The women’s committee of Hadj al-Dérib in Chad

By |30 October 2012|

It is only natural that the women work together in the field in Hadj al-Dérib. All 120 women of the village are members of a committee, which takes care of the cultivation of various crops as well as the granary and the mill. Each committee has a president, a vice-president and a secretary.

New challenges for the people of Lake Chad

By |30 October 2012|

Balama was a village once located on the shores of Lake Chad, in the east of the county. Since the 1960s, the lake has been greatly reduced. A changing climate and uncontrolled use of water for irrigated agricultures combined with population pressure, has led to the receding of the lake to 10 percent of its original surface.

Gaba’s fields: drought relief in Chad

By |30 October 2012|

By Lisa Krebs

For five years, Gaba Goundoukou has been a member of Aura, a partner organisation of Caritas Switzerland in Chad. Gaba is an educated farmer and works in 20 villages in the region Guéra, located in the east of the country. Gaba is responsible for the implementation of various activities of Aura for rural development, in collaboration with the villagers.

This year Gaba is fully engaged with the emergency assistance project of Caritas Switzerland and UNAD (Caritas Chad) that helps people from several regions of Chad who are severely affected by the drought. Help is mainly provided in form of food and new seeds.

From the beginning of the project, Gaba took on an important role: he was responsible for determining which families could benefit from the emergency assistance project. In order to make a fair selection, Gaba visited every household in “his” villages and completed a questionnaire with the […]

Green is the colour of hope in Chad

By |30 October 2012|

West Africa’s Sahel region faced devastating hunger in 2012 after drought left a huge swathe of countries short of food.

Chad was one of the worst affected countries, with poor rainfall last year hurting farmers and animal herders the most. Then locusts and severe flooding added to the misery.

In Chad, Caritas is focusing on the food needs of vulnerable populations through food distribution as well as activities to build agricultural sustainability through the provision of seeds, veterinary inputs and technical support in agricultural production.

With the support of Caritas members around the world, Caritas Switzerland has been working with Caritas Chad and a local partner ACORD to support farmers during the agricultural year, improving yields to avoid a vicious cycle of famine.

Caritas will help over 100,000 people with seeds and activities aimed at improving the resilience of farmers’ livelihoods throughout the year.

Read these stories from by Lisa Krebs on the difference […]

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    World Food Day: Fighting poverty by supporting small-scale agriculture

World Food Day: Fighting poverty by supporting small-scale agriculture

By |16 October 2012|

By Ryan Worms, Caritas Internationalis 

“I want to set-up a small business to sell rice, flour and sugar. The last time, I made a tidy profit. I need 1000 gourdes (US$25),” says Ariette Tessono.

Ariette is one of the members of the solidarity fund set up by Caritas in Labiche, in the south of Haiti. The women who are part of the fund are taught techniques so they can grow kitchen gardens.

“Thanks to the training I’ve received from Natasha, who’s an agronomist, I now have a lovely garden full of chilli peppers,” says Jaunasse, another member of the project. “What I make from selling my produce at the market is enough to feed my family well, buy uniforms and school books and pay for my children’s education.”

“Today is a day of hope,” says Haman Abdou. “Thanks to Caritas’s help, I know that I’ll have something to sow in my field once […]

On the brink: Hunger in the Sahel (Caritas Canada)

By |7 September 2012|

East Africa, one year later

By |9 August 2012|

The situation in 2011 was very critical. Thanks to the Caritas member organisations who supported us, our programmes have saved lives. Supplementary food has been distributed for some malnourished children in some pocket areas through Catholic health institutions and this contributed to save lives of this children.

Hunger crisis in West Africa

By |4 July 2012|

More than 18 million people in West Africa’s Sahel region don’t have enough food. A bad harvest last year and high food prices have caused a widespread food crisis across Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad, Senegal, parts of Nigeria and Gambia.

A last line of defence against child malnutrition in Niger

By |4 July 2012|

“Don’t cry Adrjiera,” said Momeye to her baby girl. “Don’t suckle so hard. My breast milk is finished as I too must eat.” The 20-year-old mother arrived a day ago in this feeding centre in Saga, a suburb of Niger’s capital Niamey.

Her daughter suffers from severe acute malnutrition, a life threatening condition requiring urgent treatment. Without therapeutic feeding, between a third and a half of cases for under-fives end in death. If the children get the help they need, their chances of survival go up dramatically.

Children and mothers receive the necessary care at the centre, run by the Sisters of Charity with the support of CADEV, the national Caritas organisation in Niger. They regain their strength and are integrated in a regular programme to monitor their health.

At the moment, eight mothers with children in acute danger are hospitalised in the centre. Thirty more less severe cases wait in the […]

Niger fights off food crisis

By |4 July 2012|

“Today is a day of hope,” said Haman Abdou. “With the help of Caritas, I know I’ll have enough to sow my field as soon as the rain begins to fall.”

Haman Abdou is a local farmer living in the Ouallam region, 160 km north of Niamey, Niger’s capital. He is one of the many people who will receive free seeds at a Caritas supported ‘seed fair’ in Koira Bano, a village in the area. It is part of the emergency response launched by Caritas for West African countries in the Sahel region.

“The last harvest was very poor,” he said. “With erratic rainfall and locusts, I have produced almost nothing. I have struggled for months to find enough food for my family. It has been impossible to save seed for the next farming season under these conditions. The seed fair is a blessing for us.”

Local Caritas Emergency Officer Prospère Yougare […]

Niger: On the hunger frontline

By |4 July 2012|

The film is also available in French and Spanish

The food crisis in Sahel: how do we prevent the next one?

By |3 July 2012|

By Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, Head of Caritas Internationalis Delegation to the UN in Geneva On 02 July 2012, Floriana Polito and I had the pleasure of convening some influential figures in the fight against hunger and poverty. Caritas Internationalis, together with Oxfam, held an important side event focused on human rights in the context of the food crisis in the Sahel region of Africa; it was held at the Palais des Nations in conjunction with the 20th Session of the UN Human Rights.

Chad’s women gardeners

By |14 June 2012|

The village of Chawir is located in Canton Migami, south-central Chad (West Africa). Like almost everywhere in the area, the locals are almost exclusively women and children. Of the 2,760 inhabitants of Chawir, only 120 are adult men.

Future without Hunger – Congress on Global Hunger

By |15 May 2012|

Caritas is hosting a congress on Global Hunger and Sustainable Food Security – 1st and 2nd of June 2012 in Vienna

Live stream from the Future without Hunger Conference. Cardinal Rodriguez about to speak. | Read the key note speech by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga (pdf)

925 million people worldwide are starving. Every 12 seconds, a child dies of hunger. Hunger is not a natural event; it has social, economic and political causes. It is a global tragedy, more so because it is avoidable.

Through this congress, Caritas is uniting people to start fighting together against hunger. The event will gather public authorities and decision-makers, academics, journalists and civil society representatives from the whole world.

It will discuss all the challenges to food security today, such as the chronic causes of global hunger, global agricultural trade, armed conflicts, the effectiveness of development aid, food price speculation, land grabbing and agro-fuel policies, climate change, food waste, sustainable lifestyles […]

Hunger threatens families in Burkina Faso

By |26 April 2012|

By Richard Clemence, special correspondent to Secours Catholique (Caritas France)

“My field of millet was devastated by drought last season. I could only raise a few pounds, while  normally I produce several hundred,” said Francois Merega, an old farmer in north-western Burkina Faso. Sitting in the courtyard of his house, the man describes his family’s precarious situation.

In front of the house stands the family’s granary. Since February, it has been hopelessly empty. “The last harvest was not enough to feed the fourteen members of my family over four months,” said Merega. “So we’ve been forced to buy food at the market.” But in these difficult times, markets are also running short of grain. Where grain is available, the prices are too high for the country’s small farmers, who make up over 80 percent of the population.

The price of fifteen kilograms of millet has doubled in just a few months. “That […]

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