Yemen Peace Talks
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is cause for despair; however, the recent Yemen peace talks in Sweden and outreach programs providing humanitarian aid are offering new hope to those suffering from the conflict. Through the Yemen peace talks, the United Nations was able to negotiate a ceasefire agreement on December 18, putting at least a pause on the war until countries can reach a further agreement. This finally opens the door to providing humanitarian aid.

Opposed to War in Yemen

Despite President Trump’s wishes, the Senate ended all aid in military assistance to Saudi Arabia following the peace talks. Thanks to Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont for writing the agreement, the War Powers Act was used to assert Congress’ role in military power, overriding the White House. According to the New York Times, Trump was against the end of military assistance in fear that it would cost America “billions” of dollars in arms sales, putting the fear of losing money in front of regard for human life (a reference to the Saudi Prince having allegedly killed American journalist Jamal Khashoggi).

The humanitarian crisis currently taking place in Yemen was caused by war, and the only way to stop it is to end the war and promote peace. Humanitarian organizations such as Save the Children and CARE, along with several other organizations, wrote a letter to the U.S. government to use their influence to end the war. Providing more military support will only perpetuate the problem; whereas, peace will resolve it. Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, stated that the priority must be to increase access to currency and ensure that Yemenis are able to access shipments of food.

Humanitarian Aid

With the ceasefire in play, the focus can be shifted to the humanitarian crisis and helping the suffering people in Yemen. About half of Yemen’s population is subject to starvation and is in dire need of aid as a result of the war. “The big countries say they are fighting each other in Yemen, but it feels to us like they are fighting the poor people,” said Mr. Hajaji to the New York Times. Hajaji is a father who has already lost one child to starvation and is afraid of losing his second, who is struggling to stay alive.

According to Save the Children’s fact sheet, about 85,000 children are estimated to have died from starvation and disease since the beginning of the war in Yemen. Despite the high numbers of people who have died or are suffering from starvation, organizations like Save the Children are making a difference and increasing the number of survivors. This organization has treated nearly 100,000 children suffering from malnutrition and is operating mobile health clinics in the hardest-to-reach areas.

Ways to Help

People from the U.S. can help alleviate this issue in numerous ways. One such method is by contacting Senators and U.S. representatives through the United States Senate website and urge them to give aid and resources to Yemen. Since Yemen’s famine is income based, the best thing the people can do to aid is to donate money to those in need to survive. Organizations like Save the Children are also distributing cash and vouchers for food to families as well as education and safe spaces for children to keep getting an education despite the harsh circumstances and ongoing recovery from war trauma.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is providing outreach through healthcare, nutrition, water/sanitation services and by providing financial assistance to those struggling survive. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is providing education, food security, shelter and water outreach to many Yemenis. Volunteer and/or donating to these organizations will help their work reach more people.

The resolution of the Yemen peace talks to enact a cease-fire and the U.S. halting its military assistance to Saudi Arabia serve as a positive catalyst for change in the right direction. The ongoing battle is now the aid for Yemenis in an attempt to end their critical condition of poverty. Organizations such as Save the Children, IRC, NRC and UNICEF are providing outreach and saving people’s lives, making significant progress in the work to end Yemen’s humanitarian crisis.

– Anna Power

Photo: Flickr

top 10 hunger quotes

Globally, around 795 million people lack access to adequate food resources. This equates to approximately one in nine hungry humans who do not have enough to eat. As these quotes about hunger will illustrate, hunger and malnutrition are self-perpetuating issues that affect a person’s mental ability, health, work and productivity. They constitute the world’s greatest public health risk, more pressing than AIDs, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

The good news is that hunger is preventable; the earth produces more than enough food to provide for all of its citizens. The problem lies in food access and apathy from developed nations. Solving world hunger involves investing in smallholder family farmers, healthcare, financial services and increasing women’s access to resources. The following are 10 of the greatest, most thought-provoking quotes about hunger that bring various perspectives to this complex issue.

  1. “If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.” –Buzz Aldrin
  2. “It is an eternal obligation toward the human being not to let him suffer from hunger when one has a chance of coming to his assistance.” –Simone Weil
  3. “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower
  4. “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” –Mahatma Gandhi
  5. “We know that a peaceful world cannot long exist, one-third rich and two-thirds hungry.” –Jimmy Carter
  6. “The war against hunger is truly mankind’s war of liberation.” –John F. Kennedy
  7. “Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank
  8. “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” –Mother Teresa
  9. “It is important for people to realize that we can make progress against world hunger, that world hunger is not hopeless. The worst enemy is apathy.” –Reverend David Beckmann
  10. “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works.” –Pope Francis

For anyone moved by these quotes about hunger, there are many ways for individuals to get involved. Advocacy is essential, and contacting representatives is an easy and effective means of citizen involvement. Supporting hunger initiatives and awareness over social media is another simple option. On a local level, communities can provide meals for the hungry among them.

In the last 26 years, the number of hungry people worldwide has fallen by 216 million. With enough public determination, this amount will continue to drop until no one in the world goes to bed hungry.

– Anna Parker

Photo: Flickr

At the 39th session of the Conference of Member States of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held in Milan, Italy this June, Ghana was given an award from the FAO for reducing the level of its malnourished population from 7 million in the early 1990s to less than 1 million today.

Ghana is one of the 72 countries that have managed to reduce its level of people suffering from hunger to less than 5% of the population. Ghana has also seen a significant decrease in poverty. As Feed the Future states, Ghana’s GDP growth rate has grown from 4% in 2002 to 8% in 2012, as poverty was reduced from 52% to 28%.

Ghana’s success at decreasing the level of the population in poverty has made it the first Sub-Saharan African country to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015. This decline in poverty has led to a corresponding decline in levels of hunger and malnutrition. In 1990, 27% of the Ghanaian population was malnourished. By 2005, this number fell to less than 5%. The level of malnutrition in children has also reduced — it has been halved from the 1980s to today.

Ghana was able to drastically decrease poverty and hunger by investing in its agricultural sector. Ten percent of the Ghanaian budget is devoted to its agricultural sector, which, as The Gates Foundation states, has led to a steady growth in Ghana’s agricultural productivity of almost 5% each year since 1985. Ghana has also significantly increased its production of cocoa, allowing it to increase exports.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) states that besides agricultural growth, there are also other factors which helped to drive much of the population out of poverty. For example, the government of Ghana has introduced special social intervention plans which increase spending on programs that target the poor and vulnerable.

The south of Ghana is the country’s main agricultural area, which has led to a disparity in poverty between the north and the south. The poverty rates in the north are double than those in the south. In order to help decrease this poverty gap, Ghana has established four main interventions. The first is the adoption of security measures which help to end longstanding civil conflicts and attract private investment. The government also increased the number of resources it gives to the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), an agency which works to plan a development agenda for the northern ecological zone in Ghana. Ghana has also augmented its infrastructure, providing more access to rural areas, and worked to help social intervention programs such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP).

The gap between the poverty levels in the north and south of Ghana is worrisome, but the four interventions that the government established should help decrease poverty in the north and help the country overall. Ghana’s ability to decrease its level of hunger is remarkable and suggests that other countries that wish to reduce hunger and malnutrition should be prepared to invest heavily in their agricultural sector.

– Ashrita Rau

Sources: Impatient Optimists, Action Aid USA, UNDP, Feed the Future, Ghana Business News, Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Photo: World Food Programme


If you have paid attention to any type of news recently, you likely know that women’s rights and equality have been a hot topic in the United States. These issues that women face—violence, employment issues, malnutrition and more—only multiple in developing and impoverished areas around the globe.

Among the tribulations women face are violence, malnutrition, lack of education, unemployment, less access to healthcare and family stress. All of these come in different forms, but with more than 3 billion people in the world living in poverty and 60 percent of those being women according to The Hunger Project, these factors influence billions of women and children every day.

Like in most poverty-based situations, there are positive aspects occurring as well as unpleasant and disturbing news.

The Ugly: Violence.

Domestic abuse, sex trafficking, childhood marriage and sexual exploitation all fall into the category of violence but are not limited to those forms of violence. Violence is one of the ugliest problems women around the world face, especially impoverished women.

UN Women reported that female children who are poor are “2.5 times more likely to marry in childhood than those living the wealthiest quintile.” If married as a child, girls’ likelihood to experience some form of sexual exploitation increases due to sexual encounters too early in life that are often forced relations.

On top of early marriage, sex trafficking is a widespread problem around the entire world. Sex trafficking occurs in places from the Mid-West of the United States to Central Europe, to highly impoverished areas of Africa.

This disheartening yet growing epidemic targets impoverished women and children specifically. UN Women classified them as being much more vulnerable to become victims of sex trafficking.

For these women and families living in poverty, changing their abusive reality is rarely an option. “Due to their lack of resources and income,” abusive households can provide some forms of security.

The Bad: Though just as ugly, there are numerous additonal troubles that women face while in poverty.

Malnutrition and a lack of healthcare are two of the largest and most threatening problems that women face. The Hunger Project found that “50 percent of pregnant women in developing countries lack proper maternal care,” which results in at least 240,000 deaths annually from pregnancies and childbirth.

The Hunger Project also reported that “1 out of 6 infants are born with a low birth weight in developing countries,” which is due to malnutrition and uncared for health issues in women.

In developing and impoverished areas, healthcare is scarce enough at it is. When healthcare is provided, males are often treated first because of their presumed ability to work more and hold more worth.

This often leaves women and children sickly and untreated. In most situations, men perform agricultural work to sell while women grow food for the family and tend to the children. If unwell, providing for and taking care of the family can become near impossible for these women.

Being uncared for and underfeed trickles down through the families. Nearly 45 percent of deaths in children the age of 5 are due to poor nutrition. With more than 3 million child deaths each year, an average of 8,500 children are dying each day due to malnutrition and a lack of healthcare. Most of these children, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, are under the age of 5.

The difficulties of finding work and education as a women, can be added stressors. Again, work and education are luxuries in most developing countries, which when provided, often go to male prospects before women.

With such a disadvantage at hand, women face more obstacles in becoming educated and able to find a superior job that will allow them to take better care of their families.

The Good: Finally, there is good news for women in developing and impoverished areas.

More and more people around the globe are becoming informed about poverty and its difficulties especially for women and children. Poverty for any gender is a constant struggle, but the added stress for women is becoming increasingly apparent.

Through news outlets and by word of mouth, talk about poverty and ways to end it is spreading. Because of the work of organizations like The Hunger Project, UN Women, The Borgen Project and countless more, support and assistance is being sent to the most impoverished corners of the world.

A UN Women-supported project has begun to train families and women on how to become entrepreneurs of their own businesses and the economic ins and outs of it. The program has provided training for “more than 5,000 families in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan” so far and is equipping them with needed resources.

This is one example of the many organizations and projects that are working to improve the livelihood of people around the world and for women in poverty. Continuing to raise awareness regarding the overwhelming and frightening facts of our world is the first step to ending poverty for all genders and all ages.

– Katherine Wyant

Sources: UN Women, FAO, The Hunger Project
Photo: Grameen Foundation