Save the Children Philippines ambassadors Liza Soberano and Katarina Rodriguez lead the launch of QR for Hunger to engage people interactively in addressing rising hunger and malnutrition among children in the Philippines.
According to the World Bank, hunger in the Philippines rose sharply following the start of the pandemic. A survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that in September 2020, 31% of Filipino families experienced hunger in the past 30 days and 9% were suffering from severe hunger – the highest levels recorded in more than 20 years.
In 2021 alone, 13.1% or 2.9 million children were estimated to be hungry.
“Hunger is exponentially depriving a generation of Filipino children of their rights and heavily impacts their growth and development in many ways. Thus, all actors, including governments, donors, and the general public, must collaborate to manage the risks of the hunger crisis and invest in anticipatory action to prevent rather than respond to crisis warnings,” said Save the Children Philippines CEO Atty. Albert Muyot.
QR for Hunger is an innovative digital movement of Save the Children Philippines that engages the public through a simple scan-to-donate feature using creative QR codes and gives people the chance to help “cure” hunger among children.
Funds raised through the QR for Hunger under the #SavetheChildrenfromHunger campaign will provide resources for health and nutrition interventions that will improve Save the Children Philippines’ sponsored communities’ access to food, and support parents and guardians in rehabilitating their malnourished children using diets based on local knowledge and resources.
Save the Children’s Katarina Rodriguez led the ceremonial unveiling of the QR for Hunger.
“As a mother, I know how important it is to keep our children healthy – from exclusively breastfeeding my son Quino to preparing nutritious meals. But a lot of families in the country are unable to put food on the table as they are crippled by economic challenges from low wages, unemployment, and increasing prices of basic commodities,” said Rodriguez.
Dr. Amado Parawan, Health and Nutrition Advisor of Save the Children Philippines, said it is heartbreaking that the most stunted Filipino children are from farming and fishing communities. While they at forefront of producing our food, they remain to be one of the country’s poorest families.
1 in 3 children (30%) below five years old is stunted (low in height) for their age. This can be irreversible after two years, unless treated. When children are hungry, their academic performance also suffers.
The event was hosted by newscaster and influencer Sam Sadhwani, attended by Mesa ni Misis Founder and Editor Juana Yupangco, and Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Charity Pauline Cucharo Amelinckx.
“Children’s survival and health are critical in order for them to become productive members of our society. It is my honor to be able to take part in this campaign to save Filipino children from hunger. By raising this issue, we can help ensure that Filipino children are able to survive, learn, be protected and thrive,” shared Amelinckx.
“Hunger and malnutrition have been plaguing the most marginalized children and addressing it requires concerted effort. We are really happy to see celebrities, influencers, and advocates coming together to raise awareness and appeal for donations so we can save the children from hunger,” said Judy Malabanan, Individual Giving Manager of Save the Children Philippines.
The child rights group advocated for the enactment of the First 1,000 Days Law (Republic Act No. 11148) or “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag- Nanay Act” and is implementing Project NURTURE (Nutrition among Urban Poor through Unified Response) in Villareal, Samar since 2020 to protect deprived and marginalized children from chronic and acute malnutrition.
The afternoon launch was also highlighted with an interactive Healthy Plate Origami activity for families and attendees by Origami Philippines.