Frequently Asked Questions

Now in its 42nd year, the 40 Hour Famine remains one of Australia’s largest Youth events. Learn more about the Backpack Challenge in 2017.

When is this year’s 40 Hour Famine?

The 2017 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge is officially taking place from 8pm, Friday 11 August until midday, Sunday 13 August, but you can participate any time, choosing your own ‘Famine Challenge’ or fundraising event.

What is the 40 Hour Famine?

Now in its 42nd year, the 40 Hour Famine remains one of Australia's largest youth events. For 40 hours participants go without something important, raising much-needed awareness and funds for World Vision's work to address poverty and hunger.

Since 1975, the 40 Hour Famine has raised over $200 million to support projects across 26 countries. In the past eight years alone, more than two million people have benefited from the sacrifices of young Australians like you. Food has been the traditional choice for participants to go without, however many others have gone without technology, furniture, talking or even the use of a limb.

Through this year's 40 Hour Famine, you'll be supporting the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time - the refugee and displaced persons crisis. Globally, more than 65.1 million people have been forced out of their homes due to conflict.

When you take part, you'll commit to living out of your backpack for 40 hours to raise funds for refugee and displaced children. This experience will help you begin to understand what it's like for these children who have left almost everything behind, even if just for a weekend.

What is this year’s 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge?

This year, we’re doing things a bit differently. Instead of giving up food for 40 hours, we’ll be packing our bags.

You'll commit to living out of your backpack for 40 hours to raise funds for refugee and displaced children. Pack the essentials - food, water, warm clothes; whatever you think you'll need to get through.

Where does the money I raise go?

This year, the 40 Hour Famine is changing. Participants will be living out of their backpacks for 40 hours to raise funds for the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time – the displaced person and refugee crisis in Syria, South Sudan and neighbouring countries.

We aim to raise $4.6 million which will help more than 2.5 million refugees and displaced people through World Vision’s programs in East Africa and the Middle East. These programs aim to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children and their families in areas such as food and nutrition, water and sanitation, child protection, livelihoods and emergency aid assistance.

Check out 40hourfamine.com.au\impact for more information.

What is a refugee and displaced person?

In 2017 through the 40 Hour Famine, we are raising funds for those who are forced to flee their homes in search of safety. This is the reality for millions of people around the world.

A refugee is a person who has crossed the border of their country and is living outside their country of origin and is unwilling or unable to return due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or, political opinion.

On a universal scale, the current refugee crisis is the highest number in recorded history with over 21.3 million refugees worldwide.

An Internally Displaced Person (IDP) is someone who has fled their home to another part of their country, but has not crossed an international border.

1 in every 113 people around the world is now displaced. There are more people who have been forcibly displaced than the populations of Australia, New Zealand and Canada combined. The global displaced population is approximately 3 times the population of Australia.

Can I still do the traditional 40 Hour Famine? Giving up food or something else?

The 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge lets us experience what it’s like to leave almost everything behind. By living out of our backpacks for 40 hours, we can begin to understand what it’s like to pack just a few essential items, just as these children have had to do. We encourage you to join us on this journey and united, we can make a change - we can support refugee and displaced children through the funds we raise.

But of course, it's all about raising money to help some of the world's most vulnerable children, so how you do that is up to you. You could give up food or technology, sleep in a box, wash cars, hold your own fundraiser, walk 40 kilometres - the choice is yours! Be as creative as you like and do it in a group or on your own.

How do I register for the 2017 40 Hour Famine?

You can register here and we'll keep you posted on the latest 40 Hour Famine news, updates and events. We'll also let you know when it's time to activate your fundraising page.

Need more help?

More information about the event and fundraising is available here.

What about the East Africa food crisis? That’s the most important crisis right now.

The hunger crisis in East Africa needs immediate international action, and we’re making sure we’re meeting urgent needs through this year’s 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge. Drought is causing food and water shortages in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, while conflict is the main cause of hunger in South Sudan and displacement into Uganda. For those forced to flee South Sudan, hunger is a life-threatening challenge both on their refugee journey and once they have arrived in the refugee camps.

Through the funds raised by this year’s 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge, we’re supporting programs in countries such as Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan that aim to improve child protection, livelihoods and nutrition for refugees of South Sudan and neighbouring countries.

You can find out more about where the funds go on our impact page.

Why is it not a famine this year?

The 40 Hour Famine still raises money for World Vision, it's just a little different this year!

In 2017, we wanted to address the current refugee crisis as the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. In Syria and the Middle East – millions of children and their families are forced to flee their home because of conflict. In South Sudan and East Africa – millions of children and their families are also fleeing due to a combination of famine and conflict.

This year's 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge will test your resilience. You'll commit to living out of your backpack for 40 hours to raise funds for refugee and displaced children. Pack the essentials - food, water, warm clothes; whatever you think you'll need to get through.

When does the Backpack Challenge begin?

The Backpack Challenge begins at 8.00 pm on Friday the 11th of August.

Fill your backpack and get involved

Sign up to participate in this year's 40HF Backpack Challenge

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