World Food Day: One in six people go hungry

By |14 October 2010|

“We urgently need to concentrate on rehabilitation and prevention to stop more crises in the next years”, said Raymond Younoussi Yoro, Secretary General of Caritas Niger.

Niger was hit by a major food crisis this year that affected around 60% of the population. It’s one of the many countries around the world where starvation is endemic.

One in six people will go hungry on World Food Day 16 October and on every other day too.

Caritas says urgent action is needed for the 925 million people still suffering from hunger.

The first Millennium Development Goal is to cut by half the number of hungry people by 2015.

The international community has committed to achieving these goals, but it seems less likely that they will be met.

The MDG on poverty, if it is achieved, can only be a first target. Caritas has a vision of zero poverty.

No one should be denied the right to food […]

A desert garden in Chad

By |23 June 2010|

Granite hills mark the horizon. The ground is carpeted with rocks. Apart from the dried up river beds (ouaddis) there is nowhere for vegetation to grow. Thorny shrubs are the only desert plant life. Nature is hostile in Eastern Chad.

“Annual rainfall normally varies from 300 to 500 mm,” said Adoumadji, an agricultural technician working for SECADEV (Caritas Chad). “Less than 300 mm of rain fell last season. Crops dried up before they could yield anything.”

Yassine Ibrahim harvested less than four sacks of millet this season, compared to previous years when he produced 23 sacks. “The little harvest I have got is finished and I am obliged to sell my cattle to feed my family,”he said.

Extra demand means prices for cereals have risen so high they are unaffordable for most people. SECADEV supports community granaries in twenty villages. Residents share the food when prices are peaking, then top up the […]

Coping with drought in India

By |26 May 2010|

Bara is a village situated in the drought-prone area in Jharkhand State in eastern India. Difficult climate conditions and complete dependency on rain means that farmers only produce one crop per year. The agricultural yield was extremely low. Since the villagers had few opportunities for other types of employment in the area, they migrated to cities in search of work.

But a few years ago the situation began to improve. In 2005, a local villager named Samaj Vikas Sanstha started a drought preparedness programme in Bara Village with support from Caritas India. A village development committee consisting of 9 men and 3 women was formed to take up the task of awareness raising within the community on the need to conserve precious natural resources, such as water.

As a result, the community is more conscious about the changing climate and better prepared to face the adverse situations that may come. Indeed, […]

Why does West Africa face another food crisis?

By |19 February 2010|

Food emergencies are not inevitable in the Sahel according to Caritas. The region and the international community need to show greater political will to fight the problems.

“The recurrent food crises are essentially a political problem, worsened of course by droughts and difficult natural conditions “, said Fr. Ambroise Tine, Secretary General of Caritas Senegal.

The Sahel could face a devastating food crisis this year. Millions are at risk of famine and malnutrition in West Africa, especially in Niger, Chad, northern Burkina Faso and northern Nigeria.

Experts believe that the coming emergency could be particularly serious, mostly because of the bad harvest and floods in several countries last year.

“The governments of the Sahel countries are not doing enough to fight the problems, especially the lack of water supply and price speculations on the markets. Competition caused by massive agriculture subsidies in developed countries only worsens our problems”, said Fr. Tine.

At the end […]

Changing women’s lives in Chad

By |3 November 2008|

By Antoine Adoum Goulgué, SECADEV for Caritas

The Al-Nadjah centre is a handsome building in the Chadian town of Adré, about 5 km from the border with Sudan’s troubled Darfur region.

With finanancial and technical support from Caritas, the centre provides training for local women, a nursery school, and a playground.

The 235 beneficiaries in Al-Nadjah Centre are women, with a special focus on unmarried mothers and girls withdrawn from school.

Young mothers are often abandoned by their families and by the father if their child is born outside of marriage. Caritas provides them with support through the centre.

Traditional beliefs force girls to abandon schooling as soon as they reach age of puberty (from 10 to 12 years old). Lacking opportunities provided by schooling, these girls go to the centre in order to learn knitting and food production.

But the centre also helps any woman who faces the challenges of providing for her family […]

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