The world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, yet each night more than 820 million people go to bed on an empty stomach. Roughly one in three people suffer from some form of malnutrition, and women have a 10 percent higher chance of being food insecure than men. Conflict, unpredictable weather due to climate change, and bad policy choices by governments all play a role in hunger and can create the right conditions for famine. But with the right support, especially for small-scale farmers and women, and timely intervention in emergencies, we can beat hunger.
How we fight hunger and famine
All over the world, Oxfam and our partners help farmers learn new techniques, share their innovative ideas with each other, grow more food, and earn more money. And when sudden disasters (an earthquake or an upsurge of locusts), or slow-onset emergencies such as drought bring hunger and the threat of famine, we help people rebuild the ways they make a living so they can put food on the table. For farmers, we provide seeds, tools, and other supplies people need to grow their own food, keep their livestock healthy, and become self-sufficient. In many emergencies, Oxfam provides cash so people can make their own food purchasing decisions, to ensure they can get what will help them best (and circulate money in the local economy).
Water, sanitation, and hygiene
Communities enduring emergencies and food shortages may also face a lack of clean water and the threat of disease. It’s hard to absorb nutrition from any available food if you have a stomach ailment. Oxfam and our partners help people with a source of clean water, soap so they can stay clean, and a proper toilet to avoid contaminating water supplies. In many of Oxfam’s ongoing programs, our partners work on promoting good hygiene and sanitation to help people stay healthy even when there is not an emergency.
Oxfam and our supporters advocate for peace, push for adequate assistance for people affected by war and famine, and campaign for international action on the changing climate, which will affect the world’s supply of food and hit the poorest people first and worst. Our research and advocacy advance sustainable development in ways that help reduce the risk of future food crises and disasters, and help communities become more resilient. We advocate for more assistance for rural women farmers, who account for nearly half the agricultural workforce in developing countries. Despite their crucial roles in producing food, they face discrimination and limited bargaining power, disadvantages in land rights, unpaid work, insecure employment, and exclusion from decision making and political representation.
Find out what you can do to fight hunger and famine: Visit our Take Action page to sign up for a virtual event, add your name to a petition or contact your member of Congress to push for better policies, and join our E-Community.
You can also make a donation: Your financial contribution can help fight hunger and famine, so we can defeat poverty.
Oxfam is responding to the coronavirus in more than 50 countries. You can read more about what we’re doing, check our interactive map for country-by-country information, and make a donation to fund this essential work to help farmers and others affected by the virus.Coronavirus crisis: How to help
Famine has been on the decline for the last 60 years, but recent conflict, bad weather, locusts in the Horn of Africa, and now the COVID-19 pandemic are all making people more vulnerable. Read more about what famine is, and how we can fight it.What is famine, and how can we stop it?
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A farmer in Zimbabwe shares how an Oxfam initiative helped build resilience against the effects of changing rainfall patterns.
A critical assessment of food and beverage companies’ delivery of sustainability commitments