Action Against Hunger was established in 1979 by a group of French doctors, scientists, and writers. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Alfred Kastler served as the organization's first chairman.
The group initially provided assistance to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, famine-stricken Ugandan communities, and Cambodian refugees in Thailand. It expanded to address additional humanitarian concerns in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the Balkans and elsewhere during the 1980s and 1990s. Action Against Hunger's Scientific Committee pioneered the therapeutic milk formula (F100), now used by all major humanitarian aid organizations to treat acute malnutrition. As a result, the global mortality rate of severely malnourished children under the age of five has been reduced from 25% to 5%. A few years later, therapeutic milk was repackaged as ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs), a peanut-based paste packaged like a power bar. These bars allow for the treatment of malnutrition at home, and do not require any preparation or refrigeration.
The international network currently has headquarters in five countries – France, Spain, the United States, Canada, and the UK. Its four main areas of work include nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, and advocacy.
Action Against Hunger saves lives by preventing, detecting and treating severe acute malnutrition, particularly in emergency and conflicts situations. The organisation has an integrated approach with various sectors of intervention: