When war and drought strike, hunger hits hard.
Extreme weather and drought have collided with the impact of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and rising inflation. In the last two years, the number of people facing severe food insecurity has doubled and now, globally, one in 10 people are going to bed hungry each night.* Years of development gains are being lost.
We’re with you in believing no child should be at risk of malnourishment and exploitation. Children living in poverty face food insecurity, malnutrition and a climbing infant mortality rate. They're also at risk of child marriage and child labour as parents face impossible choices to feed their families.
That’s why we’re inviting you to come alongside our church partners as they take urgent action.
Amid this growing global food crisis, Compassion’s 8,500 local church partners already serve some of the most vulnerable children and families.
Donate today and equip them to meet urgent nutritional needs and work towards sustainable solutions to hunger.
*World Food Programme
Right now, our church partners are taking action to provide children and families with food and stability. Families like Emiliana’s.
Drought devastated the harvest and food supply in Emiliana's community, a small village in central Tanzania. With her mum facing the agonising reality of not being able to provide enough milk for Emiliana and her twin brother, Nikola, Emiliana was severely underweight. At six months old, she was the same size as a two-month-old baby. Compassion's local church partner was able to respond, providing urgent food supplies and formula milk for the twins and their family. Now she is a toddler who has overcome malnutrition and is thriving.
Give now and provide emergency food packages to families vulnerable to food insecurity. What’s more, your donation will also provide long-term food security through the distribution of seeds, fertiliser, livestock, and training on building and maintaining home gardens and small-scale farms.
100% of donations from disaster appeals are used to directly benefit children and families. If we raise funds exceeding the needs for this crisis, the money will be used for our general disaster relief fund.
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Some of the questions you may have about our food crisis appeal.
Food insecurity occurs when a person doesn’t have regular access to enough nutritious food. It’s caused when food simply isn’t available or when a person doesn’t have the resources to obtain it, like a family living in poverty. At its worst, severe food insecurity means a person has run out of food for a day or more.
The current food crisis is due to intensifying global events and other complex factors including the Russia-Ukraine war and its resulting supply chain issues, political stability and unrest, inflation, extreme weather and droughts, and the prolonged effects of the pandemic.
The United Nations found COVID-19 is reversing decades of progress on poverty, and now the ‘perfect storm’ of factors threatens to do the same to world hunger.
It's impossible to know how long the global food crisis will last, but experts say it could last years if action isn't taken.
The lingering effects of COVID-19 had already created ‘a hunger pandemic’, according to the World Food Programme. Before the pandemic, 135 million people were severely food insecure. Today, it has doubled to 276 million. More than half a million people are experiencing severe, prolonged hunger, resulting in widespread and acute malnutrition. According to the United Nations, this has been an increase of 500% since 2016.
The Russia-Ukraine war has worsened this crisis. Together, the two countries are responsible for supplying almost 30% of the world’s wheat, and a significant percentage of global fertiliser. With Russia’s exports hit with strict sanctions, and Ukraine’s planting season disrupted by the fighting, a huge supply of the world’s food is trapped, while skyrocketing fertiliser prices may see farmers face reduced crop yields.
As The Economist says, “War is tipping a fragile world towards mass hunger.”
Malnutrition has devastating effects on children living in poverty.
• Malnutrition most-commonly affects children in two ways: wasting and stunting. Wasting is when a child is already underweight and has trouble gaining weight. Stunting often looks like a child being “too short for their age” resulting from prolonged malnutrition. Both are effects of not getting enough macro and micronutrients.
• Malnutrition affects both a child’s neurological and musculoskeletal development. Many malnourished children never develop to their full intellectual or social potential.
During times of scarcity, women and girls are particularly at risk of exploitation.
• Women and girls often eat less and last—they suffer the most in the case of food scarcity.
• Girls are being offered up in child marriage arrangements in exchange for dowries that their families will use to feed themselves.
• Food insecurity increases the stresses families face, leading to increased rates of mental illness amongst parents and potentially increased incidences of violence in the home.
• Substance abuse rates rise, creating tension. There are also more reported cases of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Compassion church partners will continue to run project activities as normal, in line with any COVID-19 guidelines in their area. Where there are outbreaks of violence or political unrest the situation will be closely monitored, and each national country office will modify the delivery of the programme to keep children, families and local partners safe.
Compassion works in partnership with more than 8,500 local churches around the world. These local partners are best positioned to assist in this crisis because they have established decades of trust and relationships within the community—they’ve been there before, will be there during, and will remain long after the crisis.
Local church partners can deliver relief supplies. These supplies, including food, are purchased locally to sustain local economies. If local markets are not feasible, national offices work to find the best and closest source for necessary relief. The goal is to promote local economies whenever possible.
Routine health screenings are also offered through Compassion's programmes, enabling local staff to monitor children’s health, so that when a crisis hits, a strategic and targeted response is already in place. Church partners are trained to identify malnutrition and hunger and take immediate action.
Over the past two years of the pandemic, local church partners have provided food support to families facing hunger, but now the crisis is skyrocketing, and so too is the number who need help.
Compassion’s response is two-fold, meeting children and families’ urgent nutrition needs now while working towards sustainable solutions to help stop hunger.
Thanks to your help, our local church partners will:
• Provide immediate food packages and/or unconditional cash transfers to households deemed vulnerable to food insecurity. This includes children and families in Compassion’s programme, local church partner staff, pastors and community members.
• Provide long-term food security through distributing seeds, fertiliser, livestock, and training on how to build and maintain home gardens and small-scale farms.
They do! Sponsorship funds provide supplements to fight against malnutrition, which may include a meal or snack at their Compassion project. Your sponsorship also covers education support, healthcare, tutoring and mentoring, and the care of the local church. Over the past two years of the pandemic, local church partners have provided food support to hungry children and their families, but now the crisis is skyrocketing the number who need help. The cost of delivering this urgent support exceeds what sponsorship giving can provide. That’s why we’ve launched our Global Food Crisis Appeal.
Compassion feels specifically called to serve children in poverty around the world. We believe this is the mandate God has given us and that it is the best stewardship to focus our time and efforts on the 27 countries where we work.
We do, however, acknowledge the need of families here in the UK and we wholeheartedly support and pray for other Christian charities that are focused on helping them during the cost-of-living crisis. You can find out more by reading our blog here.
Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.
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