WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran visits a school in Ghana where WFP provides students with a hearty lunch, that gives them the energy to concentrate in class. Copyright: WFP/Marco Frattini
WFP is calling young people around the world to join the fight against hunger on 12 August for International Youth Day recognizing the next generation’s potential to solve the problems of today. The 2010 edition kicks off the International Year of Youth, 12 months of projects and events empowering the world's youth.
ROME -- WFP is calling young people around the world to join the fight against hunger on 12 August for International Youth Day, a celebration of the next generation’s potential to solve the problems of today. This year’s edition kicks off the International Year of Youth, 12 months of project and events empowering the world’s young people to be the change they want to see in the world.
Together with other UN agencies and organisations around the world, WFP joins in encouraging youth minds across the globe to transcend religious, political, and ethnic boundaries in an effort to overcome the challenges facing humanity such as hunger and poverty.
International Youth Day takes place every year on August 12. This year, it launches the International Year of Youth, with the theme Dialogue and Mutual Understanding. Find out more
Making hunger history
Young people are vital to WFP’s campaign against world hunger, as Executive Director Josette Sheeran emphasized during a July Hunger Seminar in London. “You are the generation that will end hunger,” she told one of the students who’d come to attend. “In the future, we want our grandchildren to ask us, what hunger and starvation were.”
Today, hunger and malnutrition are the single greatest risk to global health worldwide, affecting over one billion people. Similarly, there are approximately 1.2 billion people between the ages of 15-24, 87 percent of whom live in developing countries.
Empowering young people, is one of the single most important factors in reaching this goal, which is why WFP focuses so much of its efforts on making sure kids get the nutrition they need.
Right food, right time
The effects of malnutrition among children under the age of five are not only damaging, but also irreversible. A crucial part of WFP’s work is ensuring that both children get the essential vitamins and nutrients they need, during that precious window of opportunity when their bodies are still developing. Find out more about child nutrition
The effects of neglecting youth are damaging to individuals, communities and societies altogether, and WFP is committed to providing the resources and nutrition for youth so that they can reach their full potential.
WFP school meals programmes, which feed over 66 million children worldwide, provide kids with the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow and learn, while giving their parents extra incentive to keep sending them to school. Find out more about school meals
Significantly reducing the number of people in the world suffering from hunger is Millennium Development Goal #1, and empowering the next generation is a fundamental part of reaching that goal. In the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, “we must do ever more to reach out, to listen and to learn from young people.”
The Students and Teachers section of WFP’s website highlights the efforts of young people around the world to create a better tomorrow. Log on to get involved! Also, be sure to check out our Youth Action Centre where you can find all the tools you need to proactively fight hunger.