Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud

Your 2021 Wrapped: The Top 5 Hunger Stories You Read or May Have Missed Last Year

World Food Program USA
January 3, 2022

2021 tested the resilience of people across the planet. New hunger crises sprouted out of conflict. Our changing climate pushed families, communities and entire nations to their breaking points. And the pandemic continued to layer on seemingly ceaseless challenges, especially on to people living in the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Yet, amidst the soaring numbers of people facing hunger and COVID-19 cases, you stayed hopeful. You stayed curious about hunger, about the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and what you could do to help.

As we enter the new year, we are taking a look back at the top stories you read, and may have missed, in 2021.

The Stories You Read

You read quite a few blogs in 2021 (177 in fact!), but five stories consistently stayed in the top spots. In today’s world of information overload, you wanted the facts—straight and simple:

Top 12 Things You Didn’t Know About the World Food Programme

WFP helicopter sitting on a grass field.
Photo: WFP/John Wessels

Over 100,000 people read our list of 12 surprising facts about the U.N. World Food Programme. Did you know we are the world’s largest humanitarian organization? 

Nearly 60% of the World’s Hungriest People Live
in Just a Few Countries. Why?

Women at a food distribution center in Nigeria, all wearing brightly colored hijabs on their heads
Photo: WFP/Andre Vornic

This past year, conflicts new and old drove millions of people into hunger. Nearly 50,000 of you wanted to understand the cycle of conflict and hunger and learn how the U.N. World Food Programme is supporting communities on the frontlines.

8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger 

man washing cucumbers in bin of water
Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud

One of the many solutions to ending world hunger starts at home, with cutting down food waste. Over 25,000 of you decided to get the facts first and learn how cutting food waste and food loss can help feed every person on the planet.

American Hunger Heroes: General MacArthur

man in military uniform signs document in front of soldiers
Photo: United States Navy

Nearly 18,000 history buffs followed our Hunger Heroes series and got an inside look at how a renown American military leader, General Douglas MacArthur, served not only as a war hero, but a hunger hero as well.

FAQ: The 6 Things You Need to Know About Childhood Hunger
This Back-to-School Season

children sitting outside in a large group
Photo: WFP/Shelley Thakral

As schools across the United States reopened and parents returned to packing lunches each day, 18,000 of you wondered what life was like for children going to bed on an empty stomach.

The Stories You May Have Missed

There are a few stories of hunger and hope you may have missed the first time around in 2021 that we think you’ll like. These stories deserve a spot at the top too:

Remembering a Great Champion of Food Security:
Senator Robert Dole

Senator Robert Dole left behind an extraordinary record of contributions to the United States and to the world. Among them all, he deserves special recognition for the role he played in the domestic and global fight against hunger. At his passing in December, we honored Senator Dole’s dedication to food security and partnership with World Food Program USA.

Food, Feed & Fuel: What’s Behind the
Recent Rise in Global Food Prices? 

woman buying tomatoes at market
Photo: WFP/Badre Bahaji

We’re hearing about it a lot in the news, so what is driving the current rise in food prices and how does it affect the world’s hungriest people? Senior Director of Public Policy and Thought Leadership at World Food Program USA, Chase Sova, gave us an inside look at why the receipts for your 2021 holiday meal may have been higher than in years past.

Afghanistan: WFP Remains Standing – a Fortress Against Hunger 

Photo: WFP/Julian Frank

The fall of the Afghan government in August 2021 triggered a disastrous domino effect that pushed an unprecedented percentage (55%) of the population into hunger. Qadir Assemy, head of the U.N. World Food Programme office in Herat, described how the city fell and why he stayed.

Here’s a Tribute to the Healing Heroes Working in
the Toughest Places Around the World 

A nurse in green scrubs is pictured standing outside her house, smiling
Photo: WFP/Deborah Nguyen

The second year of COVID-19 continued to prove how indispensable healthcare workers like nurses are. The nature of their work means they are present for our best and worst times, and they understand – intimately – joy and pain, hope and suffering, life and death. Take a look at our tribute to the healing heroes working in the world’s worst health and hunger crises.

The Women of Syria Are Hungry for Food and Change 

a woman in blue and grey headscarf smiles
Photo: WFP/Hussam Al-Saleh

2021 marked the ten-year anniversary of the conflict in Syria, a tragic milestone for a situation that has become increasingly desperate – especially for women and girls. To commemorate ten years of conflict, we shared the harrowing stories of ten Syrian women and girls who are doing whatever it takes to survive each day.

The Steps You Took to Join the Movement

This past year, nearly 3 million of you visited our site to look at country pages, read the latest news and stories, and more. But you didn’t just read. You searched for ways to join our World Food Program USA team and be part of the solution to rising global hunger. You took action by playing Freerice and writing to your members of Congress. And you kept up with the year’s most pressing emergencies, searching for updates on Yemen, Madagascar and Afghanistan to learn how the U.N. World Food Programme was responding on the ground.

Top 5 Searches on Our Site in 2021

  1. Yemen
  2. Careers
  3. Madagascar
  4. Afghanistan
  5. Ethiopia

In 2021, the U.N. World Food Programme undertook the biggest operation in its history and aimed to reach up to 120 million people. Whether you read about how to prevent famine or donated to help families bear the brunt of the climate crisis, your support made this undertaking possible. Thank you for making us a part of your 2021.