The year 2023 kicked off with former World Food Programme chief, David Beasely, warning us about how severe the current hunger crisis actually is.
“We may not have enough food for everybody in 2023,” he said.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The world can produce enough food for every person on earth, and yet conflict, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other global socio-economic woes have knocked the global food systems so hard that they are now considered broken.
“There’s no doubt we can produce enough food for the world’s population; humanity’s strategic enough to achieve that,” Beasely added. “The question is whether — because of war and conflict, and corruption, and destabilization — we do. Look, 200 years ago, there were 1.1 billion people on planet earth, and 95% of them lived in extreme poverty. Today, less than 10% are in extreme poverty. But in the last five years, we’re absolutely going backwards — and it’s not just a little bit, either. That should frighten the hell out of anybody.”
He’s right. It should frighten everybody. So what do we do? We take action.
Through this year’s Global Citizen Festival campaign we are shouting to the rooftops that enough is enough. We are calling on world leaders to get it together and address a crisis that they have the power to fix.
One of the most powerful things global leaders can do to solve the hunger crisis and build sustainable food systems is support smallholder farmers — a group of people that is responsible for producing a third of the world's food. This investment includes boosting food production, and supporting agricultural adaptation to climate and economic shocks that have the ability to severely impact food systems.
The Global Citizen Festival campaign will culminate in a live event, as we return to New York City's Central Park on Sept. 23 for the annual Global Citizen Festival. Learn more about the festival and how you can take part here.
So join us and let’s act together to fight the global hunger crisis. Here are six actions you can take right now.
1. Learn about how we got here by taking our quiz.
Global hunger is not inevitable, in fact, it is something we can solve in our lifetimes. So how did we get to this point? Before you step onto the front lines to act against global hunger, get to understand the current challenges contributing to global hunger by taking our quiz.
2. Find out how smallholder farmers are the key to ending the hunger crisis.
We’ve already mentioned that investing in agriculture can make all the difference when it comes to fixing the world’s food systems, but how is that possible? We’ve broken it down for you in this quiz that you can take to learn more about how vital smallholder farmers are to the global food system and why they need more investment.
3. Send an email to Australia to support smallholder farmers.
Smallholder farmers are a key solution to the hunger crisis, but they need immediate support in order to curb the climate crisis’ impact on food production. Australia is an agricultural superpower, with some of the world’s best expertise in tropical and dryland farming. Send an email calling on Australia to support the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the world’s only global agency supporting rural smallholder farmers.
4. Leave a message for leaders in Norway to step up their funding for smallholder farmers.
Smallholder farmers in rural areas produce a third of the world’s food — but are facing challenges such as the climate crisis, which impacts every aspect of their lives. They need adequate resources and access to adaptation tools to continue their work of feeding nations.
Global Citizen is currently in conversations with leaders in Norway about increasing their support to IFAD. We want to show them how urgent the situation is and how important their funding can be for the world’s food systems — your voice can help us. Leave a message for the country’s leaders explaining why you think they should increase support for rural farmers now.
5. Sign our petition to world leaders asking them to prioritize solving the global food crisis.
We’ll say it again: the global food systems are broken.
Yet in the words of UN Secretary-General, António Guterres: “There is more than enough food in the world to go around. More than enough money to fund efficient and sustainable food systems to feed the world, while supporting decent work for those who grow the food we eat.”
We can change the status quo if world leaders take the issue seriously and step up to ensure food security for everyone, everywhere. Join us in our call by signing our petition to the world leaders who have the power to make a difference.
6. Show leaders that you are hungry for action.
Going to bed hungry should not be normal, it should not be okay that millions of families are facing empty cupboards and questioning where their next meal will come from. World leaders need to open their eyes to the realities caused by the global food crisis.
Share an image with them — write #HungryForAction on an empty plate and take a selfie. We will share it with decision makers so that they can see just how serious we, the Global Citizen community, are about wanting to see an end to extreme hunger.