Food is central to human life. It brings us together in a chain that stretches across the world.

But, right now, the world food system is broken.

One in every three people on the planet are experiencing some kind of malnutrition. From undernutrition on one end of the spectrum, to obesity on the other.

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Famine continues to threaten the lives of 20 million people in four countries — Yemen, northeast Nigeria, South Sudan, and Somalia. The number of people in the world who don’t know where the next meal will come from is rising.

Meanwhile, millions more are going hungry in Kenya, Ethiopia, Chad, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and elsewhere. Despite this situation, the UN’s appeal has only received 50% of the funding it needs.

Women and girls suffer the most, because in many parts of the world they eat least and they eat last. Women and girls make up 60% of the world’s malnourished population. But when a mother is malnourished, so are her children. Some 45% of all children under the age of 5 years who die, die because they are undernourished.

But unbelievably, at the same time the world wastes 1.3 billion tonnes of food every year — that’s a third of all the food that’s produced.

The global food system has the capacity to provide every person with enough nutritious food, but right now that’s not happening.

And governments alone cannot solve this challenge. We are all part of the problem and we are all part of the solution. We need everyone in the chain — farmers, chefs, governments, individuals — to come together to improve the food system.  

That’s the aim behind the Global Citizen “ThinkFood” campaign.

We’re asking people at every stage to think about their role in improving the food chain: about where food comes from; about how much it costs; how nutritious it is; why some people in the world don’t have enough; why so much food is wasted; and what is the environmental impact.

The G7 meeting in Italy in May 2017 failed to secure sufficient financial commitments toward their target of lifting 500 million people out of hunger and malnutrition by 2030.

But they did reaffirm their collective commitment towards this target.

We will be putting pressure on the individual G7 countries to deliver on their previous commitment to support those 500 million people, and ramping up the heat on other countries to step up and take action to fix the global food system, by focusing on good nutrition, sustainability and ensuring no one goes to bed hungry.

And you’ll be able to help.

We are launching a series of actions that you can take, to help put pressure on these governments to deliver on their promises at the Global Citizen Festival on Sept 23. So we don't have long.

Please speak up before it's too late for a world where no child has to go to bed hungry.


Defeat Poverty

The World Food System Is Broken; But With Your Help, We Can Improve It

By Imogen Calderwood