Alice in a cabbage field supported by Action Against Hunger in the Democratic Republic of Congo..

Food security

We always look to find sustainable ways to help communities support themselves and have a sustainable supply of food.

In 2020 more than two billion people woke up each morning unsure if they would have enough to eat that day. They were facing food insecurity.

Food insecurity is when a person cannot guarantee a steady, daily supply of safe and nutritious food to live an active and healthy life.

Poverty is often a major cause of food insecurity. But even though the world produces enough food to feed the entire population, four out of ten people across the globe can’t afford a healthy diet.

Access to food can be a problem. Having access to enough food means having money to buy that food and it means being able to get to the food supply safely – be that in a market or on your own land.

Conflict and violence can stop people getting to food supplies, while climate change and natural disasters can reduce the food supply. Reducing the supply means prices go up. When you have little money, this becomes a big problem.

A woman collects food at a fair organised by Action Against Hunger in Democratic Republic of Congo.

A food fair organised by Action Against Hunger in Ituri province, Democratic Republic of Congo. Conflict has caused widespread hunger in the region.

Some countries experience poverty and food insecurity more than others. The South Asia region alone will need to create more than 13 million jobs every year to keep pace with population growth. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 15 million jobs will need to be created each year.

As the move from rural to urban areas continues, huge numbers of people moving into cites are searching for work. Many don’t come with the skills, training or education to find well-paid work. And not having a good job puts already vulnerable people at risk – particularly young people, women, immigrants, older people and the long-term unemployed.

It often leads to a downward spiral of despair. Families and individuals start by cutting back on clothing, furniture and leisure and then, over time, cutting back on nutritious and varied food and then cutting back on food altogether.

Facts and figures

  • 18,194T

    In 2019, we delivered over 18,000 tonnes of food assistance.

  • 4.4M

    We supported more than two million people through our food security and livelihoods programmes in 2022.

  • 252

    Action Against Hunger runs over 250 food security and livelihoods programmes around the world.

What’s the solution?

Our food security and livelihoods programmes are tailor-made for each community to meet their needs. Many are designed to boost families’ income so that people can make money, live well and buy what they need to survive and thrive.

Over the years, Action Against Hunger has worked towards strengthening livelihoods through the establishment of support systems at community level. We work with local communities to support people’s livelihoods in a number of different ways.

Village Savings and Loans Associations

Village Savings and Loans Associations are cooperatives where people can both save money and borrow it to set up small businesses, rather like a consumer-friendly bank. We also work with communities helping them build what are called ‘inclusive value chains’ where small-scale producers can work with big companies and sell their products for a fair price.

The Business Shuttle

We developed the Business Shuttle programme in Georgia in 2015, working with vulnerable groups, particularly women and young people, to develop innovative business ideas, promoting employment and social integration.

In recent years, we’ve supported hundreds of female-led households in the Gaza Strip, in the State of Palestine, where inhabitants struggled to trade and make a living due to being cut off from trade and free movement.

The Business Shuttle not only helps people learn new skills but also develops their soft skills including networking to build support in the wider community. In turn, this increases each business’s chance of survival and boosts income.

Boosting farmers’ yields

Around 80% of people who experience hunger live in rural areas, the majority of which are small-scale farmers. So it makes sense that we focus on them.

Our agriculture experts help in all sorts of ways, by reclaiming their land, regenerating soil, sharing knowledge on drought-resistant crops and growing nutrient-rich produce. By improving the soil quality, small-scale farmers are better able to grow more crops – enough to feed their families – and provide fodder for their animals, which are a key source of income.

Building resilient local food systems and protecting the soil not only feeds hungry families now, but will be critical to avert large-scale future shortages and to ensure food security and good nutrition for all.

A participant at a farmer field school in Pakistan.

Growing healthy food to fight hunger

How we’re supporting communities in Pakistan to get the nutrients they need to maintain healthy diets.

Read the story


Climate crisis

Gai tries to spear fish after his village in South Sudan is flooded.

Rising temperatures and extreme weather are having a huge impact on already vulnerable communities.


An Action Against Hunger staff member screens a child for malnutrition in Mali.

Providing children with the nutrition they need means they can fulfil their potential and build a brighter, healthier future.


South Sudanese refugees supported by an Action Against Hunger member of staff.

Most people facing hunger and malnutrition in the world today can be found in countries affected by conflict.