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Press Release: Christian Campaigners Take Up "Zero Hunger Challenge"

7. May 2014

    As part of its “Food for Life” Campaign, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) is promoting how the EAA and its member organizations are helping to achieve “Zero Hunger” and the vision of the United Nation’s campaign, the “Zero Hunger Challenge” (ZHC).


    The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched the Zero Hunger Challenge at Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference in June 2012.


    Christine Campeau, EAA’s “Food for Life” campaign coordinator, stated, “The Zero Hunger Challenge gives a high level push to global efforts towards food and nutrition security. It challenges all of us – especially governments, businesses, farmers, civil society and faith-based organizations, researchers and donors – to put aside some of their differences and work together on a common vision of eliminating hunger worldwide.”


    The Zero Hunger Challenge is a collection of five aspirations:

    • 100% access to adequate food all year round
    • Zero stunted children under 2 years
    • All food systems are sustainable
    • 100% growth in smallholder productivity and income
    • Zero loss or waste of food


    Campeau highlighted that faith-based organizations are important partners and advocates in achieving the goal of zero hunger. “Our members work with farmers and communities all over the world and know what works and what is needed for everyone to have adequate and appropriate food and nutrition. Our members also link this on-the-ground experience and advocate for policies and practices at national and international levels that promote sustainable and rights-based solutions to chronic hunger and malnutrition.”


    EAA’s info-graphic report published by ZHC describes how EAA members have been working to make progress on these aspirations. For example:

    • EAA members labor to ensure that food producers have access to and control over the natural resources they need (land, water, and a diversity of locally-adapted seeds that can respond to a range of different climate challenges) to produce crops that will provide diverse diets throughout the year.
    • EAA works to increase community resilience and food sovereignty by promoting strengthened local food systems using an ecosystem-based model of agriculture.
    • EAA promotes agroecological methods of production, which produce more food with fewer external inputs and improves income for farmers. It requires very little operational costs and delivers great returns on investment, both in terms of livelihoods, social and economic factors and for the environment.
    • Since 2010, EAA members have raised awareness about food waste and post-harvest losses by inviting members to take the ‘Zero Waste Challenge’ during the Lenten period (see: www.e-alliance.ch/en/s/food/sustainable-consumption/fast-for-life/).


    EAA member Canadian Foodgrains Bank has also joined the Zero Hunger Challenge.


    “The challenge and work of ending hunger resonates with the core values of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank,” says Foodgrains Bank Executive Director Jim Cornelius. “We are excited that the UN Secretary General is making ending hunger a critical issue. We support the initiative and encourage others to join these efforts.”


    The Zero Hunger Challenge was initially backed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank and Bioversity International but has grown to encompass more than 50 members and agencies. 


    For More Information

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/

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