Freedom from Hunger is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to ending world hunger as a means to end poverty. It is an internationally renowned organization that recently opened an office in Mexico City, Mexico. They focus on working with developing areas in the world that have a high prevalence of chronic hunger.

There are 24 countries that the organization currently works in: Bénin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haití, Honduras, India, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Uruguay and Vietnam. The organization utilizes local organizations in the areas where they assist the poor to collectively organize methods that are efficient and effective in addressing chronic hunger in each specific location.

It is an organization dedicated to training in life skills and health education as a proactive method to reach out into the poor, especially those in the rural areas. The principles of the organization stem from the idea that ending hunger in the world is attainable through strategic and collaborative efforts. The key activities focused on are self help, collaboration, sustainability, innovation and research.

The organization was one of the first microfinance organizations to utilize research and evaluation techniques to illuminate the rate of success and program success. Freedom from Hunger has a plethora of types of research that it utilizes, both qualitative and quantitative. Freedom from Hunger relies on research regarding the quality and sustainability of development.

The types of research conducted range from randomized controlled trials to focus group interviews. The organization prides itself on honoring the results from all of their research and sharing them among their partners, the microfinance community and local partners.

In selection of local partners, Freedom from Hunger ascertains local knowledge and insight that provide relevant cultural, economic and social understanding of chronic hunger and poverty. Together with local organizations, it allows the organization to further asses the current challenges in providing services. It allows for realistic setting of goals and steps to combat these challenges.

The organization uses training and technical assistance as a method to support local organizations and to increase the amount of people they can reach. In addition, the education provided creates a continuous cycle of learning by ensuring the programs are locally owned and focused. Freedom from Hunger shares its information as a method to continue positive influence with local partners and nurture expansion by emphasis by adding value through microfinance.

Freedom from Hunger is an organization that encompasses the Millennium Goal number one, to help end extreme poverty and hunger. It is also an organization that demonstrates the seventh Goal of having global partnerships.

– Erika Wright

Sources: Freedom from Hunger, U.N. Millennium Project
Photo: Bag Standz

Almost half of the population in Mexico lives in poverty. Based on the current population of 117 million, over 55 million people live in poverty. Forty-one million people live on less than $188 per month and 11.5 million live on less than $83 per month. It is estimated that more than half of the entire population is living on less than $2 per day and a quarter of the population is living on less than $1 per day. From 2012-2013, the GDP in Mexico dropped from four percent to one percent.

In Mexico, 25.3 million people are without access to proper health care, and 27.4 million people do not have proper access to food and are described as being food insecure. Food insecure is a term that is used in Mexico to describe those who face extreme hunger and are unable to meet their own nutritional needs during the year. Despite a decrease in extreme poverty since 2010, poverty has continued to increase.

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and has a population of two million people. It is a city that struggles with disease and poverty. The wealth in Mexico City is concentrated. Although some of the poor live in the cities, many reside in the rural areas. The rural areas house the majority of the impoverished; however, there is little recorded data to demonstrate the cause, according to the government. Although the government is aware of the poverty that exist in these areas, the states of Mexico that border the United States do not qualify for the Oportunidades program to alleviate poverty and health issues.

Health issues in Mexico City are caused by poor air quality as a result of air pollution. Air pollution causes respiratory problems for the residents. Mexico has declining incidence rates of Tuberculosis. However, in Mexico City, the cases of Tuberculosis are five times as much as the United States. For the people of Mexico City, Hepatitis A is still considered endemic.

The first Millennium Goal initiatives are applicable to the status quo of Mexico City. With little aid from the government, Mexico City will have to look to outside sources for relief.

– Erika Wright

Sources: CDC, U.S. Mission to Mexico 1, U.S. Mission to Mexico 2, U.S. Department of State, The World Bank
Photo: Hispanically Speaking News