Give children
a hand up
Image depicting Give children a hand up
Photo: WFP/Mohammed Awadh
Every year, more than 3 million children die from hunger-related causes. We can help them.
Photo: WFP/Mohammed Awadh
Lifelong Consequences

Nutrition during childhood shapes children in ways that last a lifetime. The serious effects of malnutrition – from sickness and impaired thinking to stunted growth – impact not only them, but their families and their communities.

47M

children suffer from severe malnutrition every year

45%

of deaths among children under 5 are caused by hunger

62%

of WFP’s beneficiaries are children

A Generation Under Threat

Health

When children don’t have adequate food, it directly affects their ability to fight off infection, and common illnesses can become life-threatening. The economic burden to families and countries can be great.

Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

Cognition

Cognitive development in children is heavily impacted by nutrition. Without proper food in the first few years of life, most children will have an impaired ability to learn for the rest of their lives.

Photo: WFP/Ziad Rizkallah

Growth

Malnourished children are often underweight (called wasting) and underheight (called stunting). Both are often accompanied by recurring illnesses that can be a heavy burden for families and public healthcare systems.

Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

Productivity

It is estimated that malnutrition costs the global economy up to $3.5 trillion dollars each year in lost productivity, increased healthcare costs and emergency services.

Photo: WFP/Annabel Symington

WFP’s Response

The U.N. World Food Programme feeds millions of pregnant women, new moms and young children every year, giving them a hand up at the start of their lives.

Photo: WFP/Berta Tilmantaite
First 1,000 Days

The most crucial nutritional window for a child happens between pregnancy and their second birthday. That’s when WFP steps in with foods designed specifically to treat and prevent malnutrition.

Photo: WFP/Vilakhone Sipaseuth
School Meals

WFP’s School Meals program is the largest in the world. It’s an essential safety net that provides more than 17 million children with lifesaving nutrition, health and education.

Photo: Courtesy of Rick Steves
Supporting Farmers

Ironically, over 50% of the world’s hungry people are small-scale farmers. WFP helps improve their food production so they can provide more nutritious diets for their children.

Photo: WFP/Badre Bhaji
Food Storage

WFP provides farming families with air-tight containers to store their dried crops, keeping them free from pests and mold so they can feed their children between harvests.

wfp in action

These are their stories

Breastfeeding in Emergencies: The Struggles of New Mothers in the World's Largest Refugee Camp

In episode 33 of the Hacking Hunger podcast, we highlight the challenges faced by pregnant mothers, new moms and young children in this pop-up city.

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Coronavirus Threatens to Push Millions of Children Into Malnutrition: The Time to Act Is Now

There is no time to wait. The choices we make today will determine millions of children's futures for months, years and decades to come.

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Alaa Fed Her Baby Sugar Water, and 6 More Stories of Raising Infants Without Food.

How can moms breastfeed if they can’t feed themselves? What role do fathers play in infant nutrition? How do refugee parents find food in a war zone? These are their stories.

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Children are the innocent victims of adult wars. They can’t help being born into poverty, and their lives are at our mercy.

We believe every child should have the food they need to take their first steps, learn their first words and read their first book.

We believe every child is born with the inalienable right to reach their full potential.

Hungry children need #AHandUp

Spread the message. Follow @WFPUSA on your favorite social media channels and tell your network that the world's hungriest children deserve #ahandup.