“Just as You share your gifts with all of us…”

Ahmed fled Afghanistan in 2021, seeking refuge with wife and two young daughters. Arriving in Islamabad, they registered with the UNHCR yet found themselves labelled illegal residents by Pakistani authorities. Prohibited from employment and lacking support from both the host government and UN agencies, Ahmed depends on his little savings and ad hoc assistance from church groups to survive.

 As the authorities intensified efforts to arrest and deport Afghan refugees, locals either refused to sell bread to them or they were unable to go out to buy bread in the shops, causing bread prices to soar fourfold for hiding Afghans like Ahmed.

  • In West Asia, nearly two million displaced individuals struggle to secure two pieces of bread per day for their survival. Children are found eating grass or cactus plants.
  •  In East Africa, refugee food aid has been reduced to 600 calories per day—by comparison, a single Big Mac purchased from your local McDonald's contains 1320 calories.

Approximately 70% of forcibly displaced people live in food-insecure countries. With an estimated 114 million individuals forcibly displaced, hunger often forces migration, compelling people to abandon their homelands in search of safety and sustenance. Along the displacement highways, sourcing food emerges as a critical challenge for those seeking refuge.

In Australia, poverty and hunger remain visible issues. However, according to Food Bank Australia, the country wastes approximately 7.6 million tonnes of food annually throughout the supply and consumption chain. This amounts to roughly 312 kilograms per person.

In reflection, Irish Grace offers an emotional plea:

"Bless, O Lord, this food we are about to eat;

and we pray You, O God, that it may be good for our body and soul;

and if there be any poor creature hungry or thirsty walking along the road, send them to us that we can share the food with them, just as You share your gifts with all of us."

This grace underlines the essence of empathy and shared responsibility towards those afflicted by hunger and displacement.