Posted by Maria Zampaglione | 29/05/2020
World Hunger Day annually brings together organizations and communities around the globe to raise awareness of the staggering prevalence of hunger; however, this year, the effort hits particularly close to home for many as the global COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased food security challenges around the world.
This increase is the most recent example of why it is important to allow access to food in a sustainable and affordable way for everyone. At Elanco, we’re marking World Hunger Day with a reflection on the momentum made by our company and our collaborators to combat food insecurity not just today – but every day – through our corporate social responsibility (CSR) framework, Elanco’s Health Purpose.
Last year, Elanco extended our commitment to fighting food insecurity through a breakthrough educational effort with collaborator Farm Radio International (FRI). The partnership is part of our ground-breaking project to provide sustainable development solutions to address food insecurity in East African countries1 where 25% of livestock currently raised are lost due to animal illness.2 Together, we helped expand access to interactive radio for farmers, bringing a new way to connect with hard-to-reach populations. The radio programs focused on knowledge transfer, disease awareness, prevention and treatment for important topics such as fly, tick and rodent control which are common in the area.
In collaboration with FRI, Ultravetis Tanzania, and four radio stations in Mwanza, Arusha, Tanga and Dar es Salaam, Elanco reached just over 10 million people of working age, of which an estimated 4.8 million were in rural areas. Research shows the program drove behavior change that improved farming practices and animal health with more than 60% of farmers changing their livestock management behaviors to improve animal health and care.
Improving animal welfare helps communities around the world build resiliency and productivity. The health of animals, people and our planet are deeply interconnected. The initiatives led by Elanco are recapped in our 2019 CSR Impact Report which shares the measurable progress we made in helping change the trajectory of global hunger. Through nearly 100,000 employee hours, collaborations and innovative education programs, we helped break the cycle of hunger in 293 communities, impacting more than 1.4 million households. These results nearly tripled our original goal!
While we’ve made great progress, there is still more work to be done.
According to the UN World Food Programme, the pandemic threatens to double the number of people facing food security crises by the end of the year to 265 million.3
Now more than ever, Elanco is remaining focused on advancing animal health and discovering the ways healthy animals can continue to be a solution to these unprecedented global challenges. In fact, we launched our newly formed Elanco Foundation in response to COVID-19 food security challenges in communities across our footprint, donating $700,000 to help in this effort. As a purpose-driven company, Elanco has been and will continue to be committed to improving access to healthy animal protein for communities across the world.
This World Hunger Day highlights new, unprecedented challenges in food security, but we'll continue to get through this together with healthy animals as part of the solution.
1 EAGA project: https://www.elanco.com/healthy-purpose#shared-value
2 FAO, The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2019. http://www.fao.org/state-of-food-security-nutrition
3 World Food Programme, Risk of hunger pandemic as COVID-19 set to almost double acute hunger by end of 2020. https://insight.wfp.org/covid-19-will-almost-double-people-in-acute-hunger-by-end-of-2020-59df0c4a8072