Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Your little can do much

According to the UN, approximately 870 million are suffering from hunger that means one out of eight people suffers from hunger. Hunger is deadly, killing 2.5million children annually. These children die out of malnutrition. The rest who do not die are undernourished with vitamin A deficiency, iron deficiency anaemia and stunting being prevalent amongst these children. Undernourishment affects not only one’s physical state but also the ability to maximize one’s potential. The good news is hunger can be eliminated.

At the heart of eliminating hunger is food security; making food available, accessible and affordable in one’s country. To achieve food accessibility and affordability, food must be available first. Food availability is harnessed by better agriculture production. It is therefore important to make sure all the determinants of food security especially those that affect agriculture production are managed well to minimize if not eliminate its effect. Determinants such as the labour force in agriculture, the land and ponds, seedlings, tools and equipment used in agriculture and others when improved would ensure better harvest to feed population(s). Again, good transportation systems, good markets conditions etc would also make safe and nutritious food accessible and affordable for all.

Yet, there is one determinant of food security that renders the efforts made to minimize or eliminate the effects of the other determinants mentioned above ineffective. This factor is poor political condition (political unrest). During a political unrest, farmlands, infrastructure, irrigation systems, farm machinery, crops etc are destroyed. Where crops are not destroyed, they cannot be harvested either as a result of destroyed farm equipment and/or farmers unwillingness to go out for obvious security issues. Even if these crops are harvested, transporting the produce to market places to make them accessible to feed the whole population also becomes difficult for transportation systems are in worse conditions and where they are not; insecurity associated with such unrest makes it difficult for one to go the marketplaces to sell or buy food. With most farms destroyed, little produce harvested and the inability to market the produce, farmers in a country going through a political unrest have very low household incomes to buy other uncultivated foodstuff and essential household commodities. Again, with little or no food on the market, with shops closed and people unwillingness to go out for fear of losing their lives, people are unable to get adequate food to feed the household.

Such is the situation in countries such as Syria, Mali, Sudan, and Somalia to mention but a few. In Syria today, 46% of its population who are dependent on agriculture are faced with destroyed farmlands, infrastructure, irrigation systems, transportation systems etc as a result of the political unrest. Syria has also been hit by bad weather conditions. These put together is making it difficult for Syria to feed her population. Many have been displaced and many have fled their homes without anything but the clothes on their back as they seek secured places for their families. Find out more from here; With little or no food production, with shops closed or destroyed with thousands displaced from their homes and seeking refuge, how can the father provide food for the family? How can the mother feed her hungry children? And how can pregnant and lactating mothers filled with fear, anxiety etc feed their unborn babies and babies respectively.

This is not the time to teach a nation going through such crises how to fish; this is the time to give fish. For how can we teach them how to fish when the ponds, fishing nets, boats etc have been destroyed? This is the time to create a safety net for them. This is the time to help them survive for we need one another to survive in this world. The world would not be complete without Syria, Mali and the others. We cannot watch on as hunger wipes them out for this would make our world incomplete. Thankfully, the United Nation has set up the World Food programme and other relief agencies to bring together our collective efforts to help save the people especially children who suffer the most from hunger. We cannot go to Syria, Mali and the others to help them but WFP and these agencies can. Their work is supported by countries, organizations and individuals like us. Remember, the UN is all of us and thus need our support.   Yes! Your country has supported these crises but the continuous conflict in Syria, Mali and other places have made these funding from various countries, organizations and individuals very little. If countries, organizations and individuals continue to contribute their little, it can do much. Remember little drops of water make a mighty ocean. Our little can do much for Syria, Mali, Sudan, Somalia etc. Let us help WFP to provide fish for these countries and when peace is finally restored, they can teach them how to fish.

Every child deserves this smile.
Every child deserves this smile.
Remember, a child went to bed hungry yesterday, would go to bed hungry today and tomorrow. Again a child died yesterday, would die today and tomorrow out of hunger and malnutrition. It wasn’t just a child that went to bed hungry or died; it was the next Steve Job, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Ertharin Cousin, Lionel Messi etc. Should such future prospect not be allowed to maximize his/her potential because of hunger? Should our world be robbed off such a gem that would have made our world better than it is now? The answer is obviously NO! Let’s say NO to hunger. Let’s all join hands in feeding these populations especially women and children who are the most vulnerable by donating our little. Visit the WFP and other agencies and make a donation today to help save a country and a child. Every child needs to eat and be strong to smile like this child. Every child needs a nourished brain and body to look into the future with a confidence to maximize his/her potential like this child. Let’s not deprive a child these. Visit WFP ( now and make a donation.


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