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Non-Profits and Natural Disaster ReliefNon-profit organizations place volunteers in remote, developing countries during natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Non-profits extend the reach of companies and governments in saving lives. Here are 10 facts about non-profits and natural disaster relief in 2019 and 2020.

10 Facts About Non-Profits and Natural Disaster Relief

  1. Experience Mission is a Christian, non-profit mission. It offers one week or up to nine-month immersion mission trips. Chris Clum founded this non-profit organization in 2003 in order to aid and form relationships with residents of third world countries. Abbie Thiebaut, an EM mission trip leader, went to Dorado, Puerto Rico shortly before the start of 2019 when Hurricane Maria struck the island. Hundreds of volunteers showed up as well in the course of seven months, she reports.
  2. Hunger Corp is a non-profit organization that focuses on the Amazon, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria destroyed most of the island of Puerto Rico in 2018, and Hunger Corp has continued with relief efforts since then. Hunger Corp rebuilds homes for Puerto Rico’s citizens, shows farmers agricultural solutions and supports local social-aid projects like Experience Mission. Hunger Corp partners with Experience Mission as well, recruiting hundreds of volunteers.
  3. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (CIRFRC) in Damascus, Syria saved more than 200,000 men, women and children from storms in January of 2019. They pull people from under debris and snow, provide medical services and nurture victims until they are able to fully recover. Syria, a developing country, faces destruction from harsh winter weather, floods, sandstorms and cyclones. CIRFC, one of the few non-profits in Syria, arrives at the scene each time there is a crisis.
  4. REACT International base of operations is in Glendale, California. This organization plans to prepare people for hurricanes. REACT International is a communications-based organization. Two ways the company provides help are through instructions available online and volunteers who speak via radio to the public.
  5. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is a nonprofit that encourages U.S. foreign policies to send help to developing countries. It also aims to create healthy change within developing nations to jumpstart their own independence. USAID has a section specifically for post-disaster care called the United States Foreign Disaster Assistance, or USOFDA. USOFDA has spent $100,000 on foreign assistance in the Philippines since January 12, 2020. The Taal Volcano in the Philippines erupted on Jan 12 and destroyed the surrounding area. USOFDA was there to give medical care to thousands of injured people. This organization is staying in the Philippines to support the Filipino government’s efforts to restore and rebuild its nation.
  6. World Vision is another nonprofit that includes disaster care in its program. World Vision is currently partnering with USAID to provide the Philippines with supplies including food, water, shelter, safety and clothes. The nonprofit has 37,000 staff members and volunteers working in at least 100 countries.
  7. The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) “provides knowledge, funding, and technical assistance” to its partnerships with other NGOs like USOFDA. It focuses on preventing future natural disasters as well as teaching nations like the Philippines to recover after disasters.
  8. Global Giving is an online source that creates a network between regular citizens who want to donate, government agencies, companies and nonprofits. Headquartered in Washington D.C., the website GobalGiving.Org has been operational for 17 years, raising $390 million during that period. Global Giving’s Disaster Recovery Network has a long-term recovery fund to rebuild Mexico City, Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca and Chiapas in Mexico after three earthquakes destroyed communities and homes there in 2017.
  9. Heart to Heart International’s (HHI) mission statement is to “strengthen communities through improving health access, providing humanitarian development and administering crisis relief worldwide.” HHI helped Mozambique after Cyclone Idai hit in 2019, sending a response team to work with its residents. It helped them evacuate and provided basic needs like food and water. The non-profit also sent Mozambique medicine through partner companies like FedEx and UPS.
  10. Direct Relief is a non-profit organization headquartered in Santa Barbara, California. On January 8 of this year, Direct Relief reported that there was only one casualty when an earthquake hit Puerto Rico despite the structures such as businesses and homes that were destroyed. Running water was no longer available. Direct Relief sent at least 10 teams to bring medical supplies and medical care to Puerto Rico.

Volcanos, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and more devastate the globe. These 10 facts about non-profits and natural disaster relief in 2019 and 2020 give a peek into the amount and kind of work that is often needed to rebuild many developing countries in nature’s aftermath. Evacuating cities, preventing future disasters, healing victims and providing food and shelter are relief efforts that become more effective when organizations work together. Non-profits and government agencies need to cooperate to save lives. Currently, the United States government spends only 1 percent of its budget to fund nonprofits. Its impact can increase exponentially if more funding is given to the U.S. foreign policy.

– Sofia Ponomareva

Photo: Pixbay

10 Disturbing Facts about Hunger
Hunger is not simply a lack of food. It is also the sustained physiological and psychological changes in a human body from the persistent unavailability of nutritious meals at least three times a day. Achieving zero hunger across the world by 2030 is the second of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Here are 10 disturbing facts about hunger.

10 Disturbing Facts about Hunger

  1. One in nine people around the world goes to sleep hungry every night. At present, 25,000 people die of hunger each day which translates to around 9 million deaths annually. This is equivalent to the number of people living in the state of Virginia. Most of these deaths are preventable.
  2. The number of people suffering from acute hunger rose from 80 million in 2016 to 120 million in 2018. The highest rates of hunger are in Africa and South Asia. Among the 119 countries that the Global Hunger Index scores, the Central African Republic ranks last with a GHI score of 53.7, which is alarming. The global average GHI is 20.9.
  3. Hunger is gender-biased in many food-insecure households. Most of this has to do with the fact that many societies around the world encourage paternalism. In such households, sons and other male members are better fed than daughters and other female members. This bias in food insecurity between both sexes most prominently exists in Africa, followed by Latin America and Asia.
  4. When listing 10 disturbing facts about hunger, it is important to discuss food waste. Humans waste roughly one-third of the total food the world produces. North America and Oceania together waste the highest amount of food. Estimates show that food wasted in rich countries is equal to the total food that sub-Saharan Africa produces. The amount of food wasted in a year can feed 2 billion people for a year. Hence, the problem of hunger is not due to inadequate food production but rather the inefficient distribution of food to the world’s population.
  5. Poverty is the biggest cause of hunger. Other causes of hunger include war and conflict, political instability, poor infrastructure and food policies, population increases, rising urbanization, unstable economic conditions and climate change.
  6. Changing weather patterns are destroying agricultural land through acidification, desertification, flooding and rising sea-levels. Climate change reduces the crop yield due to erratic rain and drought seasons, which cause an increase in crop diseases and extreme heat. Global warming and rising levels of carbon dioxide also reduce the nutritional quality of food, meaning that people have to eat more to gain optimum levels of nutrition.
  7. Hunger forces people (especially in countries like Haiti and Cameroon) to eat mud. Mud cakes are a delicacy for the poorest earthquake survivors of Haiti. People mix mud, salt and margarine together and dry it in the sun. It is the cheapest way to assuage hunger in children and pregnant women who also believe it to be a source of calcium to help their growing fetus. Experts have determined that this is not true and that mud cakes have no nutritional value.
  8. Poor health and hunger form a vicious cycle. People suffering from chronic hunger also suffer from debilitating health conditions, including severe malnutrition and anemia, lowered immunity causing recurring infections and chronic health conditions such as heart diseases and diabetes. People who cannot afford food are also unlikely to access any health services. Their circumstances render them unable to go out and work leading to continuous poverty, bad health and hunger situations.
  9. Hunger damages the health of children irreversibly. Children born to undernourished mothers have lower rates of survival beyond 5 years of age. Data from UNICEF attributes half of all under-5 deaths to malnutrition which means that around 3 million children die of malnutrition every year. Such kids lose the opportunity to go to school. Children suffering from malnourishment lose up to 160 days of school. Some 66 million children in primary schools go to school hungry.
  10. Unfortunately, 80 percent of the families that face hunger are farmers. This is because although these people produce food for the world, most of the time they do not own the land they work on. Those who do own land are often not able to earn profits from their yield due to high input costs such as fertilizers, seeds and machines. These farmers also often do not have the means to store and transport their products.

These 10 disturbing facts about hunger may paint a grim picture of the world but all is not lost. Countries can fight hunger by adopting climate-smart agricultural practices, empowering women, donating food through food banks and creating an efficient food distribution network. With consistent political will, the zero hunger goal of the United Nations is achievable.

Navjot Buttar
Photo: Flickr