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Hunger in South Sudan
In 2011 South Sudan became the newest nation in the world. Gaining independence gave much celebration and hope for the future, yet South Sudan was created as a very undeveloped country. Nearly seven million people face the risk of starvation, which is 60% of the population in the country. In order to fight hunger in South Sudan, these organizations have come together to provide aid.

Rise Against Hunger

In parts of South Sudan such as Unity State and Jonglei, famine was officially declared in February of 2017. However, humanitarian organizations such as Rise Against Hunger fought to prevent worsening conditions. The national Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) has reported that the extent of the famine has since diminished. One of the ways Rise Against Hunger fought against hunger in South Sudan is by supporting programs managed by Mothering Across Continents in Old Fangak. The programs focus on providing school meals for children, constructing sustainable food storage and stabilizing markets through the purchase of local foods. Through the efforts of this support, more than 1,300 school children have received aid at the Old Fangak community school.

Action Against Hunger

Factors such as poor living conditions, climate change, limited access to clean water and public services lead to many becoming undernourished. The team at Action Against Hunger works to make hunger in South Sudan a thing of the past. The team focuses on bringing programs to local communities that work to prevent underlying causes of hunger. Teams at Action Against Hunger worked on supplying 7,215 families with agriculture support. They also constructed 71 kilometers of roads that will allow more easy access to schools, markets and health services. With 91,000 people living near poor-quality roads, these new 71 kilometers of roads will give much-needed relief to the people in South Sudan.

World Food Programme

Since December of 2013 civil war has been causing havoc in South Sudan. It has caused widespread destruction and death, which tanked the economy and reduced crop production and imports. This has made it difficult for 1.47 million displaced people to secure enough food for the year. To combat the hunger in South Sudan, the World Food Programme has worked to provide food assistance in nearly every part of the country since 2011. The organization also makes sure to provide nutritious food and nutrition counseling to pregnant women and children. The World Food Programme also establishes secure farming grounds in areas that do not see conflict.

Organizations such as Rise Against Hunger, Action Against Hunger and the World Food Programme are able to help prevent hunger in South Sudan and give relief for the people who are put at the risk of starvation. With the help of organizations aimed towards preventing hunger, the people of South Sudan are able to make steady progress towards food security.

Ashleigh Jimenez
Photo: Flickr

Refugees in JordanAs of 2019, 83% of the refugee population in Jordan lives in cities, not camps. Many of the refugees in Jordan survive on low-paid work in the informal sector, picking up odd-jobs when they can. Considering the substantial number of refugees living in Jordan, nearly 750,000 registered refugees and almost two million Palestinians, the Jordanian government has protective stipulations in place to preserve jobs for Jordanian citizens.

However, during the COVID-19 lockdown, the informal working sector shut down. Most refugees did not have savings to fall back on while roughly 80% of Syrian refugees in Jordan live below the poverty line. When Jordan began to reopen in late April, the government mandated that businesses first give employment preferences to Jordanians.

The International Labor Organization recently published a survey confirming that of all the vulnerable working populations, refugees have been hit the hardest amid the pandemic. Nearly all refugees are ineligible for governmental aid. Moreover, only about 30,000 refugee families receive cash assistance from UNHCR. The NGOs in Jordan were non-essential, and many shut down in the spring. However, with easing restrictions, NGOs are reopening and providing necessary assistance again.

Collateral Repair Project

Collateral Repair Project (CRP) is a nonprofit in Amman that provides many services. These services include a community center with programs for refugee children, women and men. Additionally, CRP runs a Basic-Needs Assistance program. It is essentially a food voucher program for refugees to trade in coupons for fresh produce. CRP know how essential this program is for refugees. As a result, it found a way to operate during the shutdown. By partnering with local markets, CRP managed to keep over 700 refugee families fed throughout the lockdown.

Reclaim Childhood

Reclaim Childhood provides sport and leadership training to refugee girls ages six to 18 in Amman and Zarqa. While it had to stop programming during the lockdown, its return is significant. Reclaim Childhood employs nine female coaches, some refugees, some Jordanians and has nearly 300 girls play each season. Refugee children are suffering from the effects of the pandemic. Girls in particular are hurt with schools shutting down. Children from families facing increased poverty are more likely to be forced into child labor or early marriage. Reclaim Childhood, beyond providing these girls with a meal each day, reminds them that they are strong, capable and surrounded by girls and women who support them. Even amid poverty and pandemics, children should always have the right to play, learn and grow.

Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger (AAH) is an organization that operates in Jordan. It provides water, sanitation, hygiene, food security and livelihoods and mental health services to both host communities and refugee populations. In 2019 alone, it reached 86,522 people with water, sanitation and hygiene programs. Additionally, the organization offers cash-assistance programs for refugees. During the height of the Jordanian lockdown, it became clear to AAH that the majority of people receiving its services also desired a way to access more information about the pandemic and preventative measures. In response to this need, AAH launched a free telephone hotline that offers updated information about the risks associated with the pandemic. They currently have 38 operators managing phone lines, communicating essential information.

Overall, the work of these organizations is essential to the livelihood and safety of many refugees in Jordan, especially during this global pandemic.

– Grace Harlan
Photo: Pixabay

3 Things to Know About Hunger in Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country in Central Africa. The country is extremely large compared with those around it. Through deduction, it is easy to say that the population is very large. Notably, violence within the country affected Congo. This, in turn, leads to higher rates of hunger. Below are three things everyone should know about hunger in the Congo region:

3 Things About Hunger in the Congo Region

  1. Congo has a population of 100 million people. As Africa’s second-largest country and one of the least developed, the DRC ranks very high on the scale for those who go hungry. The DRC ranked 179 out of 189 in 2019 for the Human Development Index. This is due to a large amount of violence and hunger that occur within the country. Because of this, the DRC is privy to the second-largest crisis in the world for global poverty and hunger, after Yemen. Of the 100 million people in the country, roughly 15.6 million of them are severely food insecure. Hunger in the Congo region is a large humanitarian issue — with organizations such as the World Food Programme (WFP) helping to end the crisis.
  2. Violence is a leading factor in food insecurity. Within the DRC, violence concentrates quite heavily. This makes it difficult for farmers to find enough security within their work to feel safe enough to go out to the fields. As a result, this increasingly causes food shortages. In 2018, more than 15 million people were displaced due to violence within the country. This large exodus leads to peoples’ inability to work and thus, money is practically impossible to come by. Due to the hunger in the Congo region and displacement within the country, some people are eating the raw seeds they originally would plant, to satisfy their needs.
  3. There is still hope for those in Congo. Though the circumstances are dire and may seem too bleak for a silver lining, there is proof of change happening in the DRC every day. Organizations, such as the WFP and Action Against Hunger, provide relief to these people who are suffering the detrimental effects of food insecurity. Action Against Hunger reached 143,749 people with its nutrition and health programs. Additionally, the organization reached another 52,279 people with food security and livelihood programs. In 2019, the WFP reached 6.9 million people with food and nutrition services. In this same vein, the WFP is now able to reach more than 7 million people, in 2020. Working toward stability to decrease hunger in the Congo region is a widespread and challenging fight. Though many people face displacement and go without food, with the help of organizations, it is clear that this future for Congo can be avoided.

Continue the Support for Change

The more international aid that is directed toward the Congo, the more people will receive much-needed help. Supporting organizations that give aid to those in need is extremely important, for this exact reason. The support will help save lives and create stability for years to come, within the Congo region and likewise, the effects can ripple throughout the global economy.

Natalie Belford
Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Cameroon
Commonly called “Africa in miniature,” many know Cameroon for its geographical diversity and cultural vibrance. However, despite its status as a nation of peace and steadiness, Cameroon nonetheless faces a multitude of threats to the food security of millions of its citizens. A staggering 2.6 million people in Cameroon are facing phase three (crisis) food insecurity, leading to severe malnutrition and stunting for vulnerable children. In order to find solutions to reducing hunger in Cameroon, one must explore the causes behind such significant food insecurity. Here are five reasons behind Cameroon’s hunger crisis.

5 Causes of Hunger in Cameroon

  1. Violence from Boko Haram’s presence in Nigeria has spilled into the Far North of Cameroon. Boko Haram’s terrorist activities in Nigeria have caused more than 100,000 Nigerians to take refuge in Cameroon. More than 300,000 Cameroonians have experienced displacement as a result of Boko Haram’s terrorism. Not only do fleeing refugees place an additional burden on the already strained food resources of Cameroon, but the internal displacement of Cameroonians due to violence prevents farmers from accessing agricultural fields. In 2016, Cameroon’s cereal production in regions that Boko Haram has affected decreased by 25% from the previous year.
  2. Armed rebel forces are stealing livestock by the thousand. Tension rose between ethnic Mbororo ranchers and armed separatists after the Mbororo refused to support the separatist’s mission to form a new anglo-Christian state. This denial has led the armed separatists to steal thousands of the ranchers’ cattle between July and September 2020 in order to fund and feed their army. Furthermore, the Mbororo have been victims of kidnapping and murder by separatists, which has led to more than 11,000 Mbororo relocating.
  3. Farmers are exporting grain instead of selling it domestically. The lack of profitability of domestic sales of grain has led farmers to export goods to neighboring countries such as Nigeria. This has led Cameroon to block farmer’s cereal and grain exports in the Far North. The Food Control Unit seized 6,000 tons of grain and will return them when owners commit to selling only in Cameroon. This policy aims to improve the tenuous food security, reducing hunger in Cameroon and increasing resilience against famine.
  4. Climate disasters such as drought and floods have stressed food supplies and agricultural centers. Future solutions must focus on disaster preparation and being proactive instead of retroactive in mitigating disaster reduction. The lack of preemptive warning systems has prevented the mitigation of the African Sahel Floods, which displaced 1,500 hundred families in September 2020. A legislative emphasis on implementing early warning systems and disaster risk reduction equipment and technology will be critical to mitigating the damage future climate disasters have on the food supply. The government should focus on land use management and educating the public about disasters to lower their effects when they do occur.
  5. Almost 700,000 Cameroonians have been internally displaced by drought, floods and violent conflict, 40% of whom are children under 5. These children are especially vulnerable to the effects of malnutrition and may never recover to optimal health. Around 31.7% of children under 5 suffer from stunting, which is a higher rate than the average of 25% for developing countries.

Combating Hunger in Cameroon

These causes of hunger in Cameroon suggest a clear pattern of turbulence in the Far North. It is integral to focus on devoting resources to this area and promoting organizations that provide relief to this hunger afflicted population.

In order to combat malnutrition, organizations such as the World Food Programme (WFP) and Action Against Hunger have been working to allocate supplies and introduce health education and services in regions lacking such resources. In 2019, Action Against Hunger reached more than 300,000 Cameroonians through nutrition, health, and food security programs. Action Against Hunger distributes food supplies and sets up clinics to supply displaced people with health and medical care.

Among its numerous initiatives, the World Food Programme targets improving nutritional access and education for Cameroon’s under 5 population. The WFP uses strategies including giving financial support and training to smallholder farmers and providing communities in need with food assistance to improve their resilience. WFP has had a presence in Cameroon since 1978 and succeeded in reaching over 400,000 people in 2019 through its food and nutrition assistance initiatives.

Cameroon is facing threats to its food supply from violence, disaster and poor government support. Fortunately, organizations such as the WFP and Action Against Hunger are working tirelessly to improve the nation’s food security so the people of Cameroon can live healthy and happy lives.

– Adrian Rufo
Photo: Flickr

Poverty Eradication in Somalia
Somalia, a country bordering both Ethiopia and Djibouti, has faced recent struggles in regards to poverty. An estimated 70% of its population under the age of 30 faces a wide range of social, economic and political challenges. Many of Somalia’s citizens are enduring hardships. However, certain programs have emerged, leading to massive innovations in poverty eradication in Somalia.

Issue in Numbers

Almost nine in 10 Somali households do not have a fundamental dimension. This dimension is access to income, electricity, education or water and sanitation. Basic necessities become rarer among the majority. As a result, Somalia needs help to see growth in the long term. One must also note that only 27% of children are enrolled in primary school. With these statistics projected to decline in the future, human capital development is at risk due to the issue of poverty. However, various forms of aid have jumpstarted Somalia’s economy while developing innovations in poverty eradication in Somalia.

International Aid

Somalia is currently $4.7 billion in debt. However, it has partnered with many other countries, significantly boosting its funding. Britain, the European Union and Qatar have offered to cover about $150 million of the roughly $330 million that Somalia owes. After Somalia handles its finances, it will receive grants worth about $300 million per year. This will help boost funding towards job opportunities, infrastructure and transportation.

Remittances for Poverty Reduction

In an attempt to aid the Somalian citizens who poverty impacts, Somalia utilized remittances. This is where the country provided families with financial assistance. It also distributed resources for families to meet basic needs and requirements. These remittances reduced the wage gap among impoverished citizens while giving them an outlet towards new jobs and opportunities.

Organizations Pushing for Change

Many nonprofit organizations have also stepped up to aid the ones in need. A massively impactful organization is Action Against Hunger, which has developed programs for adults and children battling poverty. By providing integrated nutrition, health and food security services as well as water, sanitation and hygiene services, 213,986 Somalians received treatment, with 103,407 being for minor illnesses and 41,502 being children under the age of 5 obtaining treatment for malnutrition. With the lack of resources becoming an ongoing issue, Action for Hunger contributed to 51,908 Somalians receiving clean water. It also contributed to 97,011 Somalians receiving sufficient resources through food security programs.

Another prominent organization is Alight, which has heavily focused on efforts aiding the youth. Through building support camps for refugees, it provided thousands of Somalians with water, protection and shelter. In addition to these camps, it partnered with the private sector, opening up 50,000 job opportunities for those in need. It also educated children on health services, where it shared information on improving hygiene.

Although various countries, organizations and financial plans have acted, Somalia still has over 4.9 million citizens battling poverty. With seven in 10 Somalian facing financial burdens, only governmental intervention will combat this issue on a larger scale. If the Somalian government can effectively partner with nonprofit organizations and countries to produce meaningful policies, then Somalia will see rapid economic growth. The country might only see effective innovations in poverty eradication in Somalia through these acts.

Aditya Padmaraj
Photo: Flickr

Unfold is Combating Hunger With 5 Vertical Farming Techniques
Unfold is a new startup company in Sacramento, California. It has committed itself to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations for 2030. Unfold has a partnership with Temasek, a Singaporean holding company, and Leaps by Bayer (LBB), a company that invests in life sciences breakthroughs that can improve the world. LBB has a vision: Health for All, Hunger for None. In addition, Jürgen Eckhardt, head of LBB, explains how Unfold is combating hunger through its transformative, creative approach in agricultural product development. The company aims to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables, “supporting sustainably grown, hyperlocal production and addressing food security challenges faced by growing urban populations.”

Vertical farming is still relatively new but there are advancements to boost its development. Vertical farming has two main components; the framework and the biology. The framework involves components like temperature, humidity and lighting. Meanwhile, the biology aspect comprises of making seeds that produce better and faster in the vertical farming environment. The latter is Unfold’s target area.

5 Facts About How Unfold is Combating Hunger

  1. Seed Genetics: As opposed to framework upgrades, Unfold is committed to vertical farming solutions related to seed genetics. It is most common for vertical farms to use refined seeds to grow vegetables in other types of settings like greenhouses or fields. Additionally, Unfold breeds seeds specifically for the vertical farming environment so that plants can mature faster and have higher crop yields. One way Unfold will accomplish this is with a combination of seed genetics and agricultural technology.
  2. Germplasm: Through Unfold’s partnerships, the company raised $30 million in initial funding. It has an agreement with certain privileges to Bayer’s vegetable portfolio, a one-of-a-kind opportunity. Through these means, Unfold is combating hunger using germplasm. Germplasm refers to living genetic resources, such as seeds, to manage breeding, preservation and research. To start with, the team will begin working on a variety of consumer-pleasing vegetables.
  3. Crop Varieties: Initially, Unfold will focus on lettuce and spinach because leafy greens have less restrictive light requirements and grow quickly. However, Unfold will need to expand into more varieties to really succeed. The next vegetables Unfold will concentrate on are cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers, because they do not need much space and grow in similar environments.
  4. Sustainability and Freshness: Unfold is combating hunger through sustainability and freshness by paying attention to the framework elements of vertical gardening. The layout, lighting, materials and sustainability features, such as reducing water and energy use, are all pieces of the overall goal. The goal is to maximize output while minimizing space. As a result, the demand for this practice is high in highly populated areas with limited land use. For example, Singapore has a personal stake in this advancement because the country has less than 1% of arable farmland.
  5. Thinking Long-term: Global food challenges are a dynamic issue. This is due to overpopulation, food deserts, growing environmental concerns and global health issues, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. This forces companies, like Unfold, to constantly rethink conventional methods. Unfold will be conscientious of traceability and nutritional value as it navigates these new vertical farming methods that it will implement right in the heart of the benefiting communities to shorten the supply chain.

Unfold is an innovative key player in vertical farming to end hunger. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global vertical farming market is expected to reach $12 billion by 2026. This is because of deficiencies in groundwater, decreases in viable farmland and increased demand for fresh produce. Unfold’s CEO, John Purcell, says that vertical farming is “an important player in the food ecosystem.” It might be the answer to global poverty as farmers could grow more varieties of food and faster. Partnerships with vertical farmers and retailers are also part of the equation to bring local, fresh products directly to community members. In addition, it will build up the economies at the same time.

Heather Babka
Photo: Flickr

Living Conditions in Myanmar
The term “living conditions” encompasses all the major necessities in life, shelter, food, safety, water and electricity. In recent years, living conditions in Myanmar have vastly improved, as shown through formal statistics and public opinion. For instance, public electricity in the nation has increased by 8% between 2015 and 2017 while connectivity also increased, with 82% of households owning phones. Public opinion polls of citizens reflect these positive statistics. Specifically, 91% of Myanmar residents believe when today’s children grow up, they will have a better standard of living than themselves. Many major organizations, including those discussed below, have helped to create such great strides.

3 Organizations Improving Living Conditions in Myanmar

  1. CARE: CARE is a worldwide organization working towards ending poverty while focusing on social justice. The organization emphasizes gender equality, with over 55% of its efforts focused on assisting women and girls. As of 2019, CARE and CARE’s partners have helped 130 million people in 100 nations through its programs. CARE has been assisting those in need in Myanmar since 1995. Currently, it is focusing on improving living conditions for Myanmar’s women and girls. Many long-term plans have been developed for the nation, such as the Rural Long-Term Program 2013-2028 and the Urban Long-Term Program 2013-2028. Both of these plans focus on protecting women from humanitarian emergencies and increasing their economic opportunities.
  2. Action Against Hunger: Action Against Hunger takes a different approach to improve living conditions around the world. It is an organization concentrated on ensuring food security and access to water. Internationally, Action Against Hunger has aided 21 million people in 2018 alone. Another focus of the organization is fighting child malnutrition by assisting in emergency food and water aid. Action Against Hunger has been bettering living conditions in Myanmar since 1994 through its numerous programs. One of its major programs works to expand safe access to water by fixing water infrastructure and making wells. Additionally, after providing access to water, the organization guarantees long-term access through training and creating groups of community members to manage their water. These Action Against Hunger programs have an expansive reach throughout Myanmar and have made a lasting change in many lives. In 2018 alone, its water, sanitation and hygiene programs reached 19,460 people and food security programs reached 23,790 people in Myanmar.
  3. Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity improves lives worldwide by creating adequate and affordable shelters for impoverished people and disaster victims. In 2019, the organization improved the lives and houses of 7 million people while also training another 2.3 million people. Since its establishment in 1976, it has helped over 29 million people worldwide. The organization has been working to better living conditions in Myanmar since 2008. It began its work in the nation after a  cyclone destroyed many homes. The organization partnered with World Concern to restore 1,700 homes in the most heavily impacted region of Myanmar. On top of rebuilding houses, Habitat for Humanity successfully assisted over 950 Myanmarese families in gaining access to clean water and health centers. Currently, the organization continues to assist families across Myanmar.

As shown through these three organizations, there are many different strategies for humanitarian aid. Increasing women’s opportunities, creating safe water accessibility, providing food security and creating shelter are all essential to the development of improved living conditions both in Myanmar and across the world.

Erica Burns
Photo: Flickr

Flags of Member States Flying at UN Headquarters: Uzbekistan
In the past, hunger in Uzbekistan showed staggering numbers. However, these rates have decreased exponentially since the early 2000s. Within the past 20 years, hunger rates peaked in 2002, where 19.8% of the population either could not afford or access a sufficient amount of nourishment necessary for survival.

The Connection Between Poverty and Hunger

Poverty drives hunger in Uzbekistan. For example, many people could not afford bread in 2005 due to the inflated price, but the rates have dropped by 14.5% since then. Moreover, many people did not even make sufficient wages to purchase a bag of flour each week to provide for their families.

Reducing Undernourishment

Globally, 805 million people experienced undernourishment in 2014. Of that number, 1.7 million lived in Uzbekistan. While these numbers may seem disheartening, there has been a turn for the better. From 2016 to 2017, there was a 0% increase in hunger rates in Uzbekistan. While there was not a reduction in hunger during that time, a 0% increase is still a victory showing that Uzbekistan is on the path to creating a country without hunger.

With these numbers in mind, it is important to highlight just how much progress there has been. Within the country, hunger in Uzbekistan decreased to 6.3% by 2017, which was the lowest it had been since 2000.

Many volunteers and organizations, such as Action Against Hunger, have provided aid to people in Uzbekistan including those that violence displaced in 2010. Action Against Hunger’s actions have directly affected the rates of undernourishment in the country. Here are some of the ways Action Against Hunger influenced the hunger rate in Uzbekistan.

3 Ways Action Against Hunger has Decreased Hunger in Uzbekistan

  1. Food Security: Action Against Hunger has workers and volunteers on the ground in countries all over the world. In the case of Uzbekistan, Action Against Hunger has been working to train local workers on farming and food sustainability. Additionally, it has been providing a work-for-cash program to help families pay for food each week.
  2. Water and Hygiene: With hunger comes the need for water. In providing and helping to secure the infrastructure in these communities, Action Against Hunger is providing the resources necessary to build and maintain sustainable water sources for those living in the country.
  3. Research: Research has allowed for Action Against Hunger to understand the leading factors influencing undernourishment in Uzbekistan’s communities. With this information, it has been able to find solutions to provide aid during even the most desolate of situations. Once Action Against Hunger completes its research, it goes into the advocacy stage. This is where the organization asks for others all over the world to support its work.

Hunger and malnutrition can come from many places but mostly stems from insecurity within the economy, poverty and job instability. With help, Uzbekistan should be able to eradicate these problems and increase food security. The fight to end hunger in Uzbekistan continues, but the numbers show that change surely is possible.

– Natalie Belford
Photo: UN Multimedia

Living Conditions in Africa
Although the percentage of African citizens living in extreme poverty has decreased over the last 30 years,  poor living conditions and growing populations help to perpetuate a continuous cycle of poverty. 90% of people in Africa live in informal housing, and often lack basic needs such as sanitation, clean water and food security. Poor living conditions affect entire communities, as crowded living spaces, dirty water, lack of hygiene and food insecurity contribute to disease transmission. As living conditions improve, more people are able to stay healthy and participate in education and the economy, thus reducing inequality. Here are 3 organizations working to improve living conditions in Africa.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity improves living conditions for people across 10 African countries by building and renovating homes. The organization also improves access to sanitation and promotes hygienic practices. In Uganda, where rapid population growth will require 3 million more homes by 2022, Habitat for Humanity is providing housing for those in rural areas. These homes include a ventilated pit latrine, shower stall and water tank. Simultaneously, the organization educates families about HIV/AIDS, malaria, reproductive health, proper hygiene and sanitation. Habitat for Humanity also promotes economic security by encouraging youth to learn vocational skills that are desired by local markets. The organization served more than 60,000 Ugandans in 2019.

In Ethiopia, where 70% of homes are in need of replacement, Habitat for Humanity improves sanitation by renovating houses and building water facilities and shared toilets. Families are trained in adequate hygiene practices, resulting in community-wide improvement and an overall decrease in health risks. The organization served almost 20,000 Ethiopians in 2019. Habitat for Humanity’s multifaceted approach to improving living conditions in countries across Africa serves thousands in need.

Okodwela

Okodwela constructs housing and increases employment rates in rural Zambia through the Okodwela Home Project. The organization assesses individual families and hires locals to build homes using regional materials. Additionally, to encourage sanitation, Okodwela ensures that each house has a toilet, bedding and filtered water bottles. Every home has two rooms, giving families the option to rent out a room as an additional source of income.

Since its founding in 2018, Okodwela has provided housing for 32 people and employed 26 construction workers. An Okodwela-built home for a family of four in Meloni Village provided income that was sorely lacking after their young daughter was diagnosed with a health condition. For a family of five in Mulala Village, Okodwela’s new home provided shelter, as their previous residence had nearly collapsed. By evaluating families and providing solutions for their specific needs, Okodwela drastically improves living conditions for the rural communities.

Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger improves living conditions in more than 20 African countries by enhancing access to clean water and sanitation services and promoting food security. In Somalia, the organization built 29 shared water sources and 324 emergency latrines to improve hygiene and sanitation. Food shortages and droughts coupled with extreme poverty make food security a challenge in Somalia. In response, Action Against Hunger worked to reach over 97,000 people in the area with food security programs.

The organization also directly provides money to families to purchase food and implements improved health systems for herd animals. Additionally, its work includes enhancing agricultural practices and educating communities about acquiring savings. By improving sanitation and food security across Africa, Action Against Hunger reduces malnutrition rates and the spread of disease. As a result, the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of people have improved.

Next Steps

In light of Africa’s rapid population growth, significant interventions are necessary to improve living conditions in both urban and rural areas. Habitat for Humanity, Okodwela and Action Against Hunger positively impact an array of people across the continent. However, governments in African countries need to focus on mitigating the effects that urbanization and population growth have on living conditions. Inequalities that contribute to and are perpetuated by poor living conditions should be placed at the forefront of governmental concern. These organizations are paving the way for much-needed change in the living conditions in Africa.

Melina Stavropoulos
Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is an East African country in the African Great Lakes region with a population of around 56.32 million people. Tanzania is a developing country and it struggles with widespread hunger and poverty. In 2019, the Global Hunger Index ranked Tanzania 95th out of 117 countries, with a level of hunger classified as serious. Here are five important facts about hunger in the United Republic of Tanzania.

5 Facts About Hunger in the United Republic of Tanzania

  1. Malnutrition: Malnutrition due to hunger is a serious and widespread health issue for those living with food insecurity. Studies show that around 3.3 million children in Tanzania suffer from chronic malnutrition and 58% of children are anemic. In addition to the lack of access to food, malnutrition is a result of poor water quality and sanitation services. A shortage of medical supplies and properly trained healthcare workers have also worsened this crisis, affecting children’s’ health and growth over the long-term. In order to help defeat the damage of malnutrition on vulnerable children, doctors and humanitarian aid groups, such as the World Food Program, have begun providing malnourished children with fortified food products to help them gain the nutrients they require to thrive. Additionally, pregnant women, new mothers and young children are receiving regular checkups to ensure that they remain healthy and that they can receive treatment for malnutrition in its earliest stages.
  2. Infant Mortality Rates: Lack of access to food and proper nutrition has an especially harmful impact on infant mortality rates and the health of pregnant mothers. It is vital for children to receive adequate nutrition within the first 1,000 days of life in order for them to grow up strong and healthy. The widespread prevalence of malnutrition in Tanzania creates a health crisis that affects young children and causes a third of all deaths of children under 5, in addition to the many health problems that can damage children who survive. Studies have shown that babies who suffer from malnutrition, even briefly, are often at a higher risk for mental and physical illnesses even into adulthood, as well as learning difficulties, stunted growth and weaker immune systems in childhood. Pregnant women are also susceptible to malnutrition in part because of cultural myths about motherhood, such as the widespread belief in Tanzania that eating less during pregnancy will cause a baby to be smaller and easier to deliver. This can cause dangerous health issues for mothers as well as making their newborns more prone to malnutrition. Women of childbearing age and children under 5-years-old are the most prone to health problems due to malnutrition such as iron and vitamin A deficiencies. In Tanzania, 58% of children and 45% of women are anemic, and 33% of children and 37% of women have vitamin A deficiencies.
  3. Rural Hunger: Hunger in Tanzania disproportionately affects rural families living in poverty. Over half of the country lives in rural areas and works in the agricultural sector, a population that contains almost three-quarters of Tanzanians suffering from undernourishment and 80% of the country’s hungry citizens. Hunger in these rural areas increases during Tanzania’s dry season, which lasts from June to October. Harvesting crops becomes especially difficult during these months and maintaining an adequate amount of food is an even greater challenge.
  4. Agriculture: Although many people living in Tanzania work in agriculture, the country’s agricultural output still lags behind much of Sub-Saharan Africa. There are a number of reasons for this poor performance, such as less agricultural research, the continued use of rudimentary and outdated farming technology, lack of access to seeds and fertilizers and the inaccessibility of financial assistance such as agricultural loans. The struggling agricultural sector leads to higher rates of poverty and hunger among those who work in this field and rely on farming as their main food source.
  5. Organizations: Several organizations are combatting hunger in Tanzania. Efforts to fight malnutrition from the World Food Program and other organizations have decreased the mortality rate of children under 5-years-old by two-thirds and the infant mortality rate by 6% since 1990. The humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger recently trained 229 health workers in Tanzania on how to provide proper treatment and management of acute malnutrition. It also provided technical support to 41 healthcare facilities and screened over 10,000 children for malnutrition.

These statistics paint a sobering, yet not an entirely hopeless picture of the hunger in the United Republic of Tanzania. Many are working to help combat this issue, though more progress is still necessary to ensure that no one in Tanzania goes hungry.

 – Allie Beutel
Photo: Flickr