Ending World Hunger: Made Possible by This Series of U.N.-Developed Programs

A recent report found that the U.N.’s social protection programs could be the answer to eliminating the global issue.

(Photo: Olaoluwa/IITA/Flickr)

Presented byPresented by Microsoft
Oct 16, 2015· 1 MIN READ
TakePart editorial fellow Nicole Mormann covers a variety of topics, including social justice, entertainment, and environment.

Most of the world’s poorest people face the threat of extreme poverty and hunger on a day-to-day basis, but thanks to a series of aid programs developed by the United Nations, nearly one-third of them are getting the help they need to sustain their well-being.

According to a report published Tuesday by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, social protection programs are keeping some 150 million people out of extreme poverty by providing them with economic support and increased access to health care, education, and nutrition services.

Those living in poverty often grapple with the difficult choices of having to sell off their assets, put their children to work, and settle for poorly paid positions to survive. With the help of social protection programs, these people are able to make better decisions for their future and the future of their families.

"Social protection programs allow households to access more food—often by increasing what they grow themselves—and also make their diets more diverse and healthier,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in a press release. “These programs can have positive impacts on infant and maternal nutrition, reduce child labor and raise school attendance, all of which increase productivity.”

Some of the ways social protection programs aid poor communities are through immediate cash grants, tuition and health care coverage, food distribution, and public works programs with guaranteed job placement. For example, a program in Bangladesh provided women in rural areas with livestock and a monthly stipend for the periods when they were out of work or needed additional funding.

An estimated 2.1 billion people are supported by social protection programs, but they don’t cover the majority of those facing extreme poverty. The FAO says, however, that most countries—even the poorest—can afford to provide form of social protection to their citizens.

Right now, at least 145 countries offer one or more benefits of social protection to their citizens, but there’s still a push to expand the programs into the nations where they are needed most.

With the rate of extreme poverty expected to drop below 10 percent this year, global organizations including the U.N. are stepping up efforts to end poverty and hunger once and for all. By implementing social protection programs around the world, the U.N. aims to meet its goal of eradicating the widespread crisis by 2030.

On this World Food Day see how Microsoft technology is empowering sustainable farming solutions and sprouting the future of food at Growing Underground.