Posted on Thursday, July 12th, 2012 at 2:40 pm
Women queuing for food in Nabilatuk Health Center, Karamoja, Uganda. Distributions implemented by NGOs are a way of addressing the nutrition needs in the country.
By Cormac Staunton, Area Manager Karamoja, Concern Worldwide
The rains are a mixed blessing in Karamoja. They came initially as a relief in April, having not seen rain since last November. The dust settled, and the fields and hills turned green before our eyes. It was a welcome sight in a dry landscape that had become burnt and inhospitable. People began to dig and plant their crops.
It’s tempting to see the arrival as the rains as the beginning of something good, a positive moment in the annual cycle. But in Karamoja the rains also herald the start of something more worrying—the hunger season.
Karamoja, tucked in the north east corner of Uganda, is a vast, flat plain, dry and dusty for most of the year. It is home to nomadic tribes, for whom cattle are both a source of food and wealth, and the center of the cultural and economic life. Conflict has been a feature of life here, as heavily armed warriors raid cattle from each other, a practice that is both a tradition with social and spiritual significance, and a means of survival.
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Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2012 at 7:58 am
By Tom Arnold, CEO, Concern Worldwide
Tom Arnold with Beverly Oda of the Canadian International Development Agency and Etharin Cousin of the UN World Food Programme
I have just returned from a whirlwind visit to Washington, DC and Chicago, where I participated in a number of events around the G8 and NATO Summits focused on food and nutrition security. Among so many world leaders and high-level representatives from civil society and academia, I felt a sense of critical mass beginning to form in the fight to end global hunger.
It’s a feeling I’ve had before – perhaps not this strong – only to be disappointed when promises went unfulfilled. We must keep calling our leaders to persevere, especially those in the G8, to ensure that does not happen this time.
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Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2012 at 4:11 pm
Paul O’Brien, Overseas Director, Concern Worldwide
Last week, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg announced a contribution of $33 million to support food security, nutrition and short-term cash assistance efforts across the West African region of the Sahel, bringing USAID’s total humanitarian assistance to the region to more than $270 million in fiscal years 2011 and 2012. The announcement caused barely a ripple in the US media, and many who heard the news may have even asked ‘What crisis?’ or ‘What’s the Sahel?’ As aid organizations, it is our responsibility to issue and amplify calls to action to respond in the Sahel, and to broadcast the important message that coordinated action now will save lives and prevent costly interventions later – and we have the evidence.
Millet is the staple crop that keeps most people alive in Niger, but this year, drought and poor harvests threaten to leave 13 million people in need of emergency food assistance by April. Photo: Tim Peek for Concern Worldwide US, Tahoua town, Niger
Right now, a series of factors—including volatile spikes in food prices, failed harvests and cyclical drought—have triggered widespread food shortages across the Sahel, according to the USAID Famine Early Warning System Network. Levels of malnutrition among children under five have already reached the internationally recognized emergency threshold of 15 percent in parts of many affected countries, which include Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania. Read the rest of this entry »