Child hunger has reached its most dire level in generations. This is primarily due to civil and international conflicts, climate change, and the economic repercussions of the post-COVID era, which have driven food prices to unprecedented heights. Shockingly, this critical issue doesn’t receive the global attention and priority it deserves. Families around the world are facing a grim reality–they are unable to either produce or afford an adequate supply of nutritious food. Enter: World Vision Canada (WVC).
As the largest private relief and development agency in the nation, WVC makes it its core and ever-altruistic goal to change the lives of children, families and communities globally to overcome poverty and injustice. In 2023, they were named one of the top 10 international impact charities in the country by Charity Intelligence Canada. While they have become a household name across the country, the full impact of their work and history is not as well known.
Here are four important ways WVC helps the world’s most vulnerable children, families and communities fight hunger.
1. Over 80 per cent of World Vision’s funds have gone directly to help children and families
World Vision International was founded in 1950 by Robert Pierce, and Canada swiftly joined the organization with its own chapter in 1957. With a presence in 100 countries across six continents and a workforce of over 33,000 employees, World Vision has received remarkable growth. As its reach has expanded, World Vision’s unwavering commitment to supporting undernourished and impoverished families remains steadfast. Impressively, in the last five years, a substantial 82.3 per cent of their funding has been directly invested in programs benefiting children and families—a huge feat for an organization of this scale.
2. They are the UN World Food Programme’s largest non-governmental partner
For more than 30 years, WVC has been partnering with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and for the past 18 years, they have been their largest non-governmental partner. Together, WVC and WFP have aided more than 1.95 million people worldwide through food assistance and more than 1.45 million people worldwide through cash transfers to help promote local economic growth. Not to mention, they have also distributed nearly 68,000 metric tons of food to those in need. To help you visualize how much that really is, that would be the equivalent of approximately 27 Olympic-size swimming pools filled with food or the weight of 340 blue whales—no matter how you do the math, that’s a lot of food.
3. They empower and equip families and communities to fight malnutrition
WVC doesn’t stop at providing food assistance, they are committed to empowering parents with the know-how and resources necessary to nurture the well-being of their children. Moreover, WVC collaborates closely with communities through training programs in climate-smart food production and sustainable farming techniques. This holistic approach extends far beyond mere food distribution, ensuring that families and communities are equipped to thrive in the long term.
Lajabu, a mother from Mposa, South Africa, is a great testament to these nutritional assistance programs. In early 2017, she noticed her daughter Fazira was losing weight and her health was declining. Despite initial concerns of malaria, Fazira tested negative. Lajabu was then referred to a supplementary feeding program through WVC where Lajabu learned to prepare nutritious meals using local ingredients. This nutrition initiative helped Fazira regain her health and appetite, ultimately leading to her being declared healthy and graduating from the program.
4.It provides life-saving nutrition for children in the most fragile countries
Malnutrition contributes to an estimated 45 per cent of child deaths worldwide, and among those who survive, an estimated 149 million young children in lower and middle-income countries remain chronically malnourished. In 2022, WVC invested 44 per cent of their funding toward helping vulnerable, malnourished children in the most fragile countries including Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Somalia, among others.
One of the young children positively impacted was Naqeeb, a two-year-old from Afghanistan who faced chronic malnutrition since birth. Forced by conflict to move to an internally displaced persons settlement in Herat, Afghanistan, Naqeeb’s family had minimal to no access to adequate nutrition. WVC’s malnutrition program helped increase Naqeeb’s weight from 16 to nearly 20 pounds after 49 days of treatment. This gave hope to his family and ensured access to life-saving therapeutic food for 625 other children facing acute malnutrition in the same settlement.
Humanitarian organizations like World Vision Canada are on the frontlines of the global hunger crisis, delivering emergency food supplies and livelihood support to families and children. To learn more about how World Vision Canada is eradicating child hunger, visit their Impact page today.