More than 10% of the world’s population does not have regular access to food and 50% of these families are farmers. The majority of hungry people live in Asian and African countries. Countries with higher natural disaster rates are not able to access food regularly, due to the destruction of their communities and farmlands. The World Food Programme began the Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) program and other programs like it to help combat this issue. FFA focuses on restoring land and rebuilding communities while assisting people in need, but many people have never heard of it.

Food Assistance for Assets is a program that feeds people and works through them to rehabilitate suffering communities. Through this program, people are given work, such as building and repairing bridges and roads. In return, they gain two things. First, they are paid so that they can buy food for themselves and their families. In addition, the work that they have done helps strengthen and develop their communities, many of which have fallen victim to natural disasters.

While this program may seem to only benefit individuals, it has helped larger communities as well. FFA programs exist in 52 countries, where 10.1 million people have received help from the program. Rehabilitation programs include building water wells and planting trees to restore forests.

These facts help shed light on the impact of the Food Assistance for Assets programs and emphasizes the work that this program does to provide food to people around the world. There is enough food produced in the world to feed everyone, but without programs like FFA, many people are unable to access or pay for enough food to feed their families. Several organizations, including the U.N., hope that through assistance programs such as the FFA and through the increased sustainability of food, world hunger will be eradicated by 2030.

Helen Barker

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Zimbabwe

Thousands of children are facing starvation and hunger in Zimbabwe due to the worst drought in two decades. According to the World Food Programme, nearly four million Zimbabweans are struggling to meet their basic food needs.

Zimbabwe is considered a food-deficit country, ranked 156 out of 187 on the Global Hunger Index. Although food insecurity affects people of all ages, it is even more detrimental to children.

Studies show that proper nutrition is critical to children’s physical and emotional development. Children struggling with hunger are more likely to repeat a grade in primary school, experience impairments in language and motor skills, or have social and behavioral problems.

In Zimbabwe, only 17.3% of children between the ages of two and six receive the recommended minimum diet for adequate nutrition. A child suffering from malnutrition is more likely to contract diseases, such as HIV, or suffer from stunting. Currently, one in every three Zimbabwean children suffers from chronic malnutrition or stunting. Stunting alone contributes to more than 12,000 deaths per year.

Hunger in Zimbabwe has become a major issue, particularly for low-income families and their children. Struggling families are often pressured to accept a dowry for their young daughters. This provides food for the rest of the family, as well as a potentially more food-secure situation for their daughter.

Approximately one out of every three girls in Zimbabwe are married before their 18th birthday. Girls living in the poorest 20% of households were more than four times as likely to marry before the age of 18 than those living in the wealthiest 20% of households.

Both poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe have resulted in an unsafe environment for children.

In order to combat hunger in Zimbabwe, the World Food Programme has implemented the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO). The three primary focus areas of the operation are disaster response, food assistance and nutrition.

The disaster response and risk reduction program are designed to support food-insecure households affected by severe drought during the growing season.

Food Assistance for Assets provides cash and in-kind transfers, along with activities that promote self-reliance. It empowers vulnerable communities to move away from a dependence on food assistance.

The health and nutrition promotion is responsible for the Moderately Acutely Malnourished treatment, which assists pregnant and nursing women and children under the age of five. A stunting prevention program was also established in the same district.

With the help of the World Food Programme and other international organizations, hunger in Zimbabwe is decreasing and children are able to live healthier and happier lives.

Kristyn Rohrer

Photo: Flickr