The United Nations (UN) recently reported that there was a dramatic worsening of world hunger in 2020. Suggesting that much of this is likely related to the fallout of COVID-19, it estimates that around a tenth of the global population – up to 811 million people – were undernourished last year. With more than half of these people living in Asia and over a third in Africa, the UN warns that the world is at a critical juncture. But as an inspiring new video released by our Movement of Life team in Uganda this week demonstrates, an innovative solution to global hunger and malnutrition is already at hand.
The growing prevalence of hunger and malnutrition has major implications for global health. This is because a lack of food results in chronic deficiencies of essential micronutrients. Over the past couple of decades, Dr. Matthias Rath’s groundbreaking Cellular Medicine research has revealed that such deficiencies are the primary cause of chronic diseases, as well as being the major contributing factor to compromised immunity. Based on this scientific knowledge, if the increasing worldwide incidence of chronic diseases is to be reversed, and future viral pandemics averted, then a viable strategy that optimizes the nutritional status of the global population has to be found.
The implementation of such a strategy is particularly challenging in the developing world. The UN itself admits that, even before the current pandemic, the incidence of hunger had already started creeping upwards again by the mid-2010s. Tellingly, this happened despite billions of dollars having been spent on international aid.
The first step towards solving global hunger and malnutrition is therefore to recognize that current international aid strategies have failed. The large international aid agencies and charities themselves have to bear much of the blame for this, as also do their main corporate sponsors and many governments. Far from freeing the developing world, much of the money spent on aid has instead resulted in countries becoming permanently dependent on it. As a result, there is increasing recognition that current international aid strategies often amount to little more than a modern-day form of colonialism.
Our international Movement of Life project takes a different approach. In our ‘Free Food for All’ campaign, for example, we teach people about the health-promoting properties of fruits and vegetables and help them set up school and community gardens, where they can grow micronutrient-rich fruit and vegetables to feed themselves, their families, and friends. Instead of expecting their futures to depend upon aid money from the big global institutions and international aid charities, we teach them how to become self-sufficient and look after themselves.
As our new Movement of Life video demonstrates, the implementation of this strategy has proven particularly successful in Uganda. Led by children taking part in the School Health Parliament project, the families and communities involved are benefitting not just from improvements to their health, but also to their financial circumstances. Through the proceeds achieved from selling their surplus crops, they are able to improve their economic situation and pay for things such as school fees. Some of them use their profits to buy chickens, rabbits, and pigs, and set up beehives. This then not only further improves their food security, it enables an even greater increase in the family income. The families involved speak with great pride about being independent and having enough food to eat, and not needing to beg.
Solving global hunger and malnutrition requires us to think differently, and act differently. Towards this goal, our Movement of Life project has begun planting the seeds of change. It is time for governments and policy makers to learn and do likewise.