All over the world, across borders and time zones, tens of thousands of people are preparing to join the fight against hunger in “End Hunger: Walk the World”. An annual event to raise funds for and awareness about the efforts of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to feed hungry and malnourished children, “Walk the World” is a joint effort between WFP and its partners, led by transportation and delivery firm TNT, consumer goods giant Unilever, and life sciences and material sciences company DSM.
Here in the Philippines, “Walk the World” will take place on May 29, Sunday, at the SM Mall of Asia IMAX Parking Lot, from 5:00 AM to 10:00 AM. There are four categories for would-be participants: a two-kilometer walk, a five-kilometer run with men’s and women’s divisions, and a ten-kilometer run for 10-member groups.
The proceeds from the event will go to the WFP Emergency School Feeding Program in conflict-affected areas of central Mindanao, which supports about 80,000 children. It costs the WFP only about ten pesos to provide a nutritious meal to a child at school.
Eradicating hunger is part of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which all UN member states and several development institutions have committed to achieve by 2015, but whether the target will be met is still uncertain. According to a 2010 fact sheet from the UN, while the proportion of people suffering from hunger is declining, the pace has been unsatisfactory, and progress has been fitful since the beginning the decade. A non-commissioned Social Weather Stations survey conducted in March this year would seem to support this. The survey showed that, in the first quarter, the proportion of Filipino families who reported suffering from involuntary hunger—that is, hunger from lack of anything to eat—at least once in the past three months rose to 20.5 per cent, or about 4.1 million families.
Those interested to join the race against hunger may register online until May 27, at any establishment participating as a “Walk the World” registration site until May 28. Other ways to help the cause include spreading the word via social media, donating to the WFP, and finding other ways to get involved.