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World Food Day: Living with Hunger Pangs

woman selling food

Woman selling food Some rights reserved by #Eelco


According to the World Bank, nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungry around the world, and the rising food prices will make that number grow. Today, for the World Food Day, we put faces on those hungry families and hear their stories.

Video Volunteers from India have gone to the communities to bring to you the Hunger Video Project, focusing on how in spite of the growing economy, people are still going to bed hungry throughout their country.

 

The videos were produced for the launch of The World Disaster Report 2011, a joint collaboration between the World Food Programthe Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC.)The report aims to answer the fundamental question: “Why do one billion people across the world go to sleep hungry each night when the world is producing enough food for everyone?”

What makes these 12 videos more touching is the fact that they were made by people who are from the affected communities and not outsiders. Video Volunteers is a training program for people in marginalized communities who learn to make news, watch it, take action and make solutions for the problems that affect them and their neighbors.

On their project site, they include all 12 videos with a small description of the community where the video was filmed. This video for example, was filmed in Silchar, Assam in North East India, a predominantly rural – agrarian district with tribal marginalized minorities. In it, a father speaks of the hardships and the impotence of going to sleep knowing that his children are hungry.

In Raj Nandgaon, an underdeveloped and predominantly agrarian district in Chhatisgarh a woman is forced to prostitute herself just so she can feed her children.

Medecins Sans Frontieres have faced malnourished children for years of work in different areas of the world, and they noticed that what seemed like help, was actually making the problem worse: food donor organizations were not providing food that was nourishing enough to sustain children under two. So with the  Starved for Attention campaign, they decided to ask the actors in the Food Aid System to stop sending poor quality food aid and instead provide adequate nutritious food for malnourished children.

This year's topic for the World Food Day is Food Prices, from Crisis to Stability. This trailer is for The Hunger Game, a 15 minute film by Félix Álvarez Torres from Perú,  where he establishes that food prices are played with as if they were gambling chips in a game of power.

In the last 10 years the cost of food has increased in the whole world scandalous levels. Multinational companies invest billions of dollars on the purchase of future harvests, creating speculation and shortages at present. The stakes for the food prices are on the rise: the game where you always win.

Outside the poker table, the poor have to pay the gamblers heading of The Hunger Games. [sic]

Today, many people will be posting online about food and food issues thanks to the Blog Action Day initiative, under the #BAD11 and #food tag on microblogging sites and blogs.  Weigh in on the conversation and tell the world what you think about the rising price of food and hunger.

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