828 million people currently face chronic, persistent hunger: World Hunger Day 2023

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Today (Sunday, May 28) is World Hunger Day, a time to draw attention to the sobering fact that over 828 million people currently face chronic, persistent hunger – a sharp 22% increase since 2019.[1]

That statistic alone might turn your attention to something more personal such as thinking about your next meal, or which café to meet at later – my words are not here to induce guilt, but to shine a light on a part of the world you might not hear about often.

In Uganda, where I live, the reality of a country plagued by hunger and poverty is hard to ignore. Hunger robs my people of their dignity – I don’t have the luxury to turn away but instead, I embrace the opportunity to make a difference.

I grew up in one of the famous slums of Kampala city. My home was that part of the city where poverty, hunger and crime were rife; but it is also where I learnt to be creative, courageous and compassionate.

Deep in my imagination, I always conceived a world without hunger. My earlier life prepared me to embrace challenges and turn them into opportunities that would open a door into a more sustainable future. A future where hunger was just a story to be told.

Human nature thrives on sharing; there is enough for everyone irrespective of geographical boundaries. My mother taught me this lesson earlier in life. She always shared the little food we had with neighbours. That to me was a humanist view of abundance. An abundant mindset that turns scarcity into opportunities.

But for too long, there has been greed. How can we expect individuals to win against hunger when the game has been rigged for so long?

Here are a few examples that come to mind when I think about unsustainable systems.

Personal wealth is concentrated with just a tiny percent of an exploding world population;

Population growth is higher in developing countries, [2]while resource consumption and pollution is higher in developed countries;[3]

Climate change destroying food systems in Africa and Asia, while the global north create around a third of greenhouse gas emissions.[4]

World Hunger Day was pioneered by The Hunger Project to ensure that the world does not lose sight of the plight of our brothers and sisters bearing the brunt of world hunger and poverty. According to the UN, 20% of Africa’s entire population is facing hunger right now.[5]

Ending hunger is possible. I see the possibilities in my work every day, in the resilience and ingenuity of people.

But we also need to cause disruptions in longstanding systems that are causing hunger to persist.

To end hunger, we see the benefits in amplifying local voices and leadership around sustainable food practices, such as growing local through the promotion of eco-friendly farming systems and promoting technology innovation to reduce food loss both on farm and during post-harvest.

We are promoting the use of community seed banks to preserve indigenous seed varieties as well as improve storage. We’re promoting value addition to increase nutrient content in food, so that children may thrive. We’re raising awareness around the importance of biodiversity in enhancing productivity as well as working with communities to develop community adaptation plan to mitigate climate change impacts.

We believe this is how we create a world without hunger. It’s a longer-term approach that requires ongoing investment but truly represents sustainability on a global scale.

Author: Irene Naikaali Ssentongo – Country Director – The Hunger Project Australia






Bringing Solar to communities in Zambia

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I’ve been fortunate to have spent some time recently in Africa, with a week in Zambia and a week in Ethiopia. Here’s part one with an update on our work in Zambia.

As CEO, part of my role is to help support and secure funding for projects in the communities we work. There is no substitute for going to meet with our community partners and understand the need and context for such projects in person – and really get a sense of the very real and positive impact our work has in these countries. 

I travelled to Zambia with Nikki McCullagh, one of our Major Investors who has been the key supporter in our Zambian outreach through the Patter Foundation. There we met Rowlands Kaotcha, Vice-President for The Hunger Project’s Africa operations and our local team. While we were there, we had a progress update on the Epicentre build. While there have definitely been some challenges, it was great to see that the project is to be delivered later this year. We spent some time in Chipata and met with the local government official – an incredibly smart, powerful and articulate woman who said, “educate a woman and feed a nation.” That has really stuck with me and reaffirms the approach we have taken in working with women and girls. We then travelled to Vubwe, an epic drive on a road that has been made more degraded by the recent rains that broke the terrible drought Zambia had been in for the past few years.  


One of the highlights was the full day of community visits which is a chance to meet and connect with leadership from the Epicentre Committee and spend time with community members. We visited multiple villages, and I was thankful to be invited into people’s homes and hear how The Hunger Project has transformed their thinking and their quality of life.  We were privileged to be able to join a community savings meeting at Musiya village which is approximately 20 minutes by car from the Epicentre and close to the border of Malawi. It’s a simple and powerful process and allows the community to borrow funds and invest them in entrepreneurial activities that lead to being able to better provide for their families. They also have a separate fund that they all contribute to for area of need for the wider community. Amazingly, because of the proximity to the border, they manage their accounts in both Malawian & Zambian Kwotcha! 


I loved meeting the head nurse, who is now living in the purpose-built nurses’ quarters. The clinic still has a way to go but it was a promising start. We met with some solar power providers so that the Epicentre doesn’t need to rely on connecting to the grid and also supported the recruitment for the field officer role. The very capable Emmanuel has started and is already doing a fantastic job. 

I feel so fortunate to be able to see the programs in action and observe the incredible work that the community leadership and individuals are putting in.  

Kenshunga Epicentre is now Self-Reliant!

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We’re pleased to announce that the Kenshunga Epicentre in Uganda is now Self-Reliant!

The period between 2009 and 2022 has been one of transformation in both the social and economic lives of the community partners at KenshungaEpicentre.

Irene Naikaali Country Director, The Hunger Project Uganda


Bulamagi Epicentre is now Self-Reliant!

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We’re pleased to announce that the Bulamagi Epicentre in Uganda is now Self-Reliant!

Reaching Self-Reliance is an important collective achievement, and we wish to acknowledge the Bulamagi community for their strength, intelligence, and tenacity in reaching this key milestone.

Philippe Magid, The Hunger Project Australia CEO


Adonkwanta Epicentre is Self-Reliant!

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We’re pleased to announce that the Adonkwanta Epicentre in Ghana is now Self-Reliant!

“To our Investors in Australia who supported Adonkwanta to reach Self-Reliance, we say AYEKOO! (to wit -well done!)”

Samuel Afrane, Ghana Country Director




2023 Gift Guide

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Here at The Hunger Project Australia, we’re grateful to all of our partners that have committed to supporting our work and ending hunger.

We absolutely love the brands we work with and their products – and we know you will too! So if you’re looking for a last-minute gift for any of your loved ones – check out the THPA curated gift guide for the perfect gift that also gives back!

Hey Tiger Chocolate

The most delicious, high-quality chocolate in town comes in a range of unique, fun flavours. Hey Tiger Chocolate is the perfect gift idea – not only is each bar wrapped with beautiful packaging, but the sale of each bar supports The Hunger Project’s work in Ghana. 

Bared Footwear

Bared Footwear has crafted some seriously soft and sustainable bamboo THP Invisible Socks. $10 from every pack sold is invested in The Hunger Project. And if you don’t already own some, the Bared THP Hornbill Sneakers are the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one with $50 from every pair supporting our work in Malawi. 

THP x Kinnon Card Holders

Kinnon’s luxury leather card holders are a great gift for both men and women, with 50% of the proceeds invested in The Hunger Project’s work.

Wash Wild Hand Sanitiser, Hand Wash and Body Wash

Wash Wild has generously donated 50c from every bottle of Hand Sanitiser, Hand Wash, and Body Wash to The Hunger Project. They’re a beautiful blend of Australian native oils that not only smells and feels amazing, but is highly effective in killing germs and bacteria. 


Check out Decjuba’s online store or head into one of their retail stores for last-minute gift ideas. From fashion, activewear, and shoes to accessories there are so many beautiful gift ideas.   

Madame Flavour Tea

You might have tasted the Madame Flavour Deeply Relaxing Camomile Tea if you purchased our Mother’s Day Hamper earlier in the year. Madame Flavour has a beautiful range of high-quality tea – so if you haven’t tried them, head to their online store or grab a box at your local Woolworths or Coles. 

Random Harvest

Random Harvest generously donated their renowned Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar for our Christmas Pop-Up and now we’re obsessed! If you haven’t tried it already or tasted their full range of delicious gourmet dressing and condiments, head over to their online store today! 

Charlie’s Fine Food Co

What better gift this holiday season than some delicious cookies and biscuits? Goods from Charlie’s Fine Food Co were a hit at our Christmas Pop-Up, so next time you’re in Woolworths pop some into your shopping basket! 


Not only do Breville have beautiful kitchen appliances but they also have great kitchen accessories such as their gorgeous Coffee Glasses

Endota Spa

Did you know Endota has its own skincare line? You might have come across their Intense Moisturise Mask in our Mother’s Day Hamper and at our Christmas Pop-Up. If you haven’t already go check out their range, they have gift packs as well as stocking fillers for under $30. 


The reusable and sustainable brand Huskee has supported The Hunger Project by donating their beautiful reusable cups for different initiatives throughout the year. The cups are made out of coffee husks to help reduce the amount of waste in the coffee industry and we love them for our morning coffees.  

Peppermint Grove

From candles, skincare, bath products and room diffusers, Peppermint Grove creates the most beautiful fragrances. They have been supporting The Hunger Project through the donation of products at our different initiatives, so if you haven’t already, check them out! We are obsessed with the Lychee and Peony Scented Candles that we sold at our Christmas Pop-Up. 


A long-time supporter of The Hunger Project, Camilla creates beautiful clothing and accessories for women. If you are after a beautiful gift to impress, head to their online store or one of their retail stores near you.  


Sustainable fashion brand, Alkam has created THP scrunchies from fabric offcuts to reduce waste. 100% of the profits from scrunchie sales are invested in our work. 

Mullin Mulled Wine Infusers

A new brand in town is creating delicious Mulled Wine Infusers. We were lucky enough to sell some at our Christmas Pop-Up. Each infuser is filled with a vibrant blend of rich spices and bright citrus, ethically sourced from Fairtrade farms in Sri Lanka.  

Introducing Philippe Magid, Our New CEO

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We’re pleased to share this letter from Diane Grady, Chair of The Hunger Project Australia’s Board announcing the appointment of Philippe Magid as the new CEO of The Hunger Project Australia. 

The Board of The Hunger Project Australia is delighted to announce the appointment of Philippe Magid as our new CEO effective May 23, 2022.  Philippe will take over from Melanie Noden who, after leading us so capably for nearly seven years, has been appointed CEO of Australian Philanthropic Services.   

Philippe was appointed after a thorough search process that resulted in several outstanding candidates being carefully considered.  We chose Philippe because of his proven track record as a CEO, his skills in fundraising and marketing, and his ability to inspire staff and investors to engage deeply with our purpose—to end hunger and poverty – you can read a brief version of Philippe’s CV here. 

As the former Executive Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre, Philippes natural empathy enabled authentic connection with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and leaders. In that role, he initiated immersion programs for investors in first nation communities which resulted in significant giving. In the same manner, we believe Philippe will build meaningful relationships with both our investors and with people in our women-centred programs in Africa, India and Bangladesh.   

Philippe also has experience working in an international organisation as the Global Director, Arts and Culture Experiences for Airbnb which will assist him in understanding and working with the global Hunger Project team based in New York. His time as CEO of Reach Foundation—a youth-oriented NFP– will also enable him to contribute to one of The Hunger Projects new global initiatives aimed at empowering young people.   

As a fundraiser, Philippe has excelled at understanding what motivates individual investors and as a result, he is able to develop genuine connections with them. He has also been successful in securing government grants for the organisations he’s led.   

Philippe is recognised as a team builder eager to get to know each member of staff and agree on appropriate goals and development opportunities with them. He is committed to operational excellence and driving performance based on facts.   

In summary, we believe Philippe is the right person to guide THPA on our path to realizing our aspiration to significantly lift our fundraising to reach AU$50 million and thereby assist millions of people to achieve a life without hunger.   

When asked why he chose to join The Hunger Project team Philippe said:  

“I am thrilled to be leading The Hunger Project in Australia and to build on the powerful impact The Hunger Project is having, and to collaborate with you all in order to significantly broaden and deepen our impact over the coming years. Right now, The Hunger Project’s work and your support is needed more than ever. It is such a critically important time for the communities we support and work closely with.” 

We look forward to you meeting Philippe in person before too long.  In the meantime, if you havent done so already, please consider investing in our End of Financial Year campaign.  Your contribution would provide both a meaningful farewell to Melanie and welcome to Philippe.  

All the best and thank you for your ongoing support,

Bringing 6,000 women online in rural Ghana

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In an exciting and forwarding thinking program, The Hunger Project in partnership with BLUETOWN and the Microsoft Airband Initiative is bringing the Internet to 6,000 women in Ghana.

The gender digital divide blocks more than two billion women from accessing agriculture, health, education and civic engagement opportunities and solutions – and the divide is only getting worse: women are, on average, 14% less likely to own mobile phones than their male counterparts, and 43% less likely to engage online. This is why we’re excited to announce the launch of a pilot program to close the gender digital divide in rural Ghana.

In partnership with BLUETOWN and the U.S. Agency for International Development and with support from Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, the pilot program will provide access to information about education, agriculture, health, government initiatives, finance and business management and create opportunities for women to be active members of the digital economy.

Reliable Internet connectivity will sustainably increase women’s economic opportunities and eliminate barriers to women’s digital inclusion in three Hunger Project epicentres in Eastern Ghana. This will connect around 6,000 women to vital resources and knowledge that they will utilize to create waves of lasting development in their communities.

The collaboration will utilise BLUETOWN’s successful rural connectivity model, The Hunger Project’s proven programs, methodologies and educational content, and the technical expertise and scale of Microsoft’s staff and operations. To ensure rapid adoption of digital services, the project will leverage the already-mobilized communities at the heart of The Hunger Project’s epicentre strategy. Women in the communities will be trained as digital operators to manage the internet cafés, encouraging women’s participation in the digital community and creating micro-entrepreneurial opportunities.

You can partner with The Hunger Project as we bring more life-changing programs like this to hundreds of thousands of people across Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Give now to end hunger.

Melanie Noden in India

Important News About Changes At The Hunger Project Australia

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A letter from Diane Grady, Chair of The Hunger Project Australia’s National Board. 

As a much-appreciated investor in The Hunger Project, I’m writing to let you know that after nearly 7 years as our CEO, Melanie Noden, has decided she’s ready for a new challenge.

Over this time, Melanie has significantly lifted our fundraising and built a sustainable professional organisation with the support of the accomplished team she has developed. This has been done through a deliberate strategy of diversification including nurturing investors like you, creating strong partnerships with women-founded businesses, reaching out to a wider community through creative campaigns, and (until COVID-19) continuing with our unique leadership-oriented immersion programs. Melanie has also been successful in working with passionate investors and The Hunger Project’s Global Office to initiate major new programs including a country-wide effort in Zambia, a multi-country water program, a women and girls education program in India, and funding for a network of Epicentres in Ghana.

We are in the last year of our 5 year strategic plan which has had a significant impact on the end of hunger and poverty – including taking 27 Australian-funded Epicentre’s to self-reliance, forever transforming the lives of approximately 529,000 people. We have begun work on our next 5 year plan which will continue over the coming year. With your support, we will continue to build on the strong foundations Melanie and her team have constructed adding in some new initiatives such as seeking government funding and connecting with more institutional funders and workplace giving programs.

We have begun our search for the next The Hunger Project Australia CEO with the help of Mal Duncan from The Insight Group. Please see the job advertisement on Seek that has been posted today. Naturally, we would like our next leader to have leadership and commercial experience and have values aligned with our purpose to end hunger and poverty. If you know of anyone who might be appropriate, please ask them to contact Mal directly on or 0418278952.

Happily, given Melanie’s passion for the incredible work of The Hunger Project, she is committed to staying on to ensure the smooth transition of the leadership of The Hunger Project Australia to a new CEO.

Thank you for your dedication to The Hunger Project and our mission to end world hunger.  You do make a difference every day!

All the best,


It’s the climate for change

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Over the last few weeks, we have seen discussions emerging from the COP26 centre around how we stop disastrous and irreversible global heating from reaching a point of no return. The goal of securing net-zero carbon emissions is set for the year 2050 – but for many that deadline will come far too late.   

The Hunger Project’s partner communities across Africa, India and Bangladesh are on the frontline of the climate crisis. Over the last few years, these communities have faced devastating cyclones and flooding rains, as well as ongoing droughts and failed crop yields. There’s an uncomfortable irony that it’s the people who contribute least to climate change who are suffering the most from it.  

The Hunger Project has never been an organisation that has simply sat by and watched the world discuss issues, rather, we are action-based leaders in the sustainable end of hunger, and we are taking action now. 

Recently we announced that in partnership with communities in Ethiopia, The Hunger Project has planted some 3 million trees. These trees bring economic benefits to the communities in the form of fruit that can be sold at the market. They also reduce soil erosion and help rebalance the water table.   

At our African Epicentres, we’ve held Climate Adaption Workshops with 78,431 inspiring participants. Each one of these participants decided that they needed to learn how to live with the changing, warming world. They’ve been taught about the impacts of deforestation, the importance of sustainable farming and how to live with erratic weather patterns. Amazingly this has resulted in 55% of all households in Hunger Project partner communities implementing some form of climate-resilient plan so they’re prepared for any oncoming challenges.  

The Hunger Project has truly inspirational people partnering with us. I’m inspired by the resilience of our Village Partners who are committed to living on a greener, healthier planet without hunger. With a foundation of resilience comes confidence. 44% of people living in Epicentre communities now believe their village has the ability to adapt and absorb environmental shocks. This might not seem like a big number but it is significant.  

With everything going on, now is the climate for change. We are asking our community of generous Australians to come together and give so we can continue to bring forward the end of hunger and build strong, climate-resilient communities. Your partnership on this journey means so much, and no matter what you give, your support can have an impact. Just one example is how a contribution of $60 could buy 40 fruit trees for a family of farmers. These trees can stop erosion and provide enough fruit to feed a family and give them an important, sustainable source of income.  

Now is the season for change and your partnership is always appreciated.  Donate Now