There are many anti-hunger organisations throughout the world providing food on a daily basis to hungry people who desperately need hunger-relief charity to survive. This is a service not just operating in third world countries but also in the wealthiest countries in the world.
Hunger relief is provided by governments, local authorities, charities, funded bodies and private enterprise and is required to resolve the ever growing current day issues of people who struggle with the problem of hunger. Emergency feeding sites across the western world are now a mainstay of wealthy nations every bit as much as structured food programs and famine relief are in third world countries.
The organisations providing these services have common goals in terms of their mission, how they provide their services and the importance of treating everyone they interact with in a way that preserves individual dignity and shows respect and compassion. There is however an overriding sense of urgency in the operation of anti-hunger organisations that reflects the immediate needs of people who find themselves in need of emergency food aid. With limited resources and finite finances there is a constant battle of trying to meet the growing needs of emergency food communities as efficiently and effectively as possible.
New health initiatives
Whilst a major part of the provision of food aid programs and services is about the demands of meeting the daily requirements of these communities, there is also a longer term planning aspect to the activities of anti-hunger organisations. A great example of this is highlighted by recent decisions by many of the anti-hunger organisations only to supply healthy and nutritional food and to educate their clients about the importance of healthy eating. Some have even gone further and provide health screenings including blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure tests.
New initiatives to go further and widen the scope of benefits provided through education and ways to empower people to take charge of their own wellbeing are breaking new ground. Health and fitness programs along with integrated dietary plans and advice on positive attitudes to food are now part of the longer term health improvement plans. Health providers are getting involved. So for example, a personal trainer is ideally placed to contribute to these initiatives and many are offering their services on both an informal basis and as part of the structured program.
One such company who understand the wider perspectives of health requirements is Health Matters Glasgow whose comprehensive approach to health and wellbeing includes the support of initiatives and programs to inform, educate and improve people's understanding of what affects their health.
This moves the programs to another level which means not only meeting the immediate hunger needs of disadvantaged communities but also improves the overall health and wellbeing of the individual people within these communities. Educational programs and health provision services leads to increased knowledge and consequently empowerment for people and a real means of improving their circumstances.
The focus of AHIC
It is almost hard to believe that in today’s world of plenty there are millions of people in all countries across the globe in real need of emergency food aid every day. One of the main objectives of AHIC is to highlight the plight of these communities and to seek ways of improving both public and private sector funding to assist the anti-hunger organisations meet the requirements of their seemingly ever increasing emergency food communities.
We look to the responsibilities of governments to meet the needs of their people but also seek ways for local people and local businesses to help and contribute both financially and with their time.
Food aid and economic circumstances
There are many reasons why people round the world require food aid and the causes can vary significantly according to location. Economic circumstances play their part in different ways and third world countries for example have very specific endemic financial problems that cause food aid requirements.
In the western world a common reason cited for the cause of food aid requirement is personal debt issues. Financial problems can be overwhelming and where debt advice may not always be perceived as available then people can easily find themselves in circumstances of need and this can often include basic food aid.
It is always important to ascertain the root cause of the requirement for food aid. If it is because of financial difficulties and debt related issues then this is the problem to be addressed. It is always advisable to seek professional advice and if required a debt arrangement scheme is an option to consider.
Once the real reason for the food aid is determined it enables solutions to be put in place which may then negate the need for free food provision thus helping to alleviate the excessive demands on this vital service.
I’m Carolyn Presutti with the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish
Food prices continue to rise, threatening to push more people into poverty and hunger. Experts have been urging increased efforts around the world to increase agricultural productivity. A new report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says one of the best ways would be to remove the barriers women farmers face that male farmers do not. Women farmers are often less productive than men, but there are good reasons for that, says Agnes Quisumbing. She is an economist with the International Food Policy Research Institute. She says women farmers have fewer resources than male farmers. The new FAO report says women make up forty-three percent of the world’s farmers. But only about ten to twenty percent of them own the land they farm. Without owning land, it is harder for them to get credit to buy inputs such as better seeds and fertilizers. In many countries, women are half as likely as men to use fertilizers to increase the amount of crops. In addition, Ms. Quisumbing says many of the world’s women are raising their children at the same time they are farming. The FAO report says helping women farmers could increase agricultural output in the developing world by as much as four percent. This in turn could reduce the number of undernourished people by as much as seventeen percent. Ms. Quisumbing says just helping women farmers have the same resources that male farmers have would do a lot to improve agricultural productivity and reduce hunger and malnutrition.Ms. Quisumbing helped write the FAO report. She says the report does not try to gain sympathy. It makes the case for women farmers based on business reasons.She says governments should support programs that help women farmers. These include financial support to help them buy better seeds and fertilizers. But she says policies in many countries also need to change. She says many laws discriminate against women in the areas of property, labor force and marriage. Ms. Quisumbing says studies show that women are more likely than men to spend money on food, health and educating their children. And that means a better future for the next generation. For VOA Special English, I’m Carolyn Presutti. You can find transcripts and MP3s of our reports at voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find us on Facebook at VOA Learning English.
(Adapted from a radio program broadcast 22Mar2011)
How Women Farmers Could Feed More in Developing World
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We support the Aid for Africa Endowment for Food and Sustainable Agriculture program.
This forward looking program is based on the premise that there are many ways out of poverty. It is designed to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Sub Saharan Africa by supporting graduate students who engage in study and research of the region on how agriculture and nutrition can positively affect food security and reduce poverty.