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Hunger & Starvation Myth #7: 

Hungry people are a helpless burden on society and the world.


The Hunger Project recognizes that creating truly effective strategies and actions for the end of hunger requires a new framework of thinking, that is, a new paradigm - a paradigm consistent with the end of hunger. The key elements of that new paradigm are:

  • Self-reliance: Conventional approaches have treated hungry people as the problem instead of the solution, as beneficiaries rather than the primary actors, working for their own self-reliance. All individuals have the right and the responsibility to be the authors of their own lives and their own development. The work of ending hunger must build from people's own creativity - their own skills, resources and decision making.

  • Enabling Environment: People's ability to express their self-reliance is a function of the opportunities provided by the society. The work of ending hunger is therefore not feeding people. It is the work of creating an enabling environment in which people have the opportunity and empowerment they need to build lives of self-reliance.

  • Empowerment of women: Women and girls are the most affected by hunger and poverty. Traditionally, women bear the primary responsibilities in the most relevant areas - food production, nutrition, family planning, primary health and education. Yet most development inputs continue to go to men. A central component of effective strategy must be the empowerment of women in ways that enable her to achieve improvements in all key areas that affect their lives and those of their families.

  • Global responsibility, partnership and investment: Hunger is a global issue. All of us have the responsibility to stand in partnership with hungry people, committed to their success. The achievement of this goal represents a new future, not only for those who are hungry but for all people. Realizing this new future for all humanity requires investment, not charity.



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