Achieving food security in vulnerable populations
Communities that rely on raising livestock are most vulnerable to hunger when drought or other disaster strikes. How can aid organisations provide effective help? Deborah Cohen investigates
Hunger and malnutrition cause tremendous human suffering and cost developing countries billions of dollars in lost productivity and national income. The number of hungry people in the world rose to 852 million between 2000 and 2002, up by 18 million from the mid-1990s, and the total number of hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa is 203 million, a third of the population.1 I visited northwest Kenya to see how organisations work to try to improve food security in pastoralist communities.
The 2004 annual report from the Food and Agriculture Organization says that little is done globally to fight hunger, although the resources needed to combat it are small compared with the benefits.
Every dollar invested in reducing hunger can give from five to over 20 times as much in benefits. The report recommends giving priority to actions to improve food security.1
But food security is a complex issue. A country or