29 March 2024, The Tablet

Fighting child hunger worldwide with hope – and action

by Sam Bishop

Fighting child hunger worldwide with hope – and action

As Lent comes to an end and Easter approaches, Christians around the world are united in a sense of celebration and giving thanks to the Lord. It’s also a time to reflect on the world around us and what we can do to make a difference. At this time, international Christian children’s charity World Vision is reiterating its commitment to children worldwide via its ENOUGH global campaign to end child hunger, having already committed $3.4 billion to provide solutions to the growing hunger crisis.

Many around the world are celebrating Easter despite suffering from hunger and malnutrition. The world is now witnessing the biggest global hunger crisis in decades as conflict and other factors drive more and more people, including millions of children, to the edge of starvation.

A new global survey carried out by Ipsos for World Vision UK revealed that globally almost one in five people say conflict is to blame for their children going hungry, and 45 per cent of people believe that conflict is a main driver of hunger globally.

Those suffering from the conflict in Ukraine are also going hungry, with at least 3.3 million requiring urgent assistance.

Natasha Klukach, World Vision Ecumenical Theologian, said: “Easter is a day of renewed hope and joy for Christians around the world. At World Vision we know that in places affected by violence, hunger, and exploitation hope can be hard to come by. We hold all who are suffering in our hearts and minds and we work tirelessly to combine our prayers with meaningful action.”

To date, the conflict in Ukraine has displaced more than 3.7 million Ukrainians within the country and driven more than 6 million to seek refuge in neighbouring European countries. The crisis response of World Vision and its partners has reached those in Ukraine itself, as well as refugees in Romania, Moldova and Georgia.

Child Friendly Spaces, organised by World Vision’s partners, are making a difference in the lives of these children. Our key response activities include working with local partner organisations to provide cash assistance, psychosocial support and education support. World Vision has reached more than 770,000 children in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries with education, mental health, protection, food security, and basic needs services.

Hunger is not confined to conflict zones though, as people like Angelica in Guatemala are also feeling its effects. Angelica has four grown children, and when her daughter Emma became pregnant, she had to take care of her 8-month-old granddaughter that was born premature and has suffered from malnutrition.

The Ipsos and World Vision global statistics reveal that 37 per cent of parents say that their children do not receive the proper nutrients that they need on a daily basis, which is why it was important for Angelica to find hope in World Vision’s nutrition programme, where she received vital assistance that helped her granddaughter’s well-being. 

Angelica said: “Without World Vision’s help I would not have been able to help my granddaughter and they would have sent her away because children with nutritional problems are hospitalised far away.”

“I also attended talks where I learned the correct way to prepare meals according to the colour of the rainbow so that they have all the minerals and that children grow up healthy.”

As said in Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Just like Jesus fearlessly stood against injustice, we too are called to prioritise the marginalised and children. This Easter let’s remind ourselves that there is hope. From a hard winter can come spring: new life, new hope.


Sam Bishop works for World Vision

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