A new survey for Argyll’s international child food aid charity, Mary’s Meals, has shown that the number of children across the world who die from hunger every day is hugely underestimated.
The poll found that over half of people thought 2,000 children died every day. In reality, that figure stands at over 18,000, according to the United Nations, nine time more than we imagine.
Mary’s Meals is working hard to alleviate the problem of hunger by feeding children, at achool, on a daily basis in some of the world’s most impoverished nations.
By providing one meal a day in a place of learning, Mary’s Meals attracts chronically hungry children into a classroom where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.
Results from the survey show that the vast majority of people know that hunger is the world’s top health risk and know that there is enough food in the world to feed everyone.
However, most people were unaware that more people go hungry in Asia than in any other continent, with one in eight people believing that Africa is home to most hungry people in the world.
Mary’s Meals is addressing the problems of hunger in Asia by working hard to provide feeding programmes across the region, particularly in India where they are reaching out to some of the poorest and most isolated people.
Half of those polled also underestimated the scale of world hunger and did not realise that the populations of the USA, Canada and the EU put together was equal to the number of hungry children in the world.
Given a choice of figures of how much it costs to feed a child for a whole school year, over half thought it would cost over £50 with around a third believing the cost would be more than £250.
The reality is that it costs Mary’s Meals just £10.70 to feed a child for a whole school year.
Mary’s Meals feeds 650,000 children in 16 countries across the world including Malawi, Liberia, Kenya and Haiti. Where Mary’s Meals is provided, there is a rise in rates of school enrolment, attendance and academic performance.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, CEO of Mary’s Meals, says: ‘It’s worrying that the true scale of global hunger and its effects are being underestimated to such an extent.
‘But all over the world, there are people who will not accept that any child in this world of plenty should endure a day without a meal.
‘As a result of their generosity, thousands of children who would otherwise be hungry and working for their next meal, are instead sitting in a classroom with a full stomach, learning how to read and write.
‘These are the children who can one day become the men and women who will lift their communities out of poverty and end their reliance on aid.’
The survey, carried out on behalf of Mary’s Meals was undertaken in collaboration with the Orange ‘Do Some Good’ app.
The Do Some Good app, available at the Apple App Store, allows people to volunteer for a charity by donating as little as five minutes of their time via their mobile phones and tablet devices.
Now there’s a thought.
More information can be found on Mary’s Meals website.