The fight against hunger
The fight against hunger in developing countries has only become tougher, with the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic fuelling rising food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly in rural areas.
According to the United Nations, two billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food. Children are among the worst affected, with 144 million children under the age of five affected by stunting.
Our Food Security program recognises that sustainable access to food is a fundamental requirement for good health. Agriculture (the primary livelihood for many rural communities) is up to four times more effective in lifting people out of poverty than other sectors. We therefore help smallholder farmers increase their food security and nutrition by:
- promoting climate-smart agriculture and integrated farming practices
- increasing availability of high-yielding, nutritious foods
- increasing access to water for agriculture
- improving on-farm storage capacity
- education on nutrition and food preparation
- increasing access to markets.
Relevance to the SDGs
This program contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
The fight against hunger in Africa
In Africa, we work with smallholder farmers to establish household nutrition gardens, introduce new and improved technologies, and increase access to and affordability of local seeds. Our regional potato program focuses on increasing production of nutritious Irish and Sweet Potatoes, as well as other crops such as butternuts, maize, and pigeon peas. We also install and repair water infrastructure, with rain-fed agriculture increasingly unviable due to climate change.
The fight against hunger in Asia
Climate change, access to arable land, and even ethnicity are major factors limiting agricultural productivity in Asia. In the Mekong Delta, one of Asia’s largest food bowls, saltwater intrusion is destroying formerly fertile rice paddies and impacting the food security and livelihoods of millions. We therefore work with marginalised communities to develop climate-adapted agriculture and aquaculture, support farmers’ cooperatives, and diversify families’ income streams so they are not dependent on subsistence agriculture to survive.
The fight against hunger in the Pacific
Climate change is an existential threat to many low-lying Pacific Island nations, impacting every aspect of life, including food security and nutrition. Saltwater intrusion, drought, and extreme weather events all impact agricultural production. Our work in the Pacific therefore focuses on increasing farmers’ access to fresh water for irrigation, developing kitchen gardens, and educating families about nutrition and food preparation.
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