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Hunger in Peru
Hunger in Peru is an often fluctuating issue. With the drastic effects of inflation, challenges in accessing food and the COVID-19 pandemic, Peruvian poverty has created an unstable lifestyle for much of the country’s population. Here is everything to know about hunger in Peru including information about the country’s alarming food shortage and inflation.

Food Crisis and COVID-19

Peru is in a food crisis. More than 16 million Peruvian citizens – half of the country’s population – are struggling with food insecurity. The problem primarily lies within the country’s prices of food; since the poverty rate includes more than 25% of the citizens of Peru, many citizens cannot access nourishing meals.

The COVID-19 pandemic worsened many of Peru’s poverty-related problems. The poverty rate in Peru rose almost 6% post-pandemic because of the quick-rising inflation. The price of commonly used ingredients – such as “wheat, rice and cooking oil[,]” – now cost more than two times their original prices.

Soup Kitchens, Inflation and Minimum Wage

The number of soup kitchens in Peru has multiplied by six since 2020. The municipal government of Lima reported the registration of more than 2,500 soup kitchens in 2022, The New Humanitarian reports. In 2020, this number was only 377. Despite the fact that kitchens provide free or discounted meals for Peruvian citizens, the rising inflation has caused many to stop serving certain meats due to insufficient funds. Some soup kitchens have to serve chicken noodle soup that lacks chicken.

Peru raised its minimum wage by 10% in order to combat inflation. On May 1, 2022, Peru’s minimum wage increased from 930 PEN to 1,025 PEN. Despite its good intentions, Pacific Business School’s academic director Jorge Carrillo Acosta claims that this raise may unintentionally push informal labor, which would allow companies to continue paying their workers at the 930 PEN rate.

Organizations Combating Hunger in Peru

There are many communities working in Peru in order to help citizens reach a livable wage and a greater level of food security. These organizations are making a significant impact in reducing poverty and hunger in Peru.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is working to continue to push the trend of decreasing poverty in Peru. In 2017, WFP created Cocina con Causa (“Cooking with a Cause”), a TV show showcasing healthy ways to cook and eat. The series has amassed millions of viewers through its TV episodes, radio show and social media accounts. Most recently, WFP has backed a project in the Sechura desert to install a drip irrigation system in order for families in the area to grow a greater amount of healthy vegetables.

Action Against Hunger (AAH) is another organization improving the health system and food security for Peruvian citizens and Venezuelan migrants, while also providing more monetary opportunities for the women in the country. The organization has provided food, hygiene products and supplies in order to relieve some of the hunger in Peru.

The Future of Peru’s Population in Poverty 

WFP has reported that Peru’s levels of poverty and food insecurity have decreased within the past 10 years. The implementation of programs to fight hunger, alongside economic gains and increased funds towards a more secure framework for combating the price of living, gives many – Peruvian citizens or not – a good feeling about the future of Peru and reducing its levels of poverty.

– Aspen Oblewski
Photo: Flickr

5-charities-operating-in-cameroon
The nation of Cameroon is a Central African country with a population numbering roughly 27 million. Cameroon is categorized as a lower-middle-income country, with the COVID-19 pandemic having a considerable impact on its economy. Cameroon is currently facing a humanitarian crisis, with almost 4 million people in need of humanitarian aid amid continuing violence due to the Boko Haram insurgency in Cameroon and increasing numbers of refugees entering the nation. In specific, five charities operating in Cameroon aim to address the humanitarian crisis.

5 Charities Operating in Cameroon

  1. CARE International. CARE International is a nonprofit organization that has provided essential aid and assistance to Cameroon since 1978. The organization aims to address lack of access to water, food insecurity, disease outbreaks and environmental degradation. In Cameroon’s northern region, CARE International worked to “distribute emergency cash and health kits, promote community hygiene and nutrition and construct shelters,” according to CARE’s website. CARE International reached 5,849 people through crisis response initiatives in 2021, with a direct impact on more than 144,000 people across all programs.
  2. UNICEF. To address the humanitarian needs that Cameroon’s population is facing, UNICEF requires $76 million in funding to achieve its 2022 goals. The funding is most urgently needed in the areas of food and nutrition, child safety and protection as well as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). In terms of health, UNICEF aims to provide measles vaccinations to more than 190,000 children in Cameroon. Additionally, UNICEF aims to treat more than 64,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
  3. Hope For Children Cameroon. Hope For Children Cameroon assists communities through education, sanitation and nutritional support programs. In its continued work, Hope For Children Cameroon has increased the quality of life of more than “3,000 children, youth, men and women.” Education is the charity’s prime focus, with projections that the continent of Africa will be home to more than one billion youth by 2030. To prepare for this future eventuality, Hope For Children encourages donors to support the Adopt a School Project, which aims to secure assistance to complete infrastructure and supply resources to provide education for Cameroonian youth.
  4. World Food Programme (WFP). The WFP is a U.N. food assistance organization that assists in combating food insecurity and malnutrition while providing related support to people throughout the globe. In Cameroon, the WFP estimates that more than 55% of the nation endures poverty, struggling to meet their basic needs, especially in rural areas. Through cash-based transfers, the WFP reduces food insecurity among families. The cash transfers also benefit local businesses and spur growth in local economies. Providing the necessary help on the ground is organized through the assistance of the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service, which has an approved budget of more than $5.7 million in 2022 for assistance to Cameroon.
  5. Action Against Hunger. Action Against Hunger has worked to address issues relating to food insecurity in Cameroon since 2014. Since it began its work in Cameroon, the organization has assisted in “treating [more than] 60,000 children and 28,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women” through mobile clinics, the organization’s website says. In 2020, Action Against Hunger reached 600,000 people through programs and initiatives.

Looking to the Future

Cameroon’s immediate needs for food, water, sanitation and disease prevention remain the most crucial obstacles to solve for charities operating in Cameroon today. Addressing the current humanitarian crisis amid violence and instability is essential to safeguard the well-being of citizens.

James Garwood
Photo: Flickr

Games Done Quick
Crammed into the convention center of a suburban Minneapolis DoubleTree Hilton, thousands sat in a room filled with chairs, a pair of projection screens, a TV, a few gaming consoles and PCs, a stack of prizes and a couch, listening to the clicks of keyboards and joysticks over seven days. Competitors, many of whom were unknowns sitting among the crowd, trained for years, memorizing specific levels paths and honing their muscle memories, in anticipation for this week. Around the world, millions watch the lightning-fast action online, shooting comments into a scrolling chat box and sending in donations to fill up a green bar at the bottom of the screen. This is the scene of a typical Games Done Quick event. Generally, people are here for two things: to see video games — from classics like Super Mario Bros. to newcomers like Elden Ring — finished in record-breaking times and to generate millions of dollars toward saving lives.

About Games Done Quick (GDQ)

Games Done Quick, also known simply as GDQ, is a series of live-streamed and in-person charity events built around marathons of video game speed runs. Speedrunning is a popular style of gaming where players attempt to complete sections or entire games as quickly as possible — sometimes using hacks and/or glitches to achieve better times. GDQ typically regularly hosts two major events throughout the year: Awesome Games Done Quick and Summer Games Done Quick.

Though these events focus on speed-running video games, GDQ’s central goal is raising money for nonprofits. In the past, it has even controversially switched which games participants would play mid-event in hopes of maximizing the amount of viewership and donations. Over the nine years that GDQ has been hosting events, they have raised a total of $34 million toward charities that fight cancer, provide education to women in the developing world, and give health care to those around the world who would otherwise not receive it.

GDQ and Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide medical care to anyone who needs it. According to its website, it works in more than 70 countries. Typically, the organization works mostly in conflict zones, areas where natural disasters have hit and locations where access to traditional health care is either limited or nonexistent.

Recently, Doctors Without Borders has been involved in the global response to COVID-19 by supporting developing nations’ overwhelmed healthcare systems, refugee search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea and providing displaced peoples from the Lake Chad region of Africa medical attention as the area experiences a period of violent conflict.

In July 2022, GDQ hosted its annual Summer Games Done Quick, benefitting Doctors Without Borders. It was its first in-person event since 2019, having switched to an online format during the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, viewers watching on the popular live streaming platform Twitch donated more than $3 million to Doctors Without Borders. According to its website, GDQ claims to be the largest event in the world raising money for Doctors Without Borders.

The Future of GDQ and Live Streaming for Charity

In August 2022, GDQ plans to host “Flame Fatales,” which will feature a cast of female-only speedrunners and benefit the Malala Foundation. The Malala Foundation is a nonprofit advocating for the funding of secondary education for girls around the world and supporting education activists.

Outside of GDQ, Twitch, among other live streaming services, has served as a platform for numerous other fundraisers. These include large-scale, produced events, such as GDQ, but also individual streamers encouraging their viewership to donate to charity while watching.

In 2021, French streamers ZeratoR and Dach hosted Z Event 2021 on Twitch. By collaborating with other popular streamers, they raised a record-breaking $11.5 million to fight world hunger through the organization Action Against Hunger.

Throughout his career, individual streamer Nick28T has driven those watching his gaming streams to donate more than $200,000 to the BC Cancer Foundation, which funds cancer research, advocacy and care for patients living in British Columbia.

In 2020 alone, Twitch reported that streamers across the site managed to raise over $81 million for charity. In response to the popularity of charity streams, Twitch has invested in specially made tools for philanthropy. It has partnered with Tiltify, a service that provides streamers with fundraising overlays, donation tracking tools and more. The partnership represents the company’s attempt to compete with other platforms like YouTube and Facebook to host these massive charity drives as more fundraisers choose to go digital.

– Ryan Morton
Photo: Flickr

Facts about South SudanIn South Sudan, poverty and food insecurity are prevalent despite the country’s abundance of natural resources. Challenges include civil wars and prolonged violence. These challenges contribute to a significant number of people living below the poverty line within the nation. Several facts about South Sudan provide insight into the country’s economic and social landscape.

9  Facts About South Sudan

  1. A 50-Year Conflict. From 1955 through 2005, North and South Sudan faced civil wars and conflict. In January of 2005, the leaders of North and South Sudan signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). This agreement granted Southerners a revised Interim Constitution and partial autonomy. However, even with a signed peace agreement, social, political and economic conflict continues in South Sudan.
  2. Gaining Independence. In January 2011, 98% of Southerners in Sudan voted to secede from the north. Due to this vote, in July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan was formed — the world’s youngest country.
  3. High Poverty Rate. South Sudan has a population of about 12 million people. The overwhelming majority of the population, about 80%, resides in rural areas. According to the World Bank’s latest estimates, about 82% of South Sudanese people endure poverty, surviving on less than $1.90 per day.
  4.  An Abundance of Natural Resources. Although South Sudan falls high on the poverty scale, the country has many natural resources. The Nile River, petroleum, marble/dolomite, aluminum, iron ore and gold stand as the nation’s major natural resources. Of these resources, oil fuels the country’s economy, with outside investors dominating the sector. The issue is that about 85% of the population works in non-wage pastoral jobs and does not benefit from the abundance of natural resources.
  5. Water and Sanitation are Limited. In 2019, just half of the South Sudanese population had access to safe drinking water. Also, just 10% of people had “access to basic sanitation.” On a positive note, due to the work of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), almost a million more South Sudanese people received “access to improved drinking water” between 2008 and 2019.
  6. Inadequate Health Care. Less than 50% of the South Sudanese population has access to health services. The government allocates only 2.6% of its budget to health care. For this reason, many citizens rely on non-governental organizations (NGOs) for their health care needs. Doctors Without Borders is a movement dedicated to providing medical aid globally. In 2019, Doctors Without Borders had 19 project sites across South Sudan. The organization’s medical assistance is vast and ranges from tackling malaria to vaccinating children and treating gunshot wounds.
  7. Food Insecurity is High. More than 60% of the population is currently enduring food insecurity. The International Relief Committee (IRC) believes that famine will increase even more in 2021. This stems from the cumulative effects of “conflict, an economic crisis, recurrent flooding and COVID-19” as well as displacement. The IRC is advocating for an infusion of support to stave off famine in South Sudan. Action Against Hunger is an NGO currently aiding South Sudan in hunger relief. As the world’s hunger specialist, its goal is to create new, better ways to deal with hunger. In 2020, it helped 558,079 people in South Sudan. Of this number, the organization’s health and nutrition programs helped more than 300,000 people. Further, 103,004 people received help through “food security and livelihood programs.”
  8. Life Expectancy is Increasing. South Sudanese life expectancy stood at 57.6 years of age in 2018. For males, the life expectancy was 56.1 years old. For the female counterpart, the life expectancy was higher at 59.1 years old. This is a steady increase over the years — 20 years ago, in 1998, the life expectancy at birth stood at 48.3 years old.
  9. Access to Education. More than 70% of South Sudanese children are not attending school. Some of these children live in pastoral settings and need to follow the herds so they cannot attend school. Girls are the largest group of students out of school.  This is due to poverty, cultural and religious beliefs and child marriage.

Looking Ahead

These facts about South Sudan may seem discouraging, but there are NGOs working on solutions. World Concern is a faith-based organization that works in South Sudan and 11 other countries. The organization provides assistance in the areas of water access, health, child protection, education, food security and nutrition, disaster and crisis response as well as economic resilience. World Concern supports countries village by village and operates in eight villages in South Sudan.

Hope is on the horizon for the people of South Sudan as organizations like World Concern, the IRC, Doctors Without Borders and Action Against Hunger step up to help. Coupled with the country’s abundance of natural resources, these efforts ensure South Sudanese people are able to rise out of poverty.

– Ariel Dowdy
Photo: Flickr

Human Trafficking in Mali
Mali is a country where human trafficking is widespread, according to the U.S. State Department. This suggests that the government of the western African country is failing to achieve the bare minimum for abolishing the practice. Instead, Mali has increased some of its prevention efforts — at least since 2017. Mali is not overlooking trafficking, according to many observers. In fact, the government is attempting to stop human trafficking in Mali.

The Situation in Mali

Despite its ranking, the Malian government is making strides to remedy its human trafficking conundrum. These initiatives include educating judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers on human trafficking, as well as issuing a directive prohibiting minors from entering military installations.

Further actions aimed at combating human trafficking include government collaboration with international groups such as the Fodé and Yeguine Network for Action, and the Ministry of Women, Children and Families. In addition, the government has concentrated efforts amending an old anti-trafficking law as recently as 2019.

Mali’s justice minister has issued an order requiring judicial officials to give priority to cases brought under the original statute. Due to the absence of an integrated process to gather anti-trafficking statistics, law enforcement material previously was fragmentary and thereby challenging to access. The 2019 amendment sought to establish a unified strategy for data collection.

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than 42% of its total population living below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. The coronavirus pandemic didn’t help, as a recession dropped Mali’s gross domestic product by nearly 2%. Additionally, nearly seven in 10 adults in Mali cannot read or write, indicating a scarcity of education.

The Correlation Between Malian Poverty and Human Trafficking

Mali has been beset by instability and violence since a 2012 military coup d’état and the capture of the northern territory. The country remains in a state of desperation due to its economic and social crises. The financial insecurity has made it simple — as many observers viewed — to fall victim to human trafficking practices.

Mali falls short of meeting the minimal benchmarks for the abolition of human trafficking. As a result, human traffickers can continue to exploit both internal and international victims. Many of these migrants are fleeing crisis zones in Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

Mali is a supplier, route and destination country for international trafficking, according to the State Department. Lured to Mali with assurances of high-paying jobs, organizations, which include violent fundamentalists like Al-Qaeda “affiliates” abduct many of them. Job seekers also labor to “pay off” fictitious debts that the organizations that invited them to the country in the first place tell them they owe.

Why Mali?

Despite its poverty, Mali is rich in gold and oil. Yet, to benefit from those resources, Mali needs miners. This attracts refugees, women and children, who traffickers could ultimately coerce. Juvenile prostitution and child sex trafficking are common at mining sites. In fact, more than 12% of sex workers at these locations are as young as 15 and as old as 19, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.

A disproportionate number of males work in certain mines, exposing them to the most heinous types of child labor, including physical, sexual and psychological abuse. “Children are being forced to fight by armed groups, trafficked, raped, sold, forced into sexual or domestic servitude or married off,” Gillian Triggs, the Refugee Agency’s assistant high commissioner for protection, told Reuters in December 2020.

Assistance to Mali

There are many human trafficking solutions, yet they are difficult to implement. Global attention and vigorous effort to alleviate Mali’s exploited and trafficked workers dilemma remain in initial phases. While the U.N., the State Department and a number of non-governmental organizations said they are aware of trafficking issues in Mali, the magnitude and precise volume of trafficking and coerced laborers continue to remain unclear.

To help with these issues, the Roman Catholic Church-affiliated Caritas Mali has assembled an international team to build an initiative alongside the International Catholic Migration Commission,  providing underprivileged individuals and children with alternative income and skill development opportunities.

Mali’s education system is deficient, and this new initiative may make fewer people desire to work in deplorable conditions. Many believe that human trafficking thrives on the instability that poverty creates. Thus, eliminating poverty could then, in turn, mitigate trafficking problems.

Many groups are attempting to assist those in poverty in Mali including Action Against Hunger. To date, it has helped more than 400,000 people gain access to nutrition and health programs, food security programs and sanitation programs. Another organization providing aid is the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Food for Peace, which collaborates with the U.N. World Food Program to deliver financial assistance and meals to families that dislocation, violence, environmental catastrophes and other crises have impacted.

Save the Children is another organization helping nearly 1.5 million Malian children in 2020 by giving food and protection. The organization says it effectively raised 232,000 children out of poverty.

The work of Save the Children, Action Against Hunger and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Food for Peace are helping reduce the symptoms of poverty such as food insecurity and poor sanitation. These efforts should subsequently reduce people’s vulnerability and eliminate human trafficking in Mali.

– Tiffany Lewallyn
Photo: Flickr

The Djibouti-Eritrea Conflict
The boundary between Djibouti and Eritrea has been under scrutiny for many decades. Both countries have debated where the border between the regions truly is and have sent militant forces across the perimeter. In 2008, the Djibouti-Eritrea conflict reached a boiling point, which left many dead and resulted in the United Nations embargoing Eritrea for years. Although the two countries have agreed to normalize relations and resume trade, the citizens in the Horn of Africa still face poverty from the dissension.

History of the Conflict

Tensions have been high between the two nations since 1996 when the Djibouti government accused Eritrea of making advancements past their border, which France and Italy originally set earlier in the century. Eritrea also had a border conflict with Ethiopia, an ally of Djibouti, in 1998. However, the conflict did not bubble over until 2008, when Djibouti again claimed Eritrea was once again making advances on the border. The clash of both sides started what many know today as the Djibouti-Eritrea conflict. The conflict almost caused an all-out war in the Horn of Africa. The battle resulted in the deaths of 40 Djiboutians and 100 Eritreans. Eritrea also took many prisoners of war from Djibouti, who the region held for years.

The United Nations Security Council implemented a sanction on Eritrea in 2009 for its actions in the conflict and its support of militants in Somalia. The act created an embargo on arms shipment and created a travel ban within Eritrea. Eritrea denied all involvement with Somalia and engaged violently with Djibouti as the sanctions stayed.

In 2010, Qatar agreed to be a mediator between the two countries after encouragement from the U.N. In response, Qatar installed peacekeeping troops on both sides of the boundary. During this deal, Qatar fostered a small peace agreement between Djibouti and Eritrea in 2016. Yet, after U.S. presence grew in Djibouti resulting in Chinese involvement with the Djibouti-Eritrean conflict and pressure from other Gulf nations, Qatar withdrew its troops.

In late 2018, Eritrea and Djibouti agreed to normalize their relationship and restore trade if Eritrea released all prisoners of war. After this, the U.N. also lifted its sanctions on Eritrea. Ethiopia and Eritrea also restored their ties and commenced trade soon after the countries made the agreement.

The Present

Although the two nations seem to have settled their quarrel, the European Union gave Eritrea another sanction in March 2021. According to Reuters, Eritrea has been responsible for many “atrocities” in the Tigray area of Ethiopia, the home of a large rebellion in North Africa. The European Union claimed Eritrea was responsible for “serious human rights violations in Eritrea, in particular, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances of persons and torture” according to Reuters. More sanctions could possibly emerge as the conflict continues.

While Djibouti has not engaged in conflict with Eritrea since tensions reduced, the nation has still been “volatile” in the Horn of Africa. The African Report said that the Eritrea, Djibouti and Ethiopia area is “at war with itself” with many “historical injustices.” With the continued Tigray conflict and Eritrea and Djibouti on either side, expectations have determined that conflict could emerge again.

The Impact on Citizens

The impacts of the Djibouti-Eritrea conflict still linger years after the countries reached peace. The World Bank said that 53% of the Eritrean population lives in poverty. Meanwhile, the United Nations World Food Programme stated that 79% of Djibouti’s population lives in poverty and over 40% lives in “extreme poverty.” Malnutrition and infant mortality rates are high in both regions. One can attribute the poverty in the regions can be attributed to the current and past Djibouti-Eritrea conflicts which limited trade for both nations. Currently, over 90% of Djibouti’s food is from other nations. As sanctions continue to undergo implementation in the region, many expect that Eritrea will import most of its nutrients as well. The climate of the area has also caused widespread drought.

Solutions

Multiple organizations have joined together to help fight poverty in Djibouti and Eritrea. Action Against Hunger has aided both nations. This organization is helping the area improve its food security and water sanitization. Action Against Hunger has also created medical and nutrition programs for the region.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has also spawned an effort to help Djibouti and Eritrea. The Water, Sanitization and Health Project is helping “vulnerable children and women by increasing access to potable water, sanitation and hygiene and by raising awareness on key basic hygiene practices” during COVID-19. USAID is currently looking for both monetary donations and volunteers to help this effort.

Despite the challenges of the Djibouti-Eritrea conflict, some organizations are providing aid. Through the efforts of USAID and Action Against Hunger, hopefully, life will improve for the citizens of Djibouti and Eritrea. 

– Laken Kincaid
Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Uganda
The landlocked country of Uganda is located in East Africa. Poised to be a significant oil-producing country, Uganda has an estimated 6.5 billion barrels worth of oil reserves in its territory. Nevertheless, Uganda remains a lower-income country. The people of the country have struggled to combat hunger in Uganda even though poverty decreased from 56% in 1993 to 21.4% in 2016. Because of poverty, Uganda faces widespread malnutrition, which has led to more than 110,000 deaths of children between 2004 and 2009. Organizations have committed efforts to address the issue of hunger in Uganda.

4 Key Facts About Hunger in Uganda

  1. Uganda has a fast-growing population due to refugee intake. The refugee population in Uganda has increased from 200,000 in 2012 to more than 1.2 million. As a whole, these refugees are coming from Uganda’s neighbors, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is partly because of Uganda’s willingness to accept and aid refugees. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has praised the country’s refugee policies. Rather than placing refugees in designated camps, Uganda gives refugees a plot of land and access to services such as healthcare and education. As benevolent as these policies are, the rise in Uganda’s refugee population strains already limited resources and funds.
  2. Dependence on agriculture increases hunger in Uganda. In order to reduce malnutrition, there has been a focus on increased agricultural output globally. The rate of global agricultural production has increased, but the level of undernourishment in developing countries remains at 13.5%. In Uganda, for example, agriculture makes up 25% of the GDP and it provides the main source of income for all rural households. But, despite this agricultural output, Uganda still suffers from a 30% malnutrition rate. A study conducted in Eastern Uganda finds that some rice cultivators starve as they sell all the food. While the effects vary, agricultural reliance in Uganda has increased supply, but access to food has not necessarily increased. This leads to high levels of food insecurity.
  3. Hunger in Uganda has significant economic impacts. The effects of malnutrition extend far past the immediate deaths it causes, having substantial and negative consequences for the economy at large. Specifically, malnutrition negatively impacts “human capital, economic productivity and national development.” High rates of malnutrition require healthcare intervention, which puts strain on the healthcare sector and economy. Moreover, malnutrition makes individuals more prone to diseases, incurring costs to families and the health system. Undernourished children are more susceptible to diseases like malaria and anemia, which can burden the country with a cost of $254 million annually. Overall, the national income is reduced by 5.6% as a result of the undernourishment of young children stemming from hunger in Uganda.
  4. International aid organizations address hunger in Uganda. Aid organizations are committing to creating significant progress in the fight against hunger in Uganda. The World Food Programme (WFP) has dedicated efforts to prevent and treat malnutrition in Uganda. Among other activities, the WFP initiatives provide nutrition-sensitive money transfer as well as nutrition counseling in the areas of Uganda most affected by malnutrition. Action Against Hunger provides nutritious food vouchers to refugees and implements digital, data-driven technology to optimize agricultural production. To date, Action Against Hunger’s nutrition and health programs have reached more than 110,000 people. Moreover, the government has joined multiple international commitments to reduce hunger in Uganda. As a signatory of the Malabo Declaration, by 2035, Uganda seeks to reduce the impacts of childhood malnutrition to 10% for stunting in children younger than 5 and 5% for wasting.

Overall, the efforts of organizations and the commitment of the Ugandan Government show a strong dedication to combating hunger in Uganda and improve the lives of people in the country.

Kendall Carll
Photo: Flickr

Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa with a population of more than 15 million people. Today, more than 70% of the country’s population experience poverty. The people of Somalia struggle with food insecurity, vulnerability to human trafficking and youth unemployment among other challenges. One issue, in particular, is malnutrition in Somali children.

Food Insecurity

The most recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report on Somalia projects that 22% of the population or 2.7 million people will struggle with acute food insecurity in the coming months. The main factors contributing to food insecurity are locusts, floods, droughts and low amounts of rainfall.

Malnutrition in Somali Children

The current food insecurity crisis facing Somalia has placed more than 800,000 children at risk of acute malnutrition. Nutrition surveys taken in 2020 measured Global Acute Malnutrition levels of 36 population groups in Somalia on a scale increasing in intensity from Acceptable (IPC phase 1) to critical (IPC phase 4). Specifically:

  • Nine out of 36 population groups in Somalia faced critical levels of Global Acute Malnutrition. This means that more than 15% of the population of children in these regions are suffering from acute malnutrition.
  • A total of 28 population groups suffered from severe (IPC phase 3) levels of malnutrition. This means at least 10% of the population experienced acute malnutrition.
  • More than 34% of Somali children are in need of treatment for acute malnutrition.

Compared to years past, more populations have improved to phase 3 as their acute malnutrition levels decrease. Malnutrition levels have improved due to continued humanitarian aid efforts and accessibility to milk. The ongoing pandemic and seasonal challenges may lead to increased levels of acute malnutrition as food access decreases and the ability to get aid to at-risk populations becomes more costly.

Combating Malnutrition

Save the Children is a humanitarian organization that has been working in Somalia since 1951. The organization has helped more than 500,000 children by providing food, water and medical assistance to at-risk populations. With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening to cause further harm to Somali children, Save the Children has created an emergency fund to increase the amount of aid it can provide.

Action Against Hunger is another humanitarian organization that has been combating malnutrition in Somali children since 1992. In 2019, the organization had provided aid in the form of food, water and health services support to more than 600,000 people. The organization helped more than 20,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition and provided health services to more than 160,000 pregnant women. Action Against Hunger plans to continue supporting Somalia. It plans to expand existing health services for the Somali people and empower the Somali healthcare system.

With millions being affected by food insecurity and more than 800,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition, Somalia is in need of continued humanitarian support. Continual improvements to healthcare, food and water systems have improved the lives of millions of people. The ongoing pandemic and droughts are obstacles in the way of continuing progress in combating malnutrition in Somali children. With these issues, the need for continued humanitarian support only grows.

Gerardo Valladares
Photo: Flickr

Food Insecurity in Chad
Citizens of Chad suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition. This is due to a number of reasons such as geographical location. Humanitarian crises and poverty have impacted approximately 6.3 million Chadians. However, three notable organizations are working to fight food insecurity in Chad including Action Against Hunger, CARE and the World Food Program U.S.A. (WFP). These groups are working to ensure a direct solution, by providing food to Chad’s citizens. Moreover, these programs are attempting to implement long-term solutions, such as creating more fiscal opportunities and supplying clean water.

Food Insecurity in Chad

The country’s geographical location does not provide a reliable agricultural system. Chad is a landlocked country without any bodies of water. The country’s location also entails a hot, dry climate and the country experiences periods of drought. This has led to a lack of water for drinking and producing food. Moreover, conflict with bordering countries has applied further pressure to Chad’s limited resources. This has led to political instability, social unrest and a great influx of refugees. The country has accepted around 465,000 refugees from Sudan and the Central African Republic. Lack of food supply has resulted in over 317,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition in 2019. An estimated 790,000 inhabitants in Chad live with food insecurity.

Action Against Hunger

In 2019, Action Against Hunger helped 579,092 Chadians combat food insecurity. The organization reached those in need with programs focusing on nutrition and health, sanitation and hygiene and food security and livelihood. Action Against Hunger has worked to create solutions for the long term. For example, it initiated health and nutrition courses in Kanem, Bar El Gazal and Logone Oriental. Moreover, to promote behavioral change, the organization implemented husbands’ schools and care groups.

Action Against Hunger has also provided emergency, short-term and long-term solutions directly related to food. This includes supplying food, teaching new agricultural techniques (solar-powered irrigation systems and farmers’ field schools) and providing job opportunities to young people and women.

CARE

Although CARE does not directly focus on food relief, it offers a number of programs to improve the well-being of Chadians into the future. This includes initiatives such as natural resource management, farming classes and education on water and sanitation.

World Food Program USA (WFP)

WFP has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Food for Peace to provide nourishment to underserved Chadians. The organizations collect food from producers in the United States and local markets. They also distribute food vouchers, cash transfers and specialized nutrition products to struggling Chadians.

WFP has three other initiatives that it focuses on titled Emergency Operation, the School Meals Program and Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation.

  • Emergency Operation: This program focuses on those seeking refuge in southern Chad. WFP provides them with nourishment, food vouchers and e-cards, and gives nutrition support for mothers and children.
  • School Meals Program: This initiative seeks to increase school attendance, specifically amongst girls. The school meals program reaches approximately 265,000 elementary school children. All students in attendance receive a hot meal and girls can take a monthly ration of oil home to their families. This in turn encourages parents to send their daughters to school, and thus increases the rate of educated females.
  • Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation: This program can assist up to 2.2 million Chadians and refugees in need. Health centers and clinics provide supplementary feeding to local and conflicted populations.

Despite food insecurity in Chad, the country is benefitting from significant aid from prominent organizations. Through these organization’s continued support, Chad should be able to improve nutrition for its entire population in time.

– Ella Kaplun
Photo: Flickr

Organizations Tackling COVID-19 in Africa
Since its start, COVID-19 has impacted countries worldwide. Citizens have lost jobs, and countries have taken an economic nosedive. Regions already suffering from poverty prior to the pandemic feel the ramifications of COVID-19 most severely. One particular region is Africa. Several organizations are dedicating efforts to providing aid in Africa amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger has been providing aid to Africa for more than 40 years to fight hunger and malnutrition. Additionally, the organization works to improve nutrition, water, sanitation, hygiene, mental healthcare and support and emergency response. In 2019 alone, the organization reached 17 million people in need. In the previous year, Action Against Hunger joined the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) as one of the 14 charities committed to providing aid during major humanitarian disasters.

Meril Cullinan, senior communications officer at Action Against Hunger, describes the motivation behind the continued aid in Africa throughout the pandemic: “According to the United Nations, the number of people globally suffering from acute food shortages could nearly double in the next year due to COVID-19 and its economic impacts; in East Africa, food insecurity could double in just the next three months.” In addition to Africa, Action Against Hunger has provided support to the only hospital for those in quarantine in Somalia and has treated 31,000 people suffering from malnutrition across 60 healthcare facilities in Yemen.

Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa originated in 1957 under the name “Flying Doctors of East Africa.” At the time, the nonprofit used airplanes to deliver healthcare to communities in need. Over time, Amref Health Africa expanded into what it is today—an aid and advocacy organization with a devotion to providing West, East and southern African citizens, particularly women and girls, with quality health services and training for healthcare workers. Services include maternal healthcare, newborn and child healthcare, and information on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In 2019, the nonprofit reached five million people in need across 40 countries in Africa. Amref has assisted in stopping deadly outbreaks within Africa, such as Ebola and cholera; “The whole Amref Health Africa family is working towards [sic] the ambitious goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.” The focus of Amref Health Africa’s response to COVID-19 has been training healthcare workers, providing access to clean water and proper sanitation, strengthening testing and laboratories and mitigating the secondary impacts of the pandemic.

Successes so far include building water and sanitation infrastructure in six African countries, training 3,000 healthcare workers through the mobile phone application LEAP, expanding COVID-19 testing throughout Africa and advocating for access to crucial services during the lockdown. Camilla Knox-Peebles, chief executive of Amref Health Africa, describes the response to providing aid during COVID-19: “As well as launching new initiatives to support communities affected by COVID-19, we have adapted our existing programmes to ensure they can continue.”

Motivation

Motivation began in 1989 after two students, David Constantine and Simon Gue, entered a competition to design a wheelchair for people with disabilities in developing countries. After their prototype won, they went on to build an actual wheelchair, and the rest is history. Motivation has been building wheelchairs fit for various terrains and conditions in developing countries, particularly East Africa, ever since. The organization also provides training to technicians and clinicians on how to select the proper equipment for particular needs and geographic areas. The 2019-2020 impact report has revealed that the organization serviced 6,918 people, trained 312 families and facilitators, supported 68 wheelchair and outreach services and gave 8,816 people an assistive technology product.

Motivation’s aid in Africa has had to adapt to the COVID-19 climate and its safety precautions. Virtual support has replaced face-to-face programs. The organization has also found ways to deliver food, medical supplies and hygiene products to those in need. Anna Reeve, communications manager at Motivation, says that “We are finding ways to offer training and support remotely as much as we can. And we’re are working to ensure that disabled people’s needs are not forgotten in this crisis. Our teams are in touch with beneficiaries and partners by phone and text messages to share advice.”

Looking Ahead

The entire world has felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many parts of the world are in lockdowns, many people are without food, supplies, medical services and other crucial resources. Thankfully, organizations exist that have a dedication to using modern technological advances to continue supporting developing regions. COVID-19 aid in Africa is essential in order to keep up the progress that has taken decades to achieve. Organizations like Action Against Hunger, Amref Health Africa and Motivation are demonstrating the ways the world’s citizens can continue to help each other in times of need.

– Sage Ahrens-Nichols
Photo: Flickr