333 posts categorized "Global Hunger"
Thank you for your extra generosity at the end of the year! Because of gifts from you and other Bread members, we were able to reach and exceed our $100,000 online goal between December 20 and 31, raising more than $120,000. This means that $100,000 of the total will be matched dollar for dollar by several generous Bread donors, bringing our grand total raised to $220,000!
Bread for the World continues to be blessed by the giving spirit of our members. You make our work on behalf of hungry and poor people possible. It is because of you that we’ve been able to make lasting changes that ensure parents are able to feed their children—like the recent extensions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit, both of which provide support to low-income working families.
Your support makes a huge difference for hungry and poor people in the United States and abroad. We are truly grateful for your partnership in our work to help end hunger. Thank you!
The Why Poverty? films (which were commissioned by the international non-profit STEPS, the same group behind the Why Democracy? project) are all themed around poverty, wealth, and inequality. The films, originally broadcast around the world in November and December, include "Poor Us: An Animated History," a myth-busting look at the history of poverty, and "Land Rush," (above), a look at how a proposed commercial sugar cane operation in Mali threatens small-scale rice farmers—and their ability to feed their communities.
The Why Poverty? films aren't pushing for any single, specific solution to global poverty, but the filmmakers do hope that the documentaries will inspire those who watch them to ask questions about hunger and poverty and why it persists. Learn more about the origins of the project at whypoverty.net.
Photo: Friends who are part of the jjajja (grandmother) group at St. Francis Healthcare Services in Jinja, Uganda, laugh over their lunch on Saturday, May 21, 2012. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)
It is the most basic of all human rights and over 100 countries have some level of reference to this right in their constitution. And yet over 900 million people live in perpetual hunger. 'Give us today the food we need' is the first material petition in the Lord’s Prayer. And the fact that it flows from the lofty statements about God’s transcendence is a clear commitment of a God who is concerned about our most basic needs.
—Rev. Joel Edwards, international director of Micah Challenge, in the 2013 Hunger Report
Today is Human Rights Day, an annual celebration of human rights and an opportunity to advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone
On Dec. 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—Human Rights Day has been observed every year, on Dec. 10, ever since.
This year, the spotlight is on "the rights of all people — women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized — to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making," according to the UN.
If you're a hunger advocate, you can use your voice today to remind everyone—your friends, family, co-workers, and elected officials—that the right to food is a basic, fundamental human right. A few suggestions:
- Contact your members of Congress and tell them to protect SNAP, WIC, and other federal nutrition programs that help families put food on their tables.
- Inform others about poverty-focused foreign assistance, which accounts for just 0.6 percent of the federal budget, but feeds millions of people--and saves millions of lives--around the world each year.
- Spread the good news about the extraordinary progress has occurred in countries around the world in reducing rates of hunger and poverty.
The 2013 Hunger Report, Within Reach: Global Development Goals has arrived.
This year's report focuses on meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets and setting the next round of global development goals once the MDGs expire at the end of 2015. The 2000s were a decade of extraordinary progress against poverty and hunger, but with just three years left before the deadline of the MDGs, a final push and a strong finish will be critical to build momentum for what comes next.
The report (hard copies of which are now available for sale in the Bread store) is accompanied by the launch of an interactive website. Below is a list of just a few of the web features to explore:
"Tohomina: Fighting Malnutrition in Bangladesh" tells the story of Tohomina Akter of Barisal, Bangladesh, who is working to keep her 17-month-old daughter, Adia, healthy and nourished so that she can become a doctor one day. Child malnutrition that results in stunting is one of many issues targeted by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Read guest pieces on from a wide range of topic experts, including U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Michal Challenge International Director Joel Edwards.
The Report in Photos
See the 2013 Hunger Report through a series of photographs highlighting key issues.
By Christine Melendez Ashley and Faustine Wabwire
Bread for the World’s efforts to create a circle of protection and push Congress to
reduce our deficits in a responsible manner are critical to ensuring
vulnerable people affected by natural disasters at home and abroad have
the support they need. These programs continue to be at risk as Congress
works to craft a farm bill and a deficit reduction package.
In the past year, Bread has worked to protect and strengthen domestic nutrition programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and child nutrition programs. These programs have provided quick and substantial help to New York, New Jersey, and other affected states in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. For example:
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rushed emergency food to affected areas for distribution through food banks and emergency food channels.
- USDA has authorized 13 affected states to issue replacement SNAP benefits for food purchased and lost in the month of October. They also authorized an extra two weeks of benefits for everyone on SNAP in and around New York City—a benefit totaling $65 million.
- Some of the worst affected states have also been authorized to allow SNAP recipients to purchase hot, ready-to-eat foods. This is not allowed under normal SNAP rules.
- USDA approved free school lunches for all children in New York public school districts for the month of November.
Bread has also been a strong advocate for effective foreign assistance programs and international food aid. In the last several years, Bread has pushed for robust funding of these programs. Hurricane relief efforts abroad are being carried out through foreign assistance programs at USAID. For example:
- USAID has provided 50 metric tons of food aid to Haiti to help address food insecurity concerns.
- USAID has distributed plastic sheeting to help approximately 10,000 people, family hygiene kits have helped nearly 12,500 people, and an estimated 6,400 blankets.
- USAID has also provided items such as wheelbarrows and tools helpful for clean-up to displacement camps most affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In the last two years, Congress has introduced proposals to decimate these programs. Despite these threats, Bread has pushed back and prevented these proposals from becoming law, thus enabling these programs to respond quickly and effectively to dramatic need. As Congress works to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and negotiate a budget deal, we must continue to push for a circle of protection around programs that effectively serve the most vulnerable in the United States and around the world.
Christine Melendez Ashley is a policy analyst in Bread for the World's government relations department.
Faustine Wabwire is Bread for the World Institute's foreign assistance policy analyst.
By David Beckmann
The 2012 elections are over. Whether your candidates won or lost, we are very thankful to you for raising hunger and poverty as campaign issues.
More than 120,000 of you viewed two video statements in which the presidential candidates explained what they would do to give opportunity to hungry and poor people. With your help, we raised the issues of hunger and poverty, at home and abroad, in the elections.
Now, please join us in asking President Obama to set a goal and work with Congress to enact a plan to end hunger.
The next few months are crucial. The president and Congress must address issues such as the farm bill, expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, and the 2013 federal budget. They also must agree on a balanced approach to deficit reduction.
In the coming weeks we will have several key opportunities to remind our members of Congress not to balance the federal budget on the backs of hungry and poor people, and to instead create a circle of protection around programs vital to hungry and poor people.
Please join us in praying for President Obama and members of Congress.
David Beckmann is president of Bread for the World.
Take action! Watch President Obama's video statement and send him a letter asking that he set a goal and work with Congress to enact a plan to end hunger.
You can also contact the president on Twitter, using the sample tweets below:
Don’t forget your promise to do your part to protect vital assistance for the least of these @BarackObama http://ow.ly/f5Scz #talkpoverty
Why, in a world with an abundance of food, are so many hungry? How is it possible that those with access to food can still be at risk of malnutrition?
On World Food Day, Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute, appeared on Voice of America's "In Focus" program to talk about these issues and the continuing fight against global hunger and malnutrition.
Lateef discussed the recent United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012" report, which shows that great progress has been made in reducing hunger over the last two decades. She also talked about farming cooperatives (the focus of World Food Day 2012), the need to improve nutrition, and the ways in which those two issues are linked.
"As we think about building on the progress we've made against hunger over the last few decades, [we should be] thinking about integrating programs so that you are increasing farmer income, and also improving nutrition at the same time."
Watch the video and read Lateef's blog post on the progress that has been made in eradicating global hunger, and the work ahead.
Photo: Jane Sebbi, left, is a farmer with 12 acres of land in Kamuli, Uganda. Small-scale farmers, and the cooperatives that support them, are the focus of World Food Day 2012.(Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)
Fisherman in the Moroccan village of Dikky, near the Gibraltar Strait, once struggled to make ends meet, due to the seasonal nature of their trade. After uniting as a cooperative, however, the fisherman were able to cut costs, by buying fuel and bait as a group, and receive government support in the form of equipment and instruction in honey production. As part of a special U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) project, the men were trained in beekeeping, a supplemental skill that sustained them during fishing's off-season.
Cooperatives, like the one at Dikky, are the focus of World Food Day 2012, which is observed on October 16. Every year on this day, organizations and individuals around the world work to raise awareness of global hunger and strengthen the political will to eradicate it.
The 2012 theme "Agricultural Cooperatives: Key to Feeding the World" highlights the role of cooperatives that support smallholder farmers in addressing world hunger. According to FAO figures, smallholder farmers will provide much of the extra food needed to feed more than nine billion people by 2050.
Events taking place in recognition of World Food Day are happening across the country and around the world today, and include everything from action events, such as food packaging drives and World Food Day dinners, to opportunities to hang out with celebrity chefs as they cook and talk nutrition.
Even if you're not able to participate in any World Food Day activities in person, take a few minutes to watch the video below, and learn more about the fishing cooperative in Dikky, and similar collectives that are contributing to hunger and poverty reduction.
Photo: Ninth grade student Abby reads her essay on poverty-focused development assistance to Karen Kunze, South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson's staffer on foreign operations. (Courtesy of South Dakota Bread for the World)
By Robin Stephenson
Last week, Bread members in South Dakota met with local and D.C.-based staff of Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) to discuss poverty-focused development assistance. Senator Johnson sits on a key committee—appropriations—which sets vital funding for programs that provide long-term poverty-reducing strategies abroad. Poverty-focused aid makes up less than one percent of the federal budget and must be approved by Congress each year in the appropriations process. The Senate FY13 appropriations-funded programs are critical to ending poverty abroad, and South Dakota Bread members asked Sen. Johnson to protect those proposed levels in any future budget negotiations.
Staff Assistant Bret Hoffman met the group of 10 Bread members at the senator's Sioux Falls office. When Bread member Cathy Brechtelsbauer called to schedule the meeting she asked if the office could teleconference with the Washington D.C., legislative assistant, Karen Kunze, who deals directly with foreign aid. Many local offices are equipped to conference with D.C. By conferencing, constituents can talk directly to key staff members about the issues they work on. This method of communication gets the right information to the right people.
The advocacy team included a ninth grader named Abby, who won last year’s Human Rights Day essay contest, which Bread for the World South Dakota sponsored. Abby read aloud her essay, which pointed out the fact that $1.3 billion people live on no more than $1.25 a day and that agriculture is an essential part of the solution to poverty. Staff Assistant Hoffman appreciated Abby’s grasp of the interrelation between poverty and human rights.
Others Bread activists shared stories, as well. A college student who has seen farmers struggling in Nicaragua emphasized the importance of simple but critical inputs, such as food storage systems, that increase agricultural productivity. A farmer returning from a mission trip to Haiti spoke about the importance of Feed the Future as a program that is not a handout but a hand up, lifting communities into a cycle of prosperity. And a doctor talked about working in Ethiopian clinics using the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to save lives.
Before leaving, Bread members asked what kind of support the group could provide to Sen. Johnson. Kunze encouraged the group to continue to educate others in their community about poverty-focused development assistance, and how such a small portion of the federal budget does so much good.
Robin Stephenson is social media lead/senior regional organizer, western hub.