Global food insecurity is having a devastating impact on the lives of children and families living in poverty. Find out how you can be a part of the answer by giving a gift with global impact.
14 Nov, 2022
Dreading the total at the supermarket checkout has become a familiar experience for many of us. Food prices are rising all over the world as war, inflation, extreme weather and the COVID-19 pandemic create the largest food crisis in history.
We're all feeling the impact, but none more so than those already struggling to put food on the table.
According to the World Bank, for each one percentage point increase in food prices, 10 million people are thrown into extreme poverty worldwide.
In Uganda, Eli is one such father struggling to provide for his family in the middle of these rising tensions. The situation is compounded by dangerous cattle raiders that rob families of food and possessions, causing many residents in the area to live in fear for their lives.
It was late one night when Eli heard the cattle raiders enter his family compound. With no way of stopping the impending robbery, Eli fled his home, knowing the raiders were in the habit of taking the lives of men to prevent retaliation. After hiding in some nearby bushes, Eli watched quietly as the men looted his home of possessions, livestock and the food that had become so precious to his family.
At dawn, Eli returned home to find it empty of everything valuable, including the portion of money he had managed to save up from his business. He was planning to put this money towards buying a property in a neighbouring town that was much safer for his family. But now, that dream, and his business, would be only a memory. Eli and his family had been left with nothing.
Eli’s story is sadly common among the families living in Karamoja. The fear, insecurity, hunger and hopelessness that Eli and his family feel sweeps through the entire region.
In Uganda, the impact of the war in Ukraine has led to an increase in fuel prices that has seen inflation soar. While official reports share that inflation in Uganda is 6.2 per cent, prices in the local market have increased by 80 per cent on average, and by 100 per cent or more for some items. For families living in poverty, food items like flour have become a luxury after a price increase of 150 per cent from UGX 1,800 (A$0.66) to UGX 4,500 (A$1.66).
“I used to buy a kilo of sorghum at UGX 3,153 (A$1.27), but now it is UGX 8,366 (A$3.37), ground nuts were UGX 5,238 (A$2.11), now they are UGX 10,452 (A$4.21). Everything has gone up. I can hardly make UGX 10,452 (A$4.21) to feed my family,” says Eli.
With no alternative solution, Eli began growing vegetables at home to feed his family. However, due to the unfavourable climate, he could barely grow enough to eat. There was nothing left for him to sell to meet his family’s other needs.
The situation was desperate, but help was on the way.
Eli’s five-year-old daughter, Alice, who is registered at her local Compassion centre, received a gift from her sponsor that had first helped Eli start his business. After the raid at his family home, Eli received assistance from the local Compassion staff through the provision of food to help keep his family from starvation.
Eli and his family are just one example of families in Uganda receiving support and care from Compassion’s local church partners.
“By the end of August, 48,310 Compassion assisted children will each receive 56 kilograms of posho and more than 28 kilograms of beans that will last them a month,” says Joseph, the Program Support Specialist in charge of Critical Interventions for Compassion Uganda.
"We hope children can have at least two meals a day to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.”
While food relief is critical at this point, Compassion’s local staff are also exploring long-term solutions such as irrigation so the local people can plant all year round.
Eli says the support of the local church and Compassion staff have brought him and his family back from the brink of despair. While the situation is still challenging, with the help he receives from Compassion’s staff, Eli dreams of rebuilding his business to give his family a secure future.
Eli is not alone in struggling to provide for his family during these difficult times. The global food crisis is impacting families all over the world and pushing many to the brink of starvation. Because of this crisis, the number of people around the world with insufficient food has doubled. 276 million people—more than ten times Australia’s population—are now experiencing acutely food insecurity.
Compassion is uniquely positioned to respond to the crisis by working with over 8,200 local church partners across over 25 countries. To meet the changing needs of children and families facing increased food insecurity, Compassion’s local church partners respond with both short and long-term solutions. They provide immediate food packages and/or unconditional cash transfers to households deemed vulnerable to food insecurity as well as long-term food security through distributing seeds, fertiliser, livestock and training on how to build and maintain home gardens and small-scale farms.
You can partner with Compassion to bring hope to vulnerable children and their families who need it most. By purchasing a Food Security Gift of Compassion, you can help to provide sustainable sources of food for families affected by this crisis.
Gifts of Compassion are real goods and services given to children and families in Compassion child development centres around the world. For every Gift of Compassion you order, you will receive a gift card to personalise for your friends and loved ones. Your gift will be delivered through local churches around the world as they are best placed to identify the needs of each child registered with Compassion. Gift-giving has never been more impactful. Find out how it works by watching the short video below.
The time to act is now. Together, we can fight hunger.
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