Food insecurity continues to develop rapidly in countries around the world, affecting the lives and health of millions of people who lack access to basic foods due to rising prices. World Vision, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid and protecting children and adolescents, has conducted an investigation into the growth of the global hunger crisis and its devastating consequences.
The research found an overall increase of 14% in food prices over the past year, which was felt more acutely in the poorest countries. While in England food inflation was 5% compared to the previous year, it increased by 143% in Sudan, 56% in Ethiopia and 26% in Haiti, the poorest nation in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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“Nearly 50 million boys and girls are so underweight for their height (weight loss) that they face an increased risk of death. The number of people experiencing acute hunger has increased by 25% since the start of the year, and unless we take urgent action, more families will struggle to feed themselves,” said Mary Neri, Director of Global Hunger Response at World Vision.
In Latin America, the problem persists due to the addition of other factors, such as the high level of poverty and unemployment, which have risen sharply in recent years due to Covid19. This difficulty for families to access food is reflected in many countries in the region such as Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Colombia, where prices have increased by 23% in 2021, and Venezuela, which to date suffers from chronic hyperinflation .
In the case of Peru, 6.8 million people suffer from severe food insecurity, meaning they do not eat for one or more days, according to the FAO. Likewise, the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) reported that in the month of July of this year the Consumer Price Index of Metropolitan Lima increased by 0.94%, with an accumulated variation from the first seven months of 5.42% and that from the last twelve months (August 2021 – July 2022) reached 8.74%.
Given this, the development of measures that provide food for the most vulnerable is urgently needed, which is why World Vision Peru has developed various projects that, since the arrival of the pandemic, have allowed more than 14,000 people to receive a guaranteed plate of food in national scale, giving priority to boys and girls.
Vegetable gardens and guinea pigs against hunger
Located in the most vulnerable areas, World Vision Peru has trained more than 400 families to build organic gardens in their homes to grow vegetables so they can eat directly. Together with the regional administrations, specialists were trained on land preparation, its fertilization and sowing cycles. This project was carried out in the regions of Huancavelica, Ayacucho and Áncash
Animals such as guinea pigs and laying hens were also given away free of charge for rearing to 600 families who built sheds dedicated to the rearing and breeding of these animals, whose meat is used for consumption and sale. This allowed families to be self-sufficient during the months to support their daily economy.
Fruit trees for children
In the midst of this crisis, the most vulnerable sector is that of children, who must consume fruits and vegetables to increase their defense against disease; Unfortunately, due to rising prices, this is becoming increasingly difficult. World Vision Peru has successfully implemented a project in 5 districts of the Huancavelica and Loreto regions so that families can benefit from their land and plant fruit trees.
The project achieved the planting of 7,800 fruit species by families who were trained in agro-ecological management and sustainable production techniques. Species such as blueberries, avocados, strawberries and camu camu were adapted and planted. With this initiative, more than 3,000 children improved their nutrition and thus their health; by the end of the year, more than 7,000 fruit trees are expected to be planted.
World Vision is a non-governmental organization that has been working in Peru for more than 40 years in the protection of children and adolescents and provides social assistance to the most needy population groups and in the most difficult situations. Learn more about the help that is being provided at the national level and join the cause by going to https://worldvision.pe/