village leaders are, for all intents and purposes, the lifelines for these rural families to health care. In addition to village leaders, rural health units staffed by volunteer health workers and nutrition scholars are charged with providing essential health care and information to families who otherwise would go without medical care.
“Being a leader makes me happy, but it is difficult,” said Ludivinia Perez, a village leader in Ormoc, Philippines on Leyte island. “I feel good about it. What makes it difficult is if I don’t have enough funds and resources.”
A few days ago I had never heard of Zlatan Ibrahimović. Now, I’ll never forget his name and the 805 million people who go hungry every day.
On February 15, the United Nation’s World Food Programme launched a moving hunger awareness campaign with international football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic called 805 Million Names. The campaign features Ibrahimovic with 50 names temporarily tattooed on his body symbolizing the hundreds of millions of people who go without adequate food each day. He revealed the tattooed names during the February 14th game between his team Paris Saint-Germain and Caen after making a goal.
“If I could, I would write all the names of people suffering from hunger on my body. But they are 805 million. It is a disaster. Me and the World Food Programme want to make sure the world knows this,” Zlatan Ibrahimović said in a statement.
Even though Ibrahimović was immediately slapped with a yellow card during the game after taking off his shirt to reveal the 50 names, the message had already been sent. In just a few short days the video has been seen over 2.5 million times and counting.
Watch the Video
To learn more about the campaign and the World Food Programme’s role in feeding people around the world visit wfp.org/805millionnames.