FAQ's                

WHAT DOES THE HUNGER PROJECT DO?

The Hunger Project’s goal is to end world hunger by 2030. Our approach is different – we see people living in hunger as the solution, not the problem. We shift the mindsets of women and men so they transform into leaders for the sustainable end of hunger. Then, through our programs such as education, microfinance, agriculture and health, we empower people with the skills, knowledge and resources they need to break the poverty cycle themselves.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY HUNGER?

The Hunger Project focuses on chronic, persistent hunger as distinct from the acute famine emergencies that make the news. Chronic, persistent hunger is not due merely to lack of food. It occurs when people lack opportunity to earn enough income, to be educated and gain skills, to meet basic health needs and have a voice in the decisions that affect their community. 83% of the worlds hungry live in conditions of chronic persistent hunger.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY?

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that number of hungry (chronic malnourished) people in the world is estimated at 815 million. Most malnourished people (98%) live in developing countries. The majority of them (85%) live in rural villages in Asia and Africa. Women make up 60% of worlds hungry.

The number of hungry people reduced. In 20 years, the number of people living with hunger has decreased by 132 million, from 18.6% to 12.5% of the world's population. However, 1 in 9 people are still hungry.

When THP started in 1977, over 30,000 young children were dying each day due to hunger - now that has been reduced to 8,500 children under 5 per day – a 70% reduction. Although there has been huge advances, there is still far too many hunger related deaths.

WHY DO NOT YOU NOT GIVE AID OR FOOD?

The Hunger Project does not distribute food because food aid is not a sustainable solution to world hunger.

Although there are emergency situations in which food aid is the difference between life and death, more than 90 percent of the world’s hungry people are chronically undernourished (FAO 2010). For them, hunger is a daily, sometimes life-long, reality. People living with persistent hunger require and deserve a sustainable solution based on self-reliance.

Food aid is not only insufficient for combating world hunger; some development experts argue that it can actually cause harm. If poorly managed, distribution of food can destabilize local prices and undermine local production and trade, which are critical for local agricultural development and long-term food security.

The Hunger Project addresses the root causes of hunger and poverty using a methodology that is affordable, replicable and sustainable. Our methodology emphasizes rural development and self-reliance. It enables women and men to eradicate persistent hunger in their communities, and makes them more resilient so that they can cope with famine or other emergencies as they arise.

WHY DO YOU ONLY WORK IN RURAL AREAS?

The Hunger Project invests in rural development because it is the point of highest leverage for ending hunger and extreme poverty. Currently, 70 percent of the people living in poverty reside in rural areas. Even in the context of rapid urbanisation, it is projected that rural areas will continue to have the highest rates of poverty until the year 2040 (World Development Report 2008).

Throughout the world, the conditions faced by the rural poor are far worse than those faced by the urban poor. They lack access to basic resources like clean water and sanitation, education, health care, transport, and communications.

HOW DOES THP DETERMINE WHICH COUNTRIES TO WORK IN?

The Hunger Project only establishes a programme in a country when:

  1. the country has sufficient peace and commitment to democratic process that a people-centered approach can be sustained;
  2. we are invited by, and have access to, top-level leadership such that our successes in the country can influence government;
  3. the country is one with a significantly large population living in absolute poverty;
  4. and we have enough resources to ensure that, once we start, we can stay the course.

HOW DO YOU SPEND THE MONEY AND HOW MUCH REMAINS IN NEW ZEALAND?

The Hunger Project strives to keep the costs in New Zealand as low as possible so that the money can be sent to where it is needed most: our programmes. We operate predominantly from a solid base of volunteers who give their time, skills and money to ensure our costs as optimal. Total costs in New Zealand were 14% in 2016, of which 4% were fundraising, 6% for internal organisation and 4% for awareness.

More details can be found in the annual accounts.

WITH ALL THE PROBLEMS HERE AT HOME, WHY SHOULD I BE CONCERNED WITH HUNGER OVERSEAS?

The problems we face, both at home and internationally, are increasingly global. Issues such as global warming, environment, disease, war and political instability are issues that ignore borders and affect us all.

In addition, The Hunger Project is committed to ending world hunger as an expression of global citizenship, global partnership and global responsibility. We consider that hunger exists not as a local or national problem, but as a global problem. All of us have a responsibility to create a world where all people have the chance to lead lives free from hunger.

DO YOU ALSO SUPPORT OTHER FOUNDATIONS OR INITIATIVES WITH MONEY?

Money raised goes only to The Hunger Project Programmes. We are a highly leveraged organisation and work in partnership with other organisations, but there is no money from The Hunger Project that goes to other organisations, foundations or initiatives.

CAN I WORK WITH YOU ABROAD?

The Hunger Project only works with local staff and local volunteers in our programme countries so it is not possible to work in our programme countries in Africa, Latin America or Asia. This applies to paid work as well as internships and voluntary work. Why we do not do this:

  • The most critical process for our local colleagues who work in the villages in the programme countries is addressing and creating a shifting of mindset: from a sense of dependency (from aid and outside help coming and going creating deep resignation) to a sense of self-responsibility and the confidence that they can live healthy and productive life and that they are the key in driving that change. This is not an easy process that often takes years; it’s human development and takes patience and understanding. The presence of non-local volunteers or employees who want to ‘help’ can disturb this process.

  • Enthusiasm and desire to be involved alone are not enough. The local staff knows and understands the local context. A non-local volunteer or employee could disempower people without proper preparation. In addition, there is often a high cost to training and upskilling non- local individuals which is time and resources not efficiently spent or invested.

  • As we only work in rural areas who do not speak English and with any number of dialects it is often not practical to volunteer in these areas.

The best use of your time, skills and money is spent in connecting with The Hunger Project in New Zealand and finding ways that you can contribute. By you investing your resources locally, we can invest our resources in the most efficient and sustainable way. 

CAN I VOLUNTEER FOR YOU?

Yes! Volunteers who contribute their own unique strengths and abilities to creating a world without hunger are indispensable to us. It’s not always glamourous, volunteering requires a mindset and attitude of rolling up your sleeves and doing what’s needed so we can focus our attention the critical areas for growth. That being said, we always try to balance this with projects you can work on with tangible outcomes. If you do have a specific skill you can offer to us to work on a project, we ask that you commit to a minimum period of 3 months volunteering time – this maybe one or more days a week for three months. After an initial meeting, we do offer opportunities to volunteer remotely. Big or small, your volunteering does make a difference. Send us your CV and we will be in contact with you to discuss.