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Living Conditions in Lesotho

Lesotho is a small, mountainous African kingdom surrounded by South Africa. Lesotho’s population is 72 percent rural and 80 percent are engaged in the agricultural sector, which has suffered greatly due to recent droughts, climate change and failed harvests. Lesotho is classified as a lower-middle-income country; however, 57 percent of its two million residents live below the poverty line. Here are eight facts about living conditions in Lesotho to know.

8 Facts About Living Conditions in Lesotho

  1. HIV/AIDS – In 2017, 23.8 percent of adults aged 15 to 49 in Lesotho had HIV, 320,000 people were living with HIV and there were 4,900 AIDs-related deaths. NGOs such as UNAIDS, UNICEF and the WHO have been working with Lesotho’s government to fast-track HIV prevention, testing and treatment. In 2017, 80 percent of people living with HIV in Lesotho were aware of their status, 74 percent of people with HIV were on treatment and 68 percent of people on treatment were virally suppressed.
  2. Tuberculosis – Around 405 out of 100,000 people suffer from tuberculosis (TB). This is one of the highest tuberculosis rates in southern Africa. This airborne bacterial disease is a huge public health crisis in Lesotho and is seen as a co-epidemic with HIV/AIDS. The crisis has narrowed substantially from the TB rate of 695 out of 100,000 people in 2007. Progress is being made, but there is still much to improve upon in terms of public health and living conditions in Lesotho.
  3. Access to Clean Water – The Highlands Water Project raises millions of dollars annually for Lesotho by selling water to its neighboring countries, primarily South Africa. Still, around 18.2 percent of people in Lesotho do not have access to clean drinking water. Many must walk for hours just to reach water access points that may or may not be in working order. The Metolong Dam Project is a promising project to help increase clean water accessibility. When completed in 2020, it is predicted that water supply will reach 90 percent of the district Maseru and sanitation coverage will increase from 15 to 20 percent.
  4. Food Insecurity – Drought in Lesotho combined with two successive crop failures, low incomes and high costs for food left more than 709,000 people in “urgent need of food assistance” from 2016 to 2017. The food insecurity crisis worsened with a steep reduction in harvest for Lesotho’s main crops of maize, sorghum and wheat between 2017 and 2018. The World Food Programme (WFP) is helping to reduce hunger in Lesotho by supporting more than 260,000 people affected by drought with monthly food distributions and cash-based transfers during the low-yield season.
  5. Stunting – One in three children under 5 years old are stunted as a result of chronic malnutrition. Acute malnutrition is a major problem in Lesotho’s population that affects children the most. Many NGOs focus on alleviating child hunger caused by poor living conditions in Lesotho. UNICEF provided support to 1,750 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in 2017 and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) helped 2,560 families start home-based gardens with vegetables to create a stable, healthy food source. In addition, the WFP currently provides free healthy school meals to more than 250,000 children in 1,173 of Lesotho’s primary schools.
  6. Housing – Around 70 percent of Lesotho residents live in substandard housing conditions with issues ranging from overcrowding to lack of toilets. Nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity operate in Lesotho to build homes for vulnerable populations, but individuals also can have a large impact on housing and development. A winning proposal by Javed Sultan for Climate CoLab laid out the success in building affordable and climate responsive homes for the elderly in Lesotho. Innovative and cost-effective building in Lesotho has the potential to help many people in housing poverty.
  7. Sanitation – Access to proper sanitation facilities has increased every year since 1994. In 2015, 30.3 percent of the population had access to improved sanitation facilities that included flushing systems, ventilation latrine pits and composting toilets ensuring hygienic separation from human waste. In 1994 only 22.6 percent had this level of sanitation. This shows that progress is being continually made to improve this area of living conditions in Lesotho, but there still is much to accomplish.
  8. Education – In 2010, Lesotho established Free and Compulsory Primary Education by law. The net lower basic enrollment ratio increased from 82 percent in 2000 to 95 percent in 2010. Lesotho also has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, with 85 percent of people over the age of 14 being literate. The Government of Lesotho allocates 23.3 percent of its annual budget, or 9.2 percent of Lesotho’s GDP, on the education sector showing its commitment to improving its education system.

These eight facts about living conditions in Lesotho show that there are still major issues including epidemics, water, hunger and sanitation crises that need to be further addressed. However, progress is being made to improve living conditions on many fronts due to the collaboration of charitable organizations and the Government of Lesotho.

– Camryn Lemke
Photo: Flickr

GambiaThe Republic of Gambia is a country on the North Atlantic coast of West Africa and is the smallest country on the African mainland. It is classified as a low-income, food-deficit country, with about one-tenth of its population being food insecure and almost one in three Gambians vulnerable to food insecurity. As of 2013, 57 percent of the population lived in urban areas where over one-third of residents are estimated to be living in sub-standard conditions.

The main cause of hunger in Gambia is the unpredictability of the crop harvests. Harvests have shrunk in recent years, with food prices rising considerably since 2008. One of the factors that heavily affects the crop harvest is Gambia’s climate, which is characterized by short rainy seasons. As well as being under-resourced and unpredictable, the agriculture in Gambia is heavily affected by climate change, with extreme weather events and rising sea levels driving down the output even further.

A Gambian woman, Sarjo Dibba, one of two wives to a local groundnut farmer who lives in the village of Jalangfarri, told ActionAid, “The children are crying and we can only share two cups of rice between all of us. Last year we had three meals a day, and now we only cook lunch, while saving half of it for dinner. On some days, when the money from charcoal is not good, I don’t eat anything.”

The family harvests groundnut, millet and cassava, saving the millet for food and using the money generated from the groundnut and cassava harvests to pay for rice, cooking oil and other essential food items. In good years, the food supply from the harvest will be enough to last them until the next season’s harvest, with the last two months necessitating the use of basic rationing, typically referred to as “the hunger season.”

After coming off a particularly poor rainy season and harvest, Sarjo’s husband has resorted to making charcoal, which has been long banned in Gambia due to rampant deforestation. He also has begun fetching firewood in hopes of making money for his family anyway he can.

So, how can we help solve the issue of hunger in Gambia?

It is not an easy solution, but there are several steps being taken to combat extreme poverty and hunger in Gambia. One method is The World Food Programme’s (WFP) Food for Education, which is a program that provides school meals to children in Gambia. There are also things that can be done at home, such as sending WFP cash contributions directed toward supporting Food for Education. Additionally, lobbying respective governments and authorities in support of WPF’s program is another great way to help.

Drew Fox

Photo: Flickr


According to reports by the World Bank, climate change could send 100 million more people into poverty by 2030. Although climate change impacts people regardless of their socioeconomic status, people living in poverty are hit the hardest. Here are five ways climate change impacts the poor.

  1. Natural resources. The World Wildlife Fund estimated in 2014 that over-exploitation of natural resources created a global decline of 60 percent of many vital natural resources, such as arable land, fish, water and wood. Marine and forest ecosystems, which provide jobs, food and resources for some of the world’s poorest people, are expected to experience significant losses as a result of pollution and over-exploitation of resources like fish and wood.
  2. Water. Already a key topic of discussion surrounding global poverty, water scarcity and pollution is expected to increase as a result of climate change. UNICEF estimates that around 175 million children each year over the next 10 years will be affected by water extremes caused by climate change. Accessibility to clean water is tied to health, sanitation and food security, especially for people living in developing countries. All of these are expected to worsen as a result of climate change.
  3. Food. Food prices are expected to rise by 17 percent on a world scale by the year 2080, with the greatest impacts in poor regions. A 77 percent increase in food prices is expected in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to only a three percent increase in Europe and Central Asia. Rising food prices hit people living in poverty the hardest. Poor households spend nearly 60 percent of income on food, compared to wealthy households which can spend less than 10 percent. Food scarcity issues caused by climate change are projected to create a 20 percent increase in the risk of hunger and malnutrition across the world by 2050.
  4. Health. The World Health Organization estimates that climate change will account for 250,000 deaths per year by malnutrition, malaria, heat stress and diarrhea between 2030 and 2050. This will generate $2-4 billion in climate change related costs each year by 2030. Globally, 20 percent of health care costs are paid out of pocket, but this number grows to 47 percent in low-income countries and to 55 percent in lower middle-income countries. This means that climate change increases health risks of those living in poverty and decreases the ability to recover from them.
  5. Natural disasters. An overall increase in natural disaster frequency can be expected as a result of climate change. The World Food Program estimates that 90 percent of all natural disasters are droughts, floods and storms. All of these calamities will increase in frequency, along with other out-of-the-ordinary disasters. Natural disasters hit poor people the hardest, as they live more exposed to the elements and experience greater losses as a result of such disasters.

The most important fact about how climate change impacts the poor may be the preventability of these issues. Tools such as heat-resistant crops, improved warning systems for disasters, emissions reductions plans, international aid, carbon pricing and universal health coverage are only a few of the many ways to fight climate change. With policies such as the Paris Climate Agreement and what the World Bank calls “rapid, inclusive, climate-smart development,” informed decisions about climate change today can decrease sources of poverty in the near future.

Cleo Krejci

Photo: Flickr


Amidst facing a humanitarian crisis and lack of mine regulations, Ukraine received aid totaling one million euros from Italy through the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF to help those impacted by the actions in Eastern Ukraine in 2017. The donation will help the WFP provide basic necessities and humanitarian assistance Ukrainians need to combat hunger, while also fighting against their own government and people.

Among a population of 45.2 million, more than 4.4 million Ukrainians have been impacted, and more than 3.8 million still need humanitarian assistance.

“Our contribution to WFP and UNICEF operations will help ease people’s suffering, in particular for the most vulnerable, providing food assistance, increasing knowledge and building safe behaviour practices to deal with the risk of mines,” said Davide La Cecilia, the Italian Ambassador to Ukraine in a press release published by the WFP.

Thanks to Italy’s donation, UNICEF will help protect 500,000 children and their guardians from the dangers in mines by supporting the mine risk education program.

The WFP plans to help those who do not receive assistance from other humanitarian actors and further small-scale recovery activities, such as providing food, to aid local citizens. UNICEF will use the funding to promote children’s education programs and for families living in areas close to the contact line, which divides the government and non-government controlled areas and where the fighting is most intense.

Giancarlo Stopponi, WFP deputy country director in Ukraine, said, “WFP greatly appreciates Italy’s support at a time when communities across Ukraine continue to experience the negative consequences of the conflict.”

The WFP has been aiding Ukraine since 2014 by providing emergency food services to internally displaced citizens in Eastern Ukraine, handing out monthly food packages and food assistance. To this day, about 850,000 of most Eastern Ukraine’s most vulnerable people have received food from WFP, despite attempts to bar humanitarian staff.

The program plans to continue their efforts aiming to assist 220,000 citizens in Eastern Ukraine. These people both rely on and need WFP’s food assistance, along with their other operations, such as the Logistic Cluster Support to the Humanitarian Response in Ukraine.

In 2017, UNICEF has appealed to the U.S. for $31.3 million to be used towards combatting hunger in Ukraine. The money will be used for health and nutrition needs, education, water, hygiene and sanitation, and protection for those most vulnerable to the conflict, such as children and families.

Mary Waller

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Madagascar
While Madagascar was made famous by the 2005 DreamWorks animated movie about talking zoo animals, it is also one of the world’s poorest nations, with four million people suffering from lack of food access.

Drought, cyclones, floods and locust infestation worsen the case of hunger in Madagascar. Natural disasters are likely to grow worse with the continuation of climate change. Madagascar is one of the 10 nations most vulnerable to natural disasters affecting food security and nutrition.

Those who live in southern Madagascar are most likely to suffer from hunger because the lean season takes up a much longer portion of the year. The lean season is the period of time in between the harvest and the first plant of the next season. During this time, poor farmers and their families have little food or income on which to survive.

In 2016, a drought worsened by El Niño, an irregular and complex series of climatic changes, left 1.4 million people in Madagascar desperately short on food. These people are expected to face food shortages through 2017.

Crop failure causes people to take desperate measures to survive, such as selling their livestock and farming tools and moving into the wild to forage. Over 90 percent of Malagasies live below the poverty line.

Chronic malnutrition affects nearly half of all the children in Madagascar under five. Hunger in Madagascar also results in stunted growth in children and high mortality rates. Anemia is one of the biggest health issues in Malagasies facing hunger, with one-third of children under five and women suffering from iron deficiency.

More than six percent of children die before they reach five years old, and 500 out of every 100,000 live births result in the mother’s death. High levels of anemia lead to this high maternal mortality rate.

Despite the bleak outlook caused by hunger in Madagascar, not all hope is lost. The World Food Program (WFP) works in conjunction with 30 other organizations to relieve Madagascar’s most vulnerable regions, including the South and poor urban areas.

This is done through:

  • Providing meals, nutritional information and promoting hygiene for children in schools;
  • Empowering smallholder farmers, who own small plots of land and harvest only a few cash crops, through increasing access to markets and supporting farmers’ associations;
  • Providing relief and early recovery assistance to households affected by natural disasters;
  • Placing food in remote and disaster-prone areas before incidents are expected to occur to prevent malnutrition;
  • Distributing cash assistance and food during the 2016-2017 prolonged lean season;
  • Assessing Madagascar’s vulnerability to shocks, coordinating livelihood activities and implementing community planning exercises.

To help relieve hunger in Madagascar, you can make a donation to the WFP.

Cassie Lipp

Photo: Flickr

Cutting Iraq WFP Aid
The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) began providing food aid and humanitarian assistance to Iraq in 1991. In October 2016, 1.2 million Iraqis received food assistance from the WFP. However, a staggering 4.4 million across the nation are still in need.

Due to cuts in funding from donor states, the WFP has reduced food rations in Iraq by 50 percent. The move will leave 1.4 million displaced Iraqis without assistance, although the agency is negotiating on how to regain full funding from donors such as the United States, Germany and Japan.

Occupation of the region by Islamic State facilitated the destruction of massive annual barley and wheat harvests, destroying an annual one-third of the nation’s crop yields. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace also attributes increasing influxes of internally displaced persons and Syrian refugees, inefficient supply chains, lack of governing infrastructure and cash shortages to be at the root of Iraq’s food supply crisis.

Agencies active in providing assistance include Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration, United Nations organizations and the WFP. These actors constitute the foundation of social protections and safety nets for Iraqi citizens through food distribution, development and financial support.

According to an Iraq WFP aid study on social protections from the Centre for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies, Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration granted financial aid of 300,000 dinars (USD$255) to 9,373 families displaced among a dozen countries. This ministry also runs a “human stability” program.

Although cornucopias of vulnerable populations, an absence of adequate legal statutes and corruption are all hurdles to food assistance, there are steps that can be taken to improve Iraqi social protection systems. For example, the WFP recommends “building the capacity of social protection research, increasing the number of beneficiaries and demanding inclusion of the unemployed in social welfare systems.”

Amber Bailey

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Jordan
Jordan, home to Za’atari refugee camp, is facing a resource crisis. In an already resource-poor, food-deficient country, the influx of Syrian refugees, accounting for almost ten percent of Jordan’s population has added great pressure to the economy. Consequently, one of the biggest problems facing Jordan today is finding a way to feed its swelling population.

With a hike of around 20 percent in food prices, 2016 has plunged many Jordanians into a state of food insecurity. The alarming unemployment rate of 13.6 percent amplifies the problem as fewer people are able to buy the increasingly expensive food. Fortunately, NGOs and international organizations have been markedly proactive in their efforts to assist the food insecure.

On the local level, perhaps the most significant strides towards alleviating hunger in Jordan have been made by the Jordanian Food Bank (JFB) established in 2010. The non-profit has launched multiple projects such as the “Awareness for Hotels and Restaurants” campaign which collects unused food from Jordanian hotels, events, restaurants and others and donates it to families in need. It has also signed an agreement with the Jordanian Austrian Company to combat hunger and assist underprivileged families in local communities. Under the agreement, the Jordanian Austrian Company will provide 25 underprivileged families with food packages every month and half a ton of rice in support of various JFB programs.

Another local organization, Family Kitchen, works on a similar model, collecting uneaten food from hotels and bakeries and distributing them among the food insecure in Amman. Even individuals and groups at the grassroots level are playing their part by introducing initiatives such as Kulluna Ahl, a food bank run by Amman’s municipality and Izwati sandwich shop providing free sandwiches to the poor.

The drive of local organizations in helping the victims of food insecurity prosper is both admirable and necessary. However, factoring in the needs of Syrian refugees, local initiatives simply aren’t enough to combat the entirety of hunger, thirst and deprivation in Jordan. As a result, international organizations have stepped in to fortify existing efforts.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the biggest organization involved in alleviating hunger in Jordan. WFP launched an 18-month assistance program in 2013 to assist 160,000 vulnerable Jordanians affected by the extended economic crisis through cash and food transfers. It is also helping the Jordanian government with implementing a national school meals program to reach up to 320,000 school children in the most vulnerable and food insecure areas. In addition, it is providing food assistance to over 560,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan through electronic and paper vouchers.

International NGOs like Action Against Hunger are also having a huge impact on combatting hunger in Jordan. In 2015 alone, the organization helped 43,906 people in Jordan by providing them with nutritional support, safe water, sanitation and in some cases, enabling them to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The efforts of global organizations like this are vital to the protection of people in vulnerable situations. You can help facilitate their work by donating to Action Against Hunger here.

Mallika Khanna

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Yemen
Last October, photos of an emaciated 18-year-old girl, Saida Ahmad Baghili, circulated the internet. A quick glance at this shocking photograph explains why the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) is pleading for $258 million, which would fund food assistance for the hunger in Yemen problem until January 2017.

The WFP warns that Yemen is on the brink of famine. The 19-month civil war aggravated the inherent poverty in Yemen and worsened malnutrition for thousands of individuals including Baghili. Before the war, Yemen already had the Arab world’s lowest GDP per capita and 45 percent of its population were malnourished.

Slowly Moving Imports

Additionally, before the war, Yemen imported 90 percent of its food. Now, ships carrying food find it difficult to enter the country’s ports.

Online newspaper The Intercept explains that the Saudi-led coalition has enforced air and sea blockades on rebel-held parts of Yemen since March. The coalition allows only U.N. supervised flights and aid shipments to enter the country.

With conflict escalating and a shortage of food in local markets, prices of basic foods have increased. At one point in time, the WFP’s market analysis stated that the national average price of wheat flour was 55 percent higher compared to the pre-crisis period, which affects the hunger in Yemen problem a great deal.

The blockades also threaten  fuel needs for water pumps and generators in hospitals. Doctors Without Borders states that the restrictions on imports severely hinders medical workers’ ability to treat patients. Many Yemeni like Baghili are dying from basic diseases that are easily treatable.

The Saudi coalition denies the accusations and says it was implementing U.N. resolutions that aim to prevent weapons and ammunitions. They explained that the coalition gives aid ships immediate and regular permits to reach Yemeni ports, pointing to the opposition’s black market as the cause of their “humanitarian catastrophe.”

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that in August 2016 significant delays were experienced. The report attributed the delays to reduced operational capacity. In Seleef’s port, two vessels waited for berth an average of 45 days. Since December 2015, average delays in ships entering ports have increased. This could be why the WFP estimates it takes four months from the time they receive funds for the food to reach families who need it.

A Community’s Response 

Alex Potter, a photojournalist based in Yemen, shares how the Yemeni community pours out support for each other: neighbors invite displaced people into their homes, wealthier Yemenis donate trucks of water and friends visit to help with daily tasks. She said, “In Yemen if you see your neighbor needs something, you always share.”

Yet the WFP issued an urgent statement that resources are running out. While they reached millions of people with emergency assistance in March and July, they were still forced to split rations between more families to meet the growing need throughout this problem of the hunger in Yemen.

Baghili’s photograph further highlights a shocking reality where a teenager’s parents lack the financial means to help their severely malnourished daughter. Baghili only received treatment when charitable people pooled their funds together so she could receive proper medical attention.

Many countries and people have answered WFP’s call.  Perhaps we too can become like the charitable people whose donations save the lives of those like Baghili.

Andy Jung

Photo: Flickr

Child Undernutrition
Malawi is a country in southeast Africa with a population of more than 17 million people. Of those, 6.5 million require food assistance. In southern Africa, it is the country with the largest number of people facing extreme hunger. But for the people who live there, the problem of child undernutrition is a larger issue than the reality of daily life without enough food.

The African Union, with the support of the U.N.’s Economic Commission for Africa and the World Food Program (WFP), conducted a Cost of Hunger Study, which included Malawi. It detailed the social and economic costs of child undernutrition in Malawi, specifically, its impact on health, education and the national economy.

According to the study, “When a child is undernourished, the negative consequences follow that child for his or her entire life.” Child undernutrition includes low weight-for-height, low height-for-age and low weight-for-age. The negative consequences consist of higher morbidity and mortality rates, which can create costs for families as well as the healthcare industry. The WFP indicates that “Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.”

Increases in morbidity and mortality rates caused by undernutrition also account for a reduction in the number of people who are available to work in Malawi. The study estimated that in 2012, 10.7 percent of the workforce was missing due to increased mortality rates caused by undernutrition. This equaled 800,566 people who were either lost from or did not become part of the nation’s workforce.

There is also an impact on the outcomes in education. Malnourished children have lower attention spans and learning capacities, which often results in the need to repeat grade levels. This can lead to completing fewer years of school, and will directly impact how productive children will be as adults. It considerably inhibits children’s abilities to reach their full potential. As stated in the results of the study, “National productivity is significantly affected by historical rates of child undernutrition.”

The cost of hunger in Malawi is significant, but there are things that are being done to improve the country’s situation. The WFP’s ShareTheMeal app enables users to donate as little as 50 cents, which will feed a child in Malawi for one day.

The organization also recently imported 55,000 metric tons of maize into Malawi to aid the 4.7 million people who live in drought-affected areas. However, there is more that is still needed to ensure that the negative consequences of hunger do not continue in Malawi.

Kristin Westad

Photo: Flickr

World Hunger ReliefAlthough it might seem logical to believe that world hunger can be solved by increased food production, top research shows that lack of food is not the major factor contributing to world hunger. In its new report “Farming for the Future: Organic and Agroecological Solutions to Feed the World,” Friends of the Earth reports that world hunger is primarily influenced by the economic and social factors that prevent people from accessing food.

The global network Friends of the Earth advocates for a healthier world by focusing on the economic factors that contribute to environmental degradation. Its report presents four decades of research about sustainable farming techniques that preserve natural resources. The report claims this form of agriculture, called agroecological farming, is the best way to combat the environmental problems that threaten global food security.

Here are the report’s three myths about farming and how argoecological methods can provide world hunger relief.

1. Increased food production will help feed more people.

Farmers already produce enough food to feed about 10 billion people, which is far more than the 7.3 billion who currently live on the planet. Much of this food is wasted or used for purposes besides feeding the impoverished.

Many crops are used for feeding livestock and for biofuels, which limits space for crops that go to feeding the impoverished. Because of this, the report suggests that better farming techniques, reductions in global food waste and consumers shifting to plant-based foods will provide world hunger relief.

Also, smallholders make up about 90 percent of farmers worldwide and produce about 80 percent of food for developing countries. Even so, they are often impoverished due to increasing corporate control and low crop prices. The report calls for public investments in these farmers and better policies to pull them out of poverty.

2. Organic farming cannot feed the entire human population.

According to the report, organic farming is an agroecological farming technique that can make plants more resilient to climate change than plants grown industrially.

The report cites a UC Berkeley study which found that depending on the crop and technique, organic farming systems can produce as much or more crops than conventional techniques, increase profits for farmers, and reduce water toxicity due to the use of less synthetic chemicals. Organic methods also provide low-income farmers with more accessible farming techniques and more job opportunities in their communities.

3. Industrial farming is more efficient in providing world hunger relief than organic methods.

When calculating efficiency based upon health, social, and environmental devastation, industrial methods are not more efficient than organic methods.

“Rather than feeding the world sustainably into the future, the industrial food system is cutting off the branch we’re sitting on by degrading the ecosystem functions we rely on to produce food,” the report states. Although the calorie and economic efficiency of industrial methods might be higher, conventional farming methods destroy the environment and threaten food security for the future.

Since agroecological farming methods cut down on environmental damage costs and improve incomes for farmers, the report presses for policy makers to invest in low-income farmers who use organic methods. It also warns that large-scale trade deals can indebt farmers through input-intensive farming.

Similarly, genetically engineered (GE) farming systems restrict farmers to expensive contracts. Most GE foods go to livestock feed and biofuels instead of to the impoverished. For these reasons, agroecological farming methods are better suited to support small farmers and provide world hunger relief.

Hopefully global policy makers and leaders will consider some of the arguments that Friends of the Earth lays out in its new report in order to help solve world hunger in more environmentally responsible ways.
Addie Pazzynski

Photo: Flickr