Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Hunger Map

Background: The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food assistance branch of the United Nations. Annually, WFP feeds nearly 90 million people worldwide, 60% of which are children, with an average of 2.5 million metric tons of food. WFP is the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and Oxfam International and Oxfam America find a great ally in WFP on numerous fronts - check out this article and short Youtube video on one of their combined initiatives called R4. Another way Oxfam America helps WFP is by working to increase the effectiveness of U.S. food assistance to the U.N. - no easy feat in today's political climate!

So, The Hunger Map...

WFP has on their website a highly interactive map called (you guessed it) The Hunger Map. What a resource! You can click on any country and instantly see details about the % of population classified as undernourished as well as major contributing factors to food insecurity. From there, tabs near the top of the screen (labeled as Hunger, WFP, and People) can take you to images and stories of lives touched by food assistance. Prior versions of this map were only available as a downloadable "flat" file mostly geared towards formal classroom instruction.

More than being a massively useful resource in explaining hunger and poverty, the map is a high-contrast visual representation that the world we live in is unjust. Look at Africa - such a huge portion of the continent is highlighted for their varying degrees of food insecurity. Political strife, climate change, poor economies, etc. all contribute to a lower quality of life for tens of millions living there. I invite you to take a peek at a few countries with WFP offices and explore the major contributing factors and what work is being done there to eliminate hunger - often in partnership with Oxfam :-)

Whether with WFP or Oxfam - ending hunger is no game (sorry, had to thrown in a Hunger Games reference). Aid works - let's keep it working!

1 comment:

Oxfam Action Corps said...

thanks for sharing Iowa! We've reposted this blog on our national Oxfam Action Corps blog.