by Priya Bapat, Humanitas Global Development
Here at the Hunger and Undernutrition blog, we've featured authors over and over again who emphasize the importance of including leaders from all different sectors in the fight against hunger. Hunger is a global, multi-dimensional problem and it requires a concerted effort from politicians, scientists, businesspeople, economists, journalists, artists and others.
But how can each of these leaders contribute? Last year, in honor of its 50th birthday, the WFP conducted a series of video interviews with 50 leaders in diverse areas speaking about hunger. While these interviews may not shed light on the specific details on their thoughts on how to fight hunger, the 50 are an interesting list of leaders already working to fight hunger.
In addition to the more well-known voices in the hunger advocacy world such as economist Jeff Sachs, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, USAID Administrator Raj Shah and philanthropist Bill Gates, the WFP also includes interviews from hunger fighters from sectors that might not immediately come to mind when thinking about the issue of hunger.
Arianna Huffington and Roger Thurow's inclusion on the list shows the importance of the media and writers in bringing stories on hunger and solutions to hunger fighting to the spotlight. Videos from leaders at MasterCard and Yum! Brands speak to the power of the private sector. Actors and artists from around the world help to bring attention to the issue to mass audiences in different languages and geographies.
John Kufuor, former President of Ghana, is an example of how political leaders can continue to shape the world, even after they leave office. Lauren Bush Lauren and Donna Karan show how the influence of the fashion world can be harnassed for advocacy. And of course, no discussion on hunger would be complete without input from the scientific community, such as agricultural scientist Dr. M.S. Swaminanthan.
These are in addition to all the political and social sector leaders covering security, health, economic and so many other national and international issues.
The WFP interviews can be found online here. The interviews are brief and sometimes don't include more than a quick statement on hunger, but it is interesting to browse the list and think about how the potential of people of diverse backgrounds and expertise can put their skills to use to end hunger.