Many Zambians face a harsh reality: hunger and food insecurity threaten their well-being every day. Zambia's malnutrition rates remain among the highest in the world. Before the declaration of disaster, 48% of people (17.4 million) in Zambia were unable to meet their minimum calorie requirements and 35% of children experienced stunted growth due to malnutrition. Factors such as erratic weather patterns, economic instability, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated food shortages, pushing vulnerable communities to the brink of hunger. 

Yet, in the face of adversity, hope shines bright through World Food Programme’s work, which is not only addressing immediate food crises but also laying the groundwork for a future where every Zambian has access to nutritious food. 

In 2023, the Citi Foundation helped World Food Programme take a significant step forward in this mission by awarding a $500,000 grant to World Food Program USA as part of the inaugural $25MM Global Innovation Challenge to support the piloting or expansion of ideas that address food security around the world. With the Global Innovation Challenge model, the Citi Foundation recognizes the role philanthropy plays in catalyzing change to address some of society’s most pressing needs. 

World Food Programme is teaming up with small scale farmers in Zambia to strengthen resilience to climate crises and boost financial inclusion. With a strong focus on women farmers, the works towards addressing gender disparities by empowering women and ensuring their active participation in decision-making processes. 

Image by Annie Spratt on UnsplashImage by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Through the program, farmers receive training on financial literacy skills, agricultural practices, access to affordable credit and risk insurance, and forecasting services. WFP also is scaling up the use of the Maano – Virtual Farmers Market application. On this app-based e-commerce platform, farmers’ surplus and buyers’ demand for crops are advertised and marketed. "Maano", which means “intelligent” in Tonga, makes buying and selling easier, cutting costs, and giving everyone a better view of what's available.  

Teaching farmers how to budget effectively and plan their finances can help them allocate resources more efficiently. This means they can better manage their income from crops, prioritize spending on essentials like food, and education, and save for periods of low income or emergencies. 

Despite commendable efforts, the global fight against hunger is far from over. WFP finds itself facing a crippling funding crisis, posing a severe threat to its ability to deliver life-saving assistance to millions of vulnerable individuals worldwide. Without additional financial support, the consequences could be dire, jeopardizing years of progress in combating hunger and malnutrition.

In addition to the support World Food Program USA is receiving from the Citi Foundation, Citi has donated $200,000 to kick off a donation campaign in support of WFP and is calling upon Global Citizens to join in donating to this critical cause by sharing a meal with someone in need. By rallying support from individuals worldwide, the aim is to bolster resources and ensure that essential food assistance reaches those who need it most. It takes just $75 to feed a family for an entire month. $75 a month is only $2.50 per day, which is less than buying a cup of coffee. Every day, people are choosing to share their meal through WFP’s ShareTheMeal app. With just a few taps on your phone, you can choose to donate and share your meal with someone in need. Every contribution, no matter how small, can make a significant difference in someone’s life.

The urgency of this appeal cannot be overstated. With millions of lives hanging in the balance, now is the time for collective action. Together, we can forge a path towards a world where no one suffers from hunger, where every individual has access to nutritious food, and where communities thrive in resilience and prosperity.


Defeat Poverty

How Citi Foundation Supports World Food Programme USA’s Efforts to Address Food Security in Zambia – and How You Can Help Fight Hunger Worldwide

By Global Citizen Staff