Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘drought’

Summer Of Hunger

Summer Of Hunger

August-Match-3-Mali-COBv3Survivors of last summer’s drought in Mali are facing another summer of desperate hunger – and a food crisis that targets the most vulnerable.

Instead of saving seeds for this year’s harvest, farmers cooked and ate them last year. Selling the family’s only ox raised money to buy a little food then – but left them without a way to plow the fields and grow more food this year. In a vicious cycle, last year’s drought means fewer crops this year – and hunger spread like wildfire.

In communities reliant on their crops for food, this is the worst time of year for hunger. In a few weeks, the harvest will come in and there will be more food to go around – but 4.3 million people in Mali need humanitarian assistance right now. They can’t wait a few weeks.

Your gift today will help CARE send supplies where they are needed most and fight the root causes of hunger. And thanks to our limited-time match, anything you can give will be doubled to have twice the impact.

The food crisis is affecting some of the most vulnerable: Pregnant women. Breastfeeding mothers. Very young children too hungry to do anything but cry. Disease and hunger are rampant and the situation is desperate – but we know how to step in and make a difference.

CARE has already distributed 10,748 tons of food in Mali, including rice, sorghum, corn, and cowpea, as well as fertilizer to help farmers boost their crop yields. But since the beginning of the year, the number of people who need immediate assistance has doubled.

Things in Mali are bad – but you can help change all that, and it takes less than you might imagine. It only costs $7 to provide a week’s supply of food for someone in crisis – and with our match, every dollar you donate will stretch twice as far. Will you step up to help those who are suffering in this emergency?

Please donate today to make a difference in the lives of children and families in crisis. With our match, your gift will go twice as far.

Thank you for all that you do to improve the lives of those in need.

Sincerely,

Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE

When Catastrophe Strikes

Dear Gabriel,

CARE-EOY-2012-COB1When a typhoon hits, we’re there.

We are there when a drought causes crops to fail, leaving families desperate for just one meal a day.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding: we can’t predict when they’ll come, but we can predict that we’ll be there, responding to the most urgent needs. We will stay for as long as it takes.

Even with all our trained and dedicated staff on the ground, none of our work is possible without the support of people like you.

Your gift will help girls, boys, and families living in poor communities during emergencies by providing tools and resources to help them rebuild their lives. Your help is especially crucial now: if you make a donation before December 31st, your gift will be matched, up to $1 million.

Will you help by making a gift to support families in need? Every dollar you give will help us reach our goal of $1 million before December 31st.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke recently about suffering around the world – and what gives him the strength to keep going. He said, “When I travel, I make it a point to go where people are suffering. I have spoken to families who lost everything, women who have been raped, children who have been orphaned. It would be easy to lose hope.

“But I was amid people who show extraordinary courage in the face of their suffering. I am especially inspired by the field workers like your CARE staff, who dedicate their lives to helping others. The United Nations can never succeed without such a strong partner like CARE.

“Let us work together to do everything we can to empower girls. I’m confident when we empower them, they will change our world. Change our world for the better.”

As a CARE supporter, I know that you share Ban Ki-moon’s passionate beliefs. Please help us continue to help send girls to school, empower women facing gender-based violence, and build communities where families have lost their homes due to disaster. We cannot do it without you, Gabriel.

Work with us for a better world in 2013. Any help you can provide is truly appreciated. Please make a tax-deductible gift today, and it will be matched up to $1 million.

Thank you so much for your dedication and hard work.

Sincerely,

Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE

Feeding the World

Dear Gabriel,

As the election season builds to a finish here in the U.S., the farms across the developing world have been plagued by drought, with the often before seen results of hunger and despair for millions of people. Though they may be far away, you can make a difference for these millions. The decisions we take – or shirk – have real consequence, and not just at home. Today, you can take action designed to help end extreme world hunger forever.

Yes, of course we need governments to focus on the causes of extreme hunger and to help local farmers grow their way from dependency to self- sufficiency. But at FINCA, we don’t wait for governments to solve problems – we take direct action, and we invite you to join us today.

The U.S. State Department has confirmed what FINCA has witnessed for years. Although women in many countries frequently make up a majority of those working in agriculture, they are a tiny minority of land owners. Moreover, poor women are frequently denied access to credit, preventing them from hiring employees, buying seed and fertilizers, and expanding or improving the land that they work.

This is not just hurting women. It is strangling the economies of poor countries and the prospects of thousands of families struggling to escape poverty.

The exclusion of women from a full and equal role in farming leads to the loss of as much as 20-30 percent of crop yields according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). When so many families are just one drought from disaster, the marginalization of women farmers is not just a tragedy but a preventable scandal.

The FAO asserts that the equal access of women farmers to credit, farming tools and land rights, “could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by as much as 4 percent and reduce the number of hungry people in the world by as much as 17 percent, up to 150 million people.” That’s almost half the population of the United States.

And let’s be clear, the term “hungry people” is very literal. These are hard-working women, men and – far too often – children, whose ability to plan for a better future takes a distant second to planning for their next meal. It’s not right, it’s not necessary and, with your help, we can change this.

FINCA is not campaigning for equal access to credit for women farmers – we are providing it, making loans in rural communities from Mexico to Malawi that help women put food that they have sown and grown on the table.

As we stand on the verge of funding our one millionth microfinance client, you can stand with us.

Together, we can end the injustice of women farmers being denied access to life-changing credit solely because of their gender. By providing micro-loans, we can reap life-changing yields in agricultural output. Please help FINCA support women farmers today.

Thank you for your support,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President,
New Business Development

Drought Compounded by Law

Dear Gabriel,

We’re in the middle of the worst drought in more than 50 years. American farmers are ringing warning bells: their crops are dying by the acre.

The US is the world’s largest exporter of corn, wheat and soybeans – so when our crops suffer, the world pays higher food prices and families go hungry.

What’s making matters even worse? The EPA’s mandate for corn ethanol – a rule that requires a large portion of US corn crops to be used to make ethanol. Instead of being eaten by hungry families, those crops are burning up in our gas tanks.

Higher food prices could cause severe food crises, like the current one in the Sahel, to spread to other regions of the world. We can’t wait any longer to take action! Join us in calling on the Obama Administration to waive this mandate.

We need your voice: Tell the Obama Administration to waive the mandate for corn ethanol NOW.

With a shrunken harvest this year in the United States, global food prices could skyrocket. As food prices continue to rise, people in poverty around the world – many of whom already spend a majority of their income on food – won’t be able to buy enough food to eat. Climate shocks are destroying crops simultaneously in multiple parts of the world, creating a perfect storm for hunger.

Last year, 40 percent of the corn produced in the US was made into ethanol because of this mandate. We’re burning up millions of bushels of corn for fuel – and what’s left over to meet demand is so expensive that millions of poor families can no longer afford to feed themselves. That’s just plain wrong.

By waiving the mandate for corn ethanol to allow more of this year’s harvest to be used as food, we can take some of the pressure off the global food market and stop food prices from rising out of control. Will you ask the Obama Administration to stop a global food crisis?

Send a message to The White House: Tell President Obama to waive the mandate for corn ethanol now so the world can afford to eat.

Thank you for standing with Oxfam’s GROW campaign. Together, we’re helping to fix our broken food system to ensure that everyone on the planet has enough to eat, always.

Sincerely,

Vicky Rateau, GROW Campaign
Oxfam America

1 Million Children

Dear Friends,

My name is Baaba Maal, and I’m a Senegalese musician writing with a personal plea for help. I live in Africa’s drought-struck Sahel region where 18 million people are on the brink of disaster, including 1 million children at risk of starvation. But our urgent appeals for help are being met with deafening silence. Only a targeted and overwhelming demand for action can stop this catastrophe from turning deadly.

The UN says millions of lives could be destroyed unless $1.5 billion in aid is channeled in immediately, but governments have pledged less than half the required sum. The countries who can make all the difference are the US, Japan, France and Germany, but they’re stalling — that’s why I started a petition on Avaaz’s Community Petitions website to appeal to the world for help.

In days, world leaders will gather in Brussels to discuss the Sahel — if they decide right there and then to pledge their fair share, we can avert disaster. Sign this urgent petition now — Avaaz, Africans Act 4 Africa, and Oxfam will deliver it in a coordinated stunt when we reach 1 million signatures:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/The_grain_sacks_are_empty/?bMPbqab&v=15205

Terrible drought, political unrest, and sky high food prices have wreaked havoc on an area the size of the US, stretching from Senegal in the west all the way to Sudan in the east. People here are doing everything they can to survive, but the crisis has hit so hard that it’s difficult to stay hopeful. I’ve seen women and children trying to grow food in patches of land that are bone dry. They know that people are talking about what is happening in the Sahel, but they don’t know if aid will ever arrive.

The UN has only received 43 percent of the $1.5 billion needed — it’s a shortfall of gargantuan proportions. But this gap must be filled, and can be filled by the world’s richest countries, if there’s political will. We don’t have much time to avert mass suffering, and I’m determined to speak on behalf of the people here until they get the help they need.

The world has turned a blind eye to crises like this before, but this time we can make the difference between life and death by forcing our governments to respond. Sign this urgent petition now:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/The_grain_sacks_are_empty/?bMPbqab&v=15205

Avaaz members have come together time and time again to respond to natural disasters, saving thousands of lives by ensuring that crucial aid was delivered to Burma, Haiti, Somalia and Pakistan. We have the power to force our leaders to stop idling away in the face of a crisis we can prevent. Let’s stand together now to demand that the world respond to the pleas of the millions living in the vast Sahel region.

With hope and determination,

Baaba Maal, with the Avaaz team

Help Horn of Africa

Don’t wait. Please act now!

From The Hunger Site

They’re calling it “The Children’s Famine.” More than 12 million people are at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa, including at least 1.25 million children who are “in urgent need of life saving interventions,” according to OCHA. Hundreds of thousands of additional children are severely malnourished.

This humanitarian crisis is caused by an unprecedented drought in the region, where families traditionally rely on livestock and farming for food. Food prices have spiked, crops and livestock are failing, and rivers are at their lowest levels in recent memory.

Displaced families desperate for food and water are spilling across borders and overwhelming refugee camps. “In many of the poorest communities,” reports UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, “people are either too poor or too weak to be able to try to walk for help.”

Mercy Corps has worked in the region for years, and is on the ground actively providing help in the places where it is most needed. Tens of thousands in Ethiopia have received emergency food and clean water distributions. In Somalia, cash-for-work programs are helping drought-affected families fill vital needs including food, water, and other essentials. Mercy Corps hopes not only to help people survive in the face of the current crisis, but to make these communities strong enough to thrive once it has passed.

You can help. Every penny of your donation provides emergency aid that is desperately needed in the Horn of Africa during this time of crisis.

Report from the Field

Mercy Corps
August 2011

Mercy Corps is actively engaged in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. They report that their drought response in the region includes:

SOMALIA
· Our work in Somalia will help more than 260,000 drought-affected people fill vital needs like water, food, and other essentials.
· We work directly with communities to ensure that aid gets to the people who need it. We run programs in Puntland, Somaliland, and the Central region.
· Emergency operations build on our work to provide education to Somali children, improve governance, and build more peaceful communities.

KENYA
· Our team in northeastern Kenya has started programs in over twenty villages in bone-dry Wajir County.
· We are helping 120,000 people gain life-saving access to water. Where there is no water, we’re trucking in hundreds of thousands of liters. Where there are water systems, we’re bringing in emergency fuel to keep water pumps running.
· We have found there is food on the market in northeastern Kenya, but people don’t have money to buy it. Vouchers, a likely next phase of work, provide food and boost local markets.

ETHIOPIA
· We plan to mount an emergency response in the Oromia and Somali regions of Ethiopia, where there is an urgent need for food and water, especially for women, children, and the elderly.
· We also plan to provide cash for work, and initiate destocking, where Mercy Corps buys cattle to provide herders with much-needed income and the community with meat.
· We’ve been helping more than 625,000 Ethiopians gain access to food, water, income, nutrition and health education, and better farming resources and information.

Report from the Field
Joy Portella, Mercy Corps Communications Director
July 2011

The central element of this story is water; everyone is obsessed with finding it. I saw this in the eyes of the herder who’d been walking with his family — including his 10-year-old daughter — for 17 days to find water. I met a young woman with a baby who’d trudged eight hours to collect dirty water at a borehole, and was steeling herself for the grueling return trip. I witnessed a man climb a tree and ever so gently hold down a lone green branch so that his parched, starving camel could gain some strength.

…too often [our] great generosity is triggered by a sudden event that garners significant news coverage: the Haiti earthquake or Japan tsunami. When disasters happen slowly — like a drought and famine — they’re less visible and get less of a response, but that doesn’t make them any less severe.

…the people who are living the drought are simply busy struggling to survive. In the Horn of Africa, that struggle has become increasingly severe. The call for aid has rarely been as urgent.

Don’t wait. Act now! The Hunger Site

As Precious As Gold – Part 2

Conclusion of excerpt from collection of children’s stories Solar Girl and Lunar Boy.

What did they have to lose? Their bodies would soon turn into dirt without some rain.

The ants began to whisper, “Who will lead us?”

A unified cry arose from the crowd, “Mosha! Mosha!”

The queens arose and selected Mosha without dissent. After all, was it not she who brought them together and was not Mount Kilimanjaro in her own backyard?

Mosha was scared. As a worker ant she had always followed, now she must lead. She finally stepped forward and exclaimed, “It’s breath or death!”

Mosha’s first action was to have the workers construct a road up the mountain. Then she had two quad-trillion soldiers link their bodies into one long rope leading up the road. The remaining Formicidae carefully climbed the road by walking on the back of the living ant-rope.

Straining with every step of their many legs, they crawled to the peak of the mountain and collapsed from exhaustion and lack of oxygen.

The dark cloud was still floating quietly above.

Mosha was almost dead from thirst. With her last bit of strength she urged them on. “Stand up! Don’t give up! We must breathe together, now!”

Upon hearing Mosha’s plea the ants arose. They quietly began to inhale and exhale.

At first their tiny puffs of air were like a trickling stream. But they didn’t stop. Within minutes the force of their breathing turned into a river of wind and the river quickly became a mighty sea of air pulsating through the cloud.

Now the breath of one tiny ant is nothing. But 8 quadrillion (8,000,000,000,000,000) ants breathing in and out together began to change that strange cloud.

As the ants finally fell still upon the rocks gasping, Mosha saw the cloud take a long deep breath, turn black as night and with a heavy sigh, it began to cry.

The cloud’s tears fell softly upon the mountain. As drops splattered their bruised and battered bodies the Formicidae screamed with excitement and scurried from one antenna to another, dancing in amazement! To see ants scream and dance is an awesome sight. Never before and never again, have they exhibited such behavior.

The lowly Formicidae, one of the smallest creatures on earth, had literally saved the world from becoming a gigantic dust bowl. And though ants aren’t known for boasting or bragging, they gave Mosha a hero’s welcome when she descended the mountain and crawled back to the plains of her birth.

From that day on, ants have treasured their water (H2O) resources. They know only too well that clean, pure water is more precious than gold.

MORE STORIES

Tag Cloud