Wheat to SudanSudan’s position on the list of states that sponsor terrorism restricted their trades, imports and economy. However, with the recent removal, Sudan has already reaped the benefits of foreign aid from the United States. USAID approved a $20 million payment to the World Food Programme to provide a massive 65,000 metric ton shipment of wheat to Sudan.

Diplomacy Opens Doors

The $20 million shipment of wheat to Sudan is part of an $81 million commitment from the U.S. to help Sudan fight poverty and hunger. This contribution will bring its total aid for the fiscal year to over $400 million, making the U.S. the largest aid sponsor to Sudan.

Sudan’s removal from the list of states sponsoring terrorism was contingent on Sudan’s recognition of Israel as a nation.  After such recognition, Israel also sent a $5 million wheat shipment to Sudan.

Economic Lockdown Compounds Hunger Crisis

While Sudan has found recent diplomatic success, its plight as a nation remains dire. Nearly half of Sudanese people are in poverty, with 46% living under the poverty line as of 2018.

Roughly nine million people will need food assistance in 2020, up by 9% from 2019, as widespread poverty has been worsened by the effect of COVID-19 on the economy.

Further stress on already limited food resources comes from droughts, floods and conflict that has displaced nearly two million people, compounded with hosting one million refugees who need food assistance.

The rampant poverty in Sudan has led to extreme numbers of children suffering from hunger and malnutrition across the nation. The number of children facing emergency food insecurity levels doubled over the last year to 1.1 million. According to Save the Children’s country director in Sudan, Arshad Malik, “120 children are dying every day due to malnutrition.”  Overall, 9.6 million individuals in Sudan are food insecure as a result of lockdown restrictions, a weak economy, natural disasters and conflict.

USAID Contributes to Disaster Relief

Although the weak economy has waned further from job losses and food prices soaring from economic restrictions, food aid remains the first priority for Sudan and USAID. Additionally, Sudan has suffered from its worst floods in 100 years, which has caused massive destruction due to vast underdevelopment. USAID granted another $60 million in aid for Sudan to recover from flooding and fight waterborne diseases that can spread during floods.

Foreign Aid Essential to Development

Sudan’s new democracy undoubtedly faces short and long-term obstacles with regard to the country’s development and stability. Natural disasters, economic woes, poverty and hunger, cripple an already struggling nation. The shipment of wheat to Sudan from USAID is crucial for helping the people of Sudan meet their daily needs and alleviating hunger and poverty. Extending the olive branch of foreign aid creates interdependence between nations and encourages peace and prosperity. Bringing nations such as Sudan out of poverty creates a more secure, just and prosperous world.

– Adrian Rufo
Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Germany
Germany plays an enormous role in the battle against global poverty, from its sweeping refugee integration efforts to its special initiatives against world hunger. It was also one of the three largest UNICEF contributors in 2019, alongside the United States and the United Kingdom. Given the country’s position, it may come as a surprise that hunger persists in Germany. However, as of 2015, nearly 20% of children were at risk of poverty. The majority of the population has a high standard of living, but around 4% experienced moderate to severe food insecurity between 2016 and 2018.

Poverty in Germany

According to Ulrich Schneider, the chief executive of Germany’s Equal Welfare Organization, the gap between rich and poor German states has increased since the reunification in 1990. Poverty is heavily concentrated in areas such as North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Lower Saxony, Germany and some Eastern German states. Lack of access to nutritious food has affected the health of the German population. The prevalence of obesity was 26% in 2016, with an average risk of premature death due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at 12%.

Unemployment in Germany

Although unemployment rates have fluctuated during the past 30 years, low-paying employment among low- and middle-skill workers and women is a driving factor of poverty and hunger. Unemployment surged past 12% in 2005, and the current rate is 6.4%. Since the rapid influx of refugees began in 2015, Germany has seen lower unemployment rates and higher economic growth. The majority of asylum seekers are working in low-skilled, low-paying jobs, but the long-term trends are encouraging. As of 2019, around one-third of refugees have a job, but many individuals rely on social welfare and federal expenditures in order to feed their families. Unemployment and underemployment among parents in Germany is the main factor in putting families at risk of poverty.

Delivering Aid

The federal government provides a variety of programs and subsidies to make up for disadvantages resulting from poverty and a lack of societal integration. German municipalities and states are primarily responsible for this task, but many other actors also work to resolve poverty and food insecurity. Thankfully, Tafel Deutschland food banks are widely accessible throughout the country. There are more than 940 nonprofit Tafel locations, which together serve more than 1.5 million people. Nearly one-third of them are children and youth. Many locations temporarily closed due to COVID-19 risks, but numerous new volunteers have gotten involved to deliver needed assistance in various regions.

Private organizations and religious communities play an increasingly important role as well. They complement the work of food banks and often extend the reach of aid to residents facing food insecurity in Germany. For vulnerable groups such as women, children and the elderly, the solidarity and tolerance these organizations provide has been paramount.

Hunger may not be as prevalent in Germany as in other parts of the world, but the work of private and nonprofit organizations helps mitigate food insecurity across the country. Ensuring that no one goes hungry is a complicated task, but the current course in Germany is positive.

Rachel Moloney
Photo: Flickr

Wealth Inequality in India India is considered to be one of the foremost emerging economies in the world and has a rapidly growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite this, the annual Global Hunger Index (GHI) has put India at 100th place among 119 countries. This is a case where the GDP does not properly represent the country’s situation, as it is facing major wealth inequality. In India, the top 10 percent of the population control the country’s wealth, while the common people, more than a billion in number, fall along the lower end of the Hunger Index. The major causes of wealth inequality in India can be attributed to a large number of people in India being either unemployed or underemployed.

The country is experiencing poverty growth, as poverty will only increase with joblessness and lead to more hunger in the rural and semi-urban landscape. The hunger problem persists, despite the government spending to feed the people. In addition, this has prevented the country from allocating more fiscal resources toward infrastructure and other areas needed to develop the economy. Even with India having the world’s fastest-growing economy over the last three years, the problems persist.

It is not all negative though, as the undernourishment level and child mortality rate in the country has declined significantly since 1991, though the issues are still serious. The International Food Policy Research Institute said in a statement, “India was rated as ‘alarming’ in 2013 and has experienced an improvement in its GHI score over recent years. Since 2000, the country has reduced its GHI score by a quarter.” The statement continues on with, “India is making tremendous progress, but we have significant challenges ahead.”

In an attempt to address the causes of poverty and wealth inequality in India, among other countries, the United Nations declared a set of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the start of the millennium, which they aimed to complete by 2015. After their inability to achieve this within the targeted date, the U.N. expanded and modified the goals to a total of 17 goals to be achieved by 2030, called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The first two of these goals, featured in both MDGs and SDGs, are the removal of hunger and poverty. Since becoming a quickly emerging economy, India has pledged to work toward these goals. It has been committed to achieving SDGs, focusing specifically on ending poverty. The Indian government believes that if poverty can be removed, hunger will go along with it. Malnourishment comes from the inability to procure food because of a lack of money, so India remains a country of constraints with its large wealth disparity.

If we hope to combat the causes of wealth inequality in India, we must improve the underemployment of India. The National Institutions for Transforming India claims that a “severe under-employment” is the main problem facing India. According to the Institutions, in order to combat underemployment, and thus reduce poverty, “what is needed is the creation of high-productivity, high-wage jobs.”

Drew Fox

Photo: Flickr


Djibouti is a small country on the Eastern coast of Africa populated by malnourished people. Because of its location, Djibouti is a shipping hub for Eastern Africa, and so it has a large urban population. Still, a World Food Programme Emergency Food Security Assessment in 2012 found that three-fourths of assessed households were “severely or moderately food insecure.”

In rural areas, where one-third of Djibouti’s population lives, there is a severe hunger crisis. One in five children aged one to four  years is malnourished and, in the rural areas, about 70,000 people were food insecure in 2012. In the slums, Arhiba and Balbala, there is a high rate of child mortality from malnutrition.This is in part due to the fact that the country has very little natural resources and there have been recurring severe droughts in the region.

Additionally, in recent years Djibouti suffered from a cholera epidemic. The droughts have damaged food production from crops and livestock in rural areas, and because the rural villages are spread out across the country, it is difficult for aid organizations to send food and healthcare to each community.

Many rural families have moved to cities in search of work and a better life. However, work is often difficult to find and, with more people migrating to the cities, the unemployment rate has increased quickly. Other rural families are fleeing to the slums to escape the harsh conditions of rural life.

Most households are receiving assistance, without which they could not survive. Fewsnet found in a 2012-2013 report that, in some areas, “households are marginally able to meet minimum food needs only through accelerated depletion of livelihood assets and adoption of unsustainable coping strategies such as charcoal sales.”

Prices and unemployment are rising as the droughts continue. The people of Djibouti need strategies for clean water, agriculture, health and nutrition. Until these needs are met, World Food Programme, Action Against Hunger and other organizations and governments are working to provide citizens with basic needs and helping the government develop programs for sustainability.

-Kimmi Ligh

Sources: Relief Web, Action Against Hunger, World Food Programme, The Guardian
Photo: Flickr

hunger crisis in south sudan
This fall will not be a bountiful season for the world’s youngest country, according to recent warnings from several British foreign aid agencies. Four million people – including 50,000 children under five years old – are likely to be left hungry from August through November as South Sudan undergoes what its president, Salva Kiir, describes as “one of the worst famines ever.”

Political unrest in South Sudan has been rampant for over six months as warring factions fight to secure control of the government. The turmoil has already left thousands dead, caused nearly a million people to flee some of South Sudan’s more violent areas, preventing farmers from planting crops. Civil strife also complicates the distribution of foreign aid, making the upcoming famine even more dangerous for South Sudanese people.

The dangers aren’t stopping humanitarian organizations from trying to mitigate the effect of the imminent hunger crisis in South Sudan. The agencies that predicted this crisis are the same ones that predicted the famine that swept through Somalia in 2011. Having learned from the event in Somalia that public interest is crucial to financing this sort of humanitarian work, those agencies are trying desperately to drum up significant media coverage before South Sudan’s food crisis takes effect.

Lack of public awareness of Somalia’s famine – which was the worst of the century – left humanitarian organizations lacking in both private donations and government support. If such organizations are more successful this summer in obtaining the necessary finances necessary to implement targeted food aid programs in South Sudan, they could save hundreds of thousands of lives. The United Nations currently has approximately 40 percent of the funds it would take to prevent the food crisis, but over a billion dollars is still needed.

In June, South Sudan led The Fund for Peace’s list of the world’s most fragile nations. Because a famine as huge as this one can only further weaken the nation, it’s imperative that aid organizations do as much as they can to prevent such a food crisis from occurring in the first place.

Elise L. Riley

Sources: BBC, Aljazeera, Care
Photo: Youth Ki Awaaz