SDG 2: Zero hunger — how we work with the World Food Programme

SDG 2: Zero hunger

The second sustainable development goal (SDG), set out by the UN General Assembly, is Zero Hunger (SDG 2: Zero hunger). Hunger and drought are two areas in which Arete has extensive experience, having worked with the World Food Programme in countries such as Somalia and South Sudan for over 10 years.

Documenting the theme of this SDG is challenging. Often the best way to approach subjects like this is from a solutions journalism perspective. Although it is important to capture the desperate nature many people find themselves in, capturing the stories of the solutions at work is equally as important.

Mass drought and hunger often recur in Somalia; therefore we must approach the representation of this issue creatively in order to keep viewers engaged and interested and to avoid donor fatigue. This is especially important in recurring crises to ensure that the issue does not drop out of the media agenda and that the individuals facing the crisis continue to be represented.


SDG 2: Zero hunger
Somali IDP Salado Aided, 22, removes weeds on a farm where IDPs plant tomatoes, onions and maize, in Dollow, Somalia (photo: Karel Prinsloo / Arete / World Food Programme)

When images are too hard to look at viewers won’t engage with the story or the issue. Creative images, like the ones above from Arete photojournalists Kevin Ouma and Karel Prinsloo, present a new perspective on hunger; eliciting a human connection and empathy with the viewer, rather than shock.

In images like this one, it is particularly important to ensure that there is eye contact made with the camera. This facilitates a connection with the viewer and helps the subject to maintain their humanity and dignity.

Often the regions in which drought and famine occur are unstable and difficult to access. At Arete, we understand the challenges of working in these places and have the ability to mobilise quickly, because we have a large network of local and international photojournalists. The stories we are able to gather, during our time on the ground, go a long way to support organisations, like the World Food Programme, who are committed to achieving this SDG.

In the run up to the first UN summit on the SDGs on 24th and 25th September, we have been publishing a daily blog on how we help organisations to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Check out our blogs here.