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Appeal to bring life-restoring nourishment to children and communities hardest hit by worsening hunger crisis

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Media Release

Appeal to bring life-restoring nourishment to children and communities hardest hit by worsening hunger crisis

2024 is showing concerning trends in the rise of hunger and food insecurity around the globe. Global reports1 show that, since 2020, the number of people facing severe food insecurity has risen each year, driven largely by conflict and economic and climate shocks. The effects of this crisis are worse for those already vulnerable to the challenges of poverty, particularly children. Almost half of all deaths in children under 5 are related to undernutrition.

Christian development agency Tearfund has partnered with local organisations around the world for over fifty years, developing long-term holistic transformation for communities facing poverty and injustice, including immediate and long-term solutions to hunger and food insecurity. As hunger and food insecurity keeps an increasing number of people trapped in the cycle of poverty today, this core focus of Tearfund’s work has never been more urgent and important. Tearfund’s partners are supporting communities where malnutrition and food insecurity are at their most severe, such as South Sudan, Afghanistan and Somalia; nearly thirty percent of Tearfund’s project budget each year is allocated to food and livelihood activities - helping families put food on the table.

Tearfund partners describe the situation faced by their communities:

“In 2024, more than half of Afghanistan’s population is projected to require humanitarian assistance … Severe climate change effects have precipitated a widespread water crisis that leaves no corner of the country untouched, and has generated new food, health and nutrition needs.” (Local partner, Afghanistan)

”Hunger is a major issue … everyone is in need at the moment.” (Local partner, Zimbabwe)

Tearfund’s partners know that nutritional food alone is not enough to end hunger and break the cycle of poverty, so they are empowering communities with initiatives that tackle the problem from multiple angles – improved access to good food, education and better farming.

Phil Lindsay, Tearfund’s Effectiveness and Humanitarian Team Leader, shares:

“Tearfund was pleased to be able to support communities in southern Ethiopia as they try and recover from years of drought and the resulting loss of not just their crops, but their livestock and other household goods as they sold possessions to buy food. The needs still remain. I have recently seen photos of people yoked together like oxen, pulling ploughs to work their land in case the rains come. In South Sudan, I’ve also seen how communities who only produced enough food to last around five months a year can work together when they do get good harvests to improve their yields and store their produce so they now have enough food for the whole year, and this will hopefully allow them to better cope when bad seasons come.”

This work can make a life-and-death difference for children like 18-month-old Salifyanji, who falls into the category of children at risk of undernutrition-related mortality. In Zambia, where Salifyanji is from, 1 in 3 children experience stunting, meaning they are not reaching their growth milestones as a result of chronic malnutrition.

“People are lamenting and really worried, [there has been] huge loss. One third of the population is at risk of starvation if nothing is done.” (Local partner, Zambia)

Tearfund’s local Zambian partner is active in Salifyanji’s community, through an initiative that trains local women as nutrition volunteers. One of these volunteers came alongside Salifyanji’s mother and empowered her with access to good food, knowledge and a network of support.

For just $60 – the amount spent on takeaway food each week by the average Australian – Tearfund’s partner can train three of these volunteers, reaching hundreds of local families and transforming the future for vulnerable children.

It only took one week for Salifyanji's health to turn around, as she and her mother ate nutritionally-laden meals and understood how to maintain health for the future. And through nutrition education and sustainable farming initiatives, this partner is helping the broader community address the underlying causes of hunger and food insecurity.

Tearfund’s end of financial year appeal, Nourished for Life, is supporting local Christian agencies to help their communities overcome the challenges of malnutrition, hunger and food insecurity. Motivated by Jesus’ words in John 10:10 – “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” – the appeal seeks to see this fullness of life realised for those whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by poverty and injustice.

Donations over $2 are tax deductible and can be made securely online at, or by calling 1800 244 986.


For further information or interview requests call Melody Murton (Tearfund Head of Communications & Education) on (03) 9264 7000 or email [email protected]

Note for Editors

  • Tearfund supports over 50 partners worldwide. Tearfund partners are helping communities improve food security and nutrition in 12 countries, 3 of which are among the top 8 countries facing the most severe food crises.
  • Improving food security and addressing hunger-related challenges such as child malnutrition is a key focus of the program work of many of Tearfund’s partners.
  • Tearfund’s partnerships over the last 50+ years demonstrate positive outcomes for families and communities facing poverty as a result of improved food security, better farming, and nutrition education.

Key Messages

Tearfund Australia:

Tearfund works in partnership to end poverty, challenge inequality and build sustainable communities. Following Jesus, we go where the need is greatest, acting with courage to tackle injustice so that all may experience fullness of life. Our partnerships with local Christian agencies develop long-term holistic transformation for communities facing poverty and injustice around the world and in Australia. We do justice together as we inspire, connect and equip Australian Christians to live, act and pray for a more just and compassionate world.

1. World Food Programme; Global Report on Food Insecurity