A boy smiles as he picks corn in a cornfield.


We’re in a global food crisis made worse by conflict, climate change and economic challenges. Families are struggling, and child hunger is robbing girls and boys of their one chance to grow up healthy. Our work focuses on getting people the resources they need to survive today, while building toward a future where families are economically empowered with sustainable livelihoods. One where they can provide for their children and withstand the challenges that come. Whether they’re farmers or entrepreneurs, approaches like microfinance, savings groups and cash assistance help families break out of poverty.


$202.2 million

focused on Livelihoods

116 programs

people reached


deaths were prevented through our work with the UN World Food Programme over the past three years


In Rwanda, parents providing for their children without external help increased from

8% to 67%Kahi | 2019-2022

1,950,835people benefited from the provision of in-kind food assistance


1,454,557people benefited from cash transfers, allowing them to meet their immediate household needs


76,861people received support with agricultural resources, including large and small livestock, tools and seeds

Connected Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goal 01 logo: No povertySustainable Development Goal 02 logo: Zero hungerSustainable Development Goal 05 logo: Gender EqualitySustainable Development Goal 13 logo: Climate action

Explore our investments and results

Explore our investments and results options

Real impact measured

World Vision has partnered with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) for more than 30 years—including 18 years as their largest implementing NGO partner. Together, we provide food and cash assistance for the girls, boys, women and men who need it most through programs including general food distributions, cash-based programming and integrated school feeding, among others.


A recent analysis of our food assistance work with WFP over the past three years revealed the real impact we’ve made together.

  • 10,841 deaths have been prevented among girls and boys under age five—that’s nearly 10 lives per day for three years.
  • For every $1 invested, $1.97 in health and educational benefits were generated back to society.

Read the findings from our cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses to learn more.


A group of young boys smiling as they hold up cards with numbers and letters on them.

Global Challenges

Catastrophic hunger is at an all-time high as global food security decreases

Global food security is deteriorating. Rising food and energy prices, conflict and the affects of climate change are all magnifying hunger and malnutrition worldwide.

In 2022, approximately 45 million people in 37 countries were projected to have so little to eat that they would be classified as severely malnourished—at risk of death or already facing starvation and death. The food crisis has tightened its grip on 19 “hunger hotspots”, including the world’s hardest-to-reach and fragile countries that need humanitarian support—countries like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

Approximately nine million people die every year of hunger and hunger-related diseases, more than the deaths from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Over three million of those deaths are children under five. That’s nearly half of all deaths in children under age five.

The vulnerability of agriculture to natural hazards and disasters is a major driver of food insecurity and hunger. Between 2008 and 2018, crop and livestock production decline were estimated at approximately US$116.7 billion. Over that period, Asia was the hardest hit region, followed by Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Women and girls continue to be most affected by food insecurity. Gender inequality is a major cause and effect of hunger and poverty, with an estimated 60 per cent of chronically hungry people being women and girls. Between 2018 and 2021, the number of hungry women compared to hungry men grew 8.4 times. These disparities have long-term negative implications on young women’s growth and cognitive development.

High levels of income inequality and food costs put consuming a healthy diet out of reach for approximately three billion people in 2019, particularly the poor. That number is now expected to have increased— according to FAO’s Food Price Index, global food prices were 31.4 per cent higher in October 2021 compared to October 2020, and rose as much as 14.3 per cent between 2021 and 2022.

Large-scale food and nutrition crises can and should be a thing of the past—to make this a reality, we need strong collective leadership, political will and the right financing, with short-term emergency responses and longer-term commitments that address the underlying issues driving hunger. These efforts must all support human rights, peaceful resolutions to conflict and the gender-responsive transformation of food systems to become inclusive, sustainable and more resilient.

Economic empowerment for increased financial resilience

Extreme poverty was on a global decline—dropping from 10.1 per cent to 8.6 per cent between 2015 and 2018—but COVID-19, combined with the effects of conflict and climate change, have made a severe dent in that progress. Between 2019 and 2020, global poverty increased from 8.3 per cent to 9.2 per cent. This was the first rise in extreme poverty since 1998.

In June 2021, the World Bank noted that growth in 90 per cent of advanced economies was expected to regain pre-pandemic per capita income levels by 2022—yet only a third of emerging markets and developing economies would make the same recovery. The pandemic has hurt economic growth, especially in low-income countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, per capita income growth is forecast to remain subdued, averaging 0.4 per cent a year in 2021 and 2022, following a 5 per cent decline in 2020. Meanwhile, income inequality continues to increase, worsened by COVID-19.

Financial services—both formal and informal—are tools that can help people rise out of poverty, providing access to credit and savings, the ability to invest in education or businesses, and safety nets to weather financial emergencies. However, many living in poverty lack access to formal financial services like bank accounts. As of 2021,12 1.4 billion adults were “unbanked” around the world, most of them from developing economies. Women are over-represented, accounting for 56 per cent of all unbanked adults, and 30 per cent are young adults with lower education levels.

Education is an important factor in future economic success, yet there were 267 million young people not involved in employment, education or training even before the pandemic, with young women three times more likely than their male counterparts to be unemployed or out of school. In 2020, UNESCO estimated that 24 million children and youth were at risk of dropping out of school for financial reasons because of the pandemic.

Preparing for uncertainty through disaster risk reduction

Between climate change, urbanization and an overall lack of disaster preparedness worldwide, natural hazards like earthquakes and tsunamis are becoming increasingly catastrophic, causing death and economic losses. Women and girls are often disproportionately affected by these events—more vulnerable to threats and less able to access information or assistance—and the risk of disasters caused by natural hazards is rising.

The year 2020 rivalled 2016 as the world’s hottest year on record. It was dominated by climate-related disasters that were largely responsible for 389 recorded events, resulting in more than 15,000 deaths and US$171.3 million in economic losses. In 2020 there were 26 per cent more storms and 23 per cent more floods than previous annual averages. In Africa, floods affected seven million people and droughts were most heavily experienced in the Sahel region, affecting 13.4 million people in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

The practice of “disaster risk reduction” reduces vulnerability to disasters by identifying risks and making community-based and systemic changes that mitigate them. This work is vital to prevent needless deaths and to ensure that development work is sustainable.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development affirms the need to reduce the risks and effects of disasters. By doing so, there are opportunities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through reducing vulnerability among the poor and building resilient infrastructure.

Please see our Annual Results Report for a full list of references

Two young girls smile at each other as they stand in a grass field with a bicycle.

Approach and Strategy

Our Goal

Families become economically self-reliant with the ability to provide for their children—both now and in the future

Equip families and individuals with resources and training, focusing on women’s economic empowerment
Join forces at the community level to build sustainability and resilience
Strengthen gender-responsive food and market systems to support the most vulnerable

World Vision’s livelihoods work is founded on our deep commitment to the world’s most vulnerable girls and boys. Using holistic, evidence-based approaches, we help families in dire need to affirm their dignity and become economically self-reliant, with the means to provide for their own children—both now and in the future.

At the household level, we equip parents to provide for their children, with a specific focus on women’s economic empowerment. With training in small business skills, savings through savings groups and adapted practices for livestock and agriculture, families can both increase and diversify their incomes. This strengthens their resilience to disasters so that their lives and livelihoods are less disrupted by future shocks and stresses. In settings that are politically and environmentally precarious and exposed to disasters and climate risks, we focus where the need is greatest, building resilience and adaptability through temporary provisions of food, cash and credit. This gives families a safety net and helps them manage without slipping further into extreme poverty.

At the community level, we work with local groups and organizations to become more economically productive, with climate-smart agricultural approaches and technologies, access to markets and financial services like savings, credit and cash where appropriate and needed. We support communities in becoming more resilient to shocks, stewarding their environments in ways that increase agricultural sustainability and reduce the risks of disaster.

At the systemic level, we influence structural changes to promote fair resource ownership and management practices, sustainable employment opportunities, inclusive market systems and positive social and gender norms, creating pathways for women’s economic empowerment. In fragile contexts, comprehensive rapid assessments help us to identify gaps within systems and structures, equipping us to work with local institutions in the interests of the most vulnerable. In hazard-prone areas, we support the development of early warning systems and action plans for times of crisis, so that authorities are equipped with knowledge, skills and resources for effective disaster management.

A white jeep driving through a muddy path, featuring a rainbow and trees in the background.

Investments and Results

In 2022, $202 million was invested in 116 programs that focused primarily on livelihoods approaches, reaching 1,168,725 girls, 1,172,212 boys, 1,045,521 women and 911,697 men. These investments went largely toward projects in most fragile countries (64 per cent), followed by very low developing countries (18 per cent).

Compared to 2021, this year saw a notable increase in the crisis response portfolio, correlating with the majority investment in most fragile countries—this is mainly due to our East and West Africa hunger crisis responses, where much of the resources were spent. Food assistance and our vision of a world without hunger drives this sector, and for the past two years we have increased our contribution to cash programming as an effective, flexible and efficient way to streamline this work. We continue to assess our food programming portfolio—read some of our recent learnings here.

Results from 2022 show changes in the number of people reached through livelihoods training. There was a steep downtrend in agriculture and livestock training because our Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health (ENRICH) grant closed in 2021—a program that had engaged a vast number of people in agricultural improvements across four countries. By contrast, business and entrepreneurial development increased rapidly in 2022, driven by World Vision Peru’s country-wide Skills for Life project, which bridges the gap between youth education and economic empowerment.

A wide-shot image of two people wearing backpacks, looking up at a massive green mountain area.



Efforts put in by families and communities over the past several years have contributed to measurable positive change. Here are some recent livelihoods examples.


Adut shows off part of her community's bountiful harvest. “My group produced 275 large bags of groundnuts last year for the first time,” she says with pride.

World Vision's FEED II program is empowering women in South Sudan's Gogrial West county to combat hunger and promote gender equality by training them as farmers and providing sustainable ways of earning a living.

Read more(link opens in new tab/window)
A line of Maasai women stand with identification cards in hand.

In light of World Food Day, the increasing cost of food has been all over the news – and on the minds of many here in Canada. Many of us are raising questions we’ve never had to ask before.

Read more(link opens in new tab/window)
A crowd of mothers wait in line at a food distribution.

Global hunger is surging towards catastrophe in an unprecedented way, with the war in Ukraine, COVID-19, climate change and instability causing new hunger hotspots to pop up across the globe.

Read more(link opens in new tab/window)
Unless otherwise stated, data presented on this page reflects the most up-to-date results of World Vision Canada programs reported between October 2021 and September 2022, and any previous fiscal years available. Previously reported data may not match the current presentation as we continuously receive and refine data from our programs. If you have any questions, kindly reach out to us.