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Universities Fighting Hunger: In Pursuit Of Sustainability

Main table of speakers at the 7th Summit of Universities Fighting World Hunger in Honduras (Copyright: WFP/ Juan Montes). 

Students concerned about worldwide hunger met in Honduras last weekend for a summit organised by Universities Fighting World Hunger. At the forefront of the discussion was Honduras's own National School Feeding program, which reaches close to 1.5 million children per year. The programme constitutes the largest safety-net in the country.

CATACAMAS-- Brandan Rice from Birmingham, Alabama, believes it is outrageous that 1 out of 7 go hungry in the world; Salora Wright, a student from Auburn thinks that hunger relief is about people not statistics. Both Samuel Avelar from El Salvador and Alicia Martinez from Guatemala agree that food and nutritional security are crucial to human development.

Even when their views on how to end world hunger sometimes differ, there is something that all Brandans, Saloras, Samuels, and Alicias have in common: they are part of Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) and they are concerned about the situation of the hungry poor worldwide.

Last weekend, Brendan, Salora, Samuel, and Alicia, together with thousands of other students convened at Catacamas, the capital of the Olancho Department in Honduras, to celebrate UFWH 7th Summit. UFWH began as a partnership between WFP and Auburn University in 2004 and has grown to be an international coalition of university students.

Its goal is to facilitate a learning environment where intellectual discovery and social responsibility converge, in the pursuit of a sustainable world. A sustainable world can protect our natural environment and enhance human health and well-being, for present and future generations.

This year’s Summit, organized for the first time outside North America, was hosted by the National University of Agriculture at Catacamas, and attended by Honduran President Porfirio Lobo.

During the event, academic experts and participants stressed the importance of promoting education to improve the nation’s poverty eradication effort. At the forefront of the discussion was Honduras National School Feeding program run by the Minister of Education in partnership with WFP. The program reached close to one and a half million children per year, or almost the totality of Honduran primary school children. Since 2004 it has improved enrollment, attendance, and retention rates among primary school children and effectively constitutes the largest safety-net in the country, providing meals, feeding brains, and futures in over 20,000 schools nationwide.

You can find more information about the event here