A hunger crisis is raging throughout the globe, afflicting nearly one billion people. In the Horn of Africa millions are at risk of starvation in a region plagued by a severe drought and conflict.
High food prices and malnutrition are rampant in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, and so many other countries. However the U.S. Congress, as it plans its next budget, is proposing reducing international food aid. These cuts would impact the U.S. Food for Peace and other global hunger fighting programs.
Save the Children is one of the aid agencies on the front line of fighting hunger. Nora O’Connell, a senior policy advisor for the charity, talks about these potential budget cuts to food aid and what it will mean in the struggle to end global hunger. Most important of all, she answers how you can have your own say in determining U.S. food aid policy.
What would U.S. budget cuts mean to the already nearly one billion people worldwide who suffer from hunger? Are we likely to see that number go even higher?
The U.S. is the largest provider of food aid in the world. More than 35 million people receive direct food aid provided by the United States. The Agriculture Appropriations bill passed by the House would reduce funding for food assistance by $600 million, or approximately 36%. Its main impact would be to reduce the effectiveness of programs that promote security, stability, and economic development abroad. These cuts will have devastating consequences for approximately 12.5 million people. Any additional cuts will only cause more harm to more children, families and communities.
Save the Children has Food for Peace projects in Yemen and other countries. Tell us how your hunger fighting missions will be impacted by the proposed budget cuts.
Right now, we are particularly concerned about the drought in East Africa. Save the Children staff working in Dadaab, Kenya’s largest refugee camp, says that "hundreds of children are arriving daily from Somalia exhausted, malnourished and dehydrated.” Combined with soaring global food prices, the drought has left thousands of children in parts of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia malnourished and millions of others in danger.
Save the Children has a Child Hunger Crisis Fund set up for East Africa relief.