The world is witnessing a shocking struggle as Russia battles its neighbor, Georgia. With this conflict comes also the ancient enemy of hunger. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reports it is providing food to over 2,000 people displaced by the fighting in the region of South Ossetia.
As long as the fighting continues, there will be more displaced people in need of food and shelter. According to Lola Castro of the World Food Programme, “The number of people in need of our help is rising by the hour.” The difficulty in reaching those displaced is also becoming greater. WFP reports that Russian air raids are limiting access to many people in need.
The WFP is supplying its relief effort from food stocks it already had in Georgia. High-energy biscuits are used in this type of crisis situation, as they require no cooking preparation.
Since 1993, WFP has been helping poor communities throughout Georgia with food assistance. WFP notes that 39 percent of the Georgian population lives below the poverty line.
WFP activities in the country include a Food for Work project aimed at helping farmers increase their production. School feeding initiatives relieve children of hunger while allowing them to get an education. There are also programs to assist Chechen refugees in the country. As with everything else, these programs are at risk with the ongoing conflict.
The international community has to ensure that WFP has enough food to meet the existing emergency, but WFP cannot also have a pipeline break for its regular food programs in Georgia. When the fighting does stop, there is going to be a difficult recovery process for many people in the affected areas. Hunger is not going to cease its attack when the guns stop firing.
It will be critical to meet food requirements for Georgians both during and after the conflict. To help, please visit the United Nations World Food Programme web site. You can also visit the Friends of the World Food Programme for more information about donating to WFP’s activities.