Category: Concern Worldwide
Recently a food revolt occurred at a school in Ireland where steamed fruit and vegetables protested about being thrown away despite the fact the hunger levels across the world have reached alarming levels. Students of Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Clonburris National School in Dublin chanted “stop wasting food” and held up signboards which demanded “don’t let me decompose”.
Raising awareness about world hunger
The Hunger Heroes Campaign which is started by Concern Worldwide and seeks to raise awareness of the global hunger crisis and teaches students techniques to help solve it. Schools all over the world are encouraged to participate in Hunger Heroes Day on October 27. To mark the occasions students will be allowed to ditch their uniforms and have fun in costumes whilst also learning how they can help the nearly billion people in the world that face food insecurity.
Hundreds of millions of people are going hungry
11 per cent of the global population according to the United Nations face food insecurity, which amounts to a staggering 815 million people. That figure is up by 38 million people in 2017 from the 777 million people in 2015 that were estimated to be chronically undernourished. According to Concern Worldwide 30 per cent of all food in the world which amounts to a whopping 1.3 billion tonnes is being wasted. The aid agency says that is enough food to feed all the world’s hungry four times over.
Fighting food waste
Lauren Wright of Concern Worldwide says the Hunger for Heroes programme is about fighting hunger and food waste both in our schools and kitchens. It has been designed to be a fun campaign that schools can run about an extremely serious issue that affects everybody. Children are taught about the connection between food waste and world hunger and how to achieve a future in which waste can be significantly reduced.
Decades of progress being reversed by conflict and climate change
Recently the United Nations issued a report on world hunger and the results were not good. For the first time since the turn of the century, the number of hungry people in the world rose. This has sparked worries that both conflict and climate change could be reversing decades of progress.
Category: Concern Worldwide
More than 150,000 families in Nepal have been displaced by severe flooding which has also caused the deaths of at least 141 people. More than 65,000 homes have been destroyed by the worst floods seen by the country in years. In Nepal’s Southern belt where the vast majority of the country’s agriculture is based was the area that was worst affected by torrential rains last month.
The situation is bad
Concern Worldwide’s Nepal Country Director, Eileen Morrow witnessed the devastating aftermath first-hand. Ms Morrow said she walked around one village in Rautahat which is one of Nepal’s worst affected areas and saw houses that had collapsed in on themselves. She added that the muddy water line caused by the flood exceeded six feet on some of the buildings including the local school. One woman told Ms Morrow that it was fortunate the flooding occurred on a Saturday or they would have lost half the children.
Livelihoods have also been affected
The flooding has not only damaged people’s homes but has also affected their livelihoods. This means there will be a huge impact on how quickly people will be able to recover. Ms Morrow says she saw people trying to dry out their animal feed in the streets, unfortunately it had already started to rot. Many families had lost their livestock and the air was filled will with the smell of decomposing animals which is a huge health hazard. Grain stocks that used to be full to the brim are now nothing more than muddy rotting rice. Thousands of families face these problems in a part of Nepal which already suffers from very high rates of malnutrition.
The problem is that is extremely difficult to fund the response to the flood and donors have been slow to give money to finance the recovery from this particular disaster. Despite this fact, Concern is working tirelessly to deliver relief to the worst affected. The aid agency is working closely with its local partners to provide food, water and aid to the most vulnerable. So far Concern has distributed food to over 11,600 families and the agency is making sure that families have water purification tablets so that waterborne disease do not spread.
Category: Concern Worldwide
Fiona McLysaght who is Concern Worldwide South Sudan country director where she heads up a team of 350 people has issued a stark warning about malnutrition in the country which is stricken by war. Ms McLysaght says that vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and those with disabilities are at risk of worsening malnutrition. She adds that more than 2 million people have fled their homes with 1.8 million people leaving the country and living in refugee camps in neighbouring states. Of those 1.8 million people in refugee camps, a whopping 1 million are children.
Independence happiness was short lived
South Sudan achieved independence from Sudan in 2011 but the happiness was short lived with a civil war breaking out in 2013 that has resulted in the displacement of millions of people. Ms McLysaght says her team is focused on delivering life-saving aid to women who are pregnant and children under 5 who are the most vulnerable to malnutrition.
“We are treating malnourished children and women in one of the counties, Leer, where famine was declared in February, and although this status has been withdrawn, 1.7 million people are still on the brink of starvation.”
The vacant stare
Ms McLysaght described how a child who is experiencing malnutrition looks. A child that is going hungry unsurprisingly seems both sad and scared. They have dull skin which sags and their frame is both small and fragile. Malnourished children have no energy and this means they are simply unable to walk and talk, leave alone play. A well-fed child usually looks inquisitive; however, a malnourished child just stares vacantly.
In desperate need of a political solution
According to Concern Worldwide, the number of children under the age of five that are facing the prospect of acute malnutrition in East Africa is nine times the population of Irish children under the age of five. Ms McLysaght says humanitarian aid will make a difference and save lives whilst also alleviating suffering but that is not enough. Without a political solution to the crisis in South Sudan, the situation looks dire.
Category: Concern Worldwide
A recent report by Concern Worldwide, the international aid agency, has shown first-hand the contagious effect of the violence that has infected what little is left of Syrian society. It has resulted in ordinary civilians feeling unsafe in all environments, whether that be at home, in school, at work or on the streets. The report used a number of focus groups to express the main concerns of civilians who still remain in Northern Syria.
The concerns were many-fold and wide-ranging and include car bombings, bombs going off in crowded places, forced conscription, abuse, harassment, travel restrictions, forced displacement, the spread of disease and lack of treatment. Additionally, the report found that both women and girls were extremely vulnerable to domestic and sexual abuse. They also face harassment and forced marriages. These women and young girls also testified about the violence and sexual harassment they face on a daily basis.
Violence has entered into all aspects of life
Rose Caldwell who is Concern Worldwide (UK) executive director says that after six years of conflict, the violence has now made its way into every part of life and is widespread across all sections of society in Syria. The report emphasises that despite recognition of the fact that protection must be the corner stone of the humanitarian response, the response itself remains dramatically underfunded. There has a gap of 75% between what is needed for the last couple of years.
The humanitarian response has been underfunded
Last year the gap amounted to a deficiency of US$180 million and the report urges member states of the UN and other donors to raise funding for humanitarian protection so that some of the suffering of displaced people still living in Syria since 2011 will be alleviated. The report also pointed out that humanitarian aid is no substitute for failed diplomacy or the lack of political will to end the war.
“The long-term psychological and societal damage of the war will take generations to recover from. Ultimately the rebuilding can only begin when the war ends. UN member states must find a political resolution sooner rather than later for the sake of all the ordinary people inside Syria, before their lives are shattered beyond repair.” Ms Caldwell said.
Category: Concern Worldwide
The people of Ireland contributed roughly 25 per cent of Concern Worldwide’s global income last year, giving approximately €51 million. Last year Concern said it was able to deliver aid to 22.6 million people across 27 of the world’s poorest countries. The aid agency initiated responses to 45 global emergencies in 25 countries and helped 4.6 million people. Concern Worldwide’s total annual income was the highest it’s ever been in 2016 with the aid agency managing to raise €183.5 million last year.
Giving is a response to extreme poverty
Concern says its fund-raising achievement is a reflection of “the growing level of global humanitarian need and the organisation’s increasing focus on supporting people living in extreme poverty”. Dominic MacSorley heaped compliments on both the Irish government and the general public all over the world who donated with so much generosity. He said that generosity was critical to the success of Concern’s fund-raising efforts. Mr MacSorley has been working for Concern for 35 years and earned an income of €99,740 last year said that the charity sector has had a tough time of late.
“As an organisation, we understand the crucial importance of maintaining the highest standards of accountability and transparency as we deliver our programmes across some of the world’s poorest countries. The €183.5 million raised last year is a record in Concern’s 49-year history and we will continue to work even harder to ensure we retain this valuable support.”
Responding to emergencies
Concern responded to a number of major emergencies last year including a response to the ongoing crisis in Syria where Concern delivered aid to 1 million people across Lebanon, Turkey and within Syria. The aid agency also responded to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti where it was able to help 10,000 people by providing them with essential household and hygiene items. Concern is also heavily involved in responding to the widespread drought that has hit Ethiopia where nearly 200,00 children and adults have been treated for malnutrition.
Category: Concern Worldwide, Oxfam, Save the Children
The British public has once again showed its generosity by helping to raise £50 million in 22 days for East Africa. The money will be used to enable aid agencies to step up their efforts to deliver food and assistance to millions of people who are on the brink of starvation. The total amount raised by the UK to help with food shortage in Yemen and East Africa is £72 million when you include the £15 million the UK government has also contributed.
Helping to save lives
This means the British people are already helping to save lives says Saleh Saeed CEO of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). Mr Saeed says the £50 million raised for East Africa will provide millions of people living in the drought afflicted areas with food, water and access to medical care for more than two years. The Yemen appeal which was launched back in December last year has so far raised £22 million.
Assistance being delivered despite of obstacles
More assistance is already being delivered to those in need in spite of the fact that there are many challenges. For example, as a result of the conflict in Yemen the cranes in the port of Hodeida have been destroyed. In South Sudan fighting is taking place and in Somalia vast swathes of the country are controlled by terror groups who have blocked access to aid. Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan and in Somalia people face the prospect of starvation with roughly 20 million people affected.
All the leading charities are contributing
The DEC is made up of the UK’s leading charities and is lending its support in East Africa where food shortages are most acute. According to Mr Saeed there have been reports that the delivery of aid has had an immediate impact to the lives of people affected by the crisis. Concern Worldwide has set up a nutrition centre just outside Mogadishu the capital of Somalia. Save the Children is also working with about 40 drought affected communities in Ethiopia and Somalia and providing them with food, water, and medical care. Oxfam is delivering water and providing sanitation to hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya.
Still lots more to be done
Mr Saeed said whilst the he was very grateful for what has been provided so far, there is still far more to be done as the crisis get worse. He added that the UK can be proud of its response to the East Africa and Yemen appeal. A lot of money has been raised and the UK government and the British public are leading the charge.
Category: Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide, the international aid agency has launched an East African Crisis Appeal and is looking to raise €25 Million. The money will be used to deliver emergency support for 1.8 million people in the region that urgently require food assistance as a result of drought and conflict across what is an incredibly fragile region. The aid agency has sent in Emergency Response Teams to deal with humanitarian situation that is worsening by the day in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan.
20 million people affected
There are more than 20 million people who require immediate assistance in the form of food, water and shelter. In some parts of South Sudan, famine has already been declared affecting 4.9 million people or 40 per cent of the country’s entire population. These people urgently require food assistance with 100,000 people already at risk of starvation. Conflict as a result of ethnic tension combined with drought has made the problem even more acute. Staff from Concern that are there on the ground are reporting harrowing accounts of families who are fleeing the violence.
Starvation across the continent
Somalia is in a very similar situation with conflict and drought combining to produce famine-like conditions with 6.2 million people or 50 per cent of the country’s population in urgent requirement of food assistance. It is estimated that 363,000 children in Somalia under the age of five is acutely malnourished. In Kenya 2.7 million people face food insecurity whilst in Ethiopia 5.6 million people will require food assistance as a result of the rains failing to arrive.
Concern delivering aid
Concern is delivering a wide variety of services ranging from food, water, nutrition, shelter, sanitation and cash to all countries affected by the crisis. But it urgently requires €25 Million to reach nearly 1.8 million people before the crisis escalates further. Feargal O’Connell who was the most recent country director for South Sudan says that hunger levels across East Africa has reached critical levels. It is predicted that malnutrition rates will climb further with a number of states experiencing extreme shortages of food. Mr. O’Connell says this is a humanitarian crisis that has reached breaking point.
Category: Concern Worldwide
The United Nations has formally declared famine in South Sudan, the first time this has happened in six years. According to Unicef and the World Food Programme, approximately 100,0000 people face the prospect of starvation with more than a million more people on the brink of famine. The situation in South Sudan is grim because the country is in the midst of a food crisis that is threatening the lives of millions of people. The combination of continuous conflict and economic instability in South Sudan has meant that millions of people have been left millions of people without enough to eat and it is estimated that 4.9 million people face food insecurity.
Hunger threatens millions of lives
Across vast swathes of South Sudan, households have seen shrinking access to food whilst cash income has fallen as conflict has disrupted agriculture and other livelihood activities. This has had a serious impact on the economy with inflation touching 800 per cent and pushing the price of staples out of the range of all but a small minority. South Sudan is a basket case with nearly 2 million people internally displaced. With conflict breaking out once again in July last year, nearly half a million people have fled the country making food insecurity worse and increasing the number of refugees to 1.3 million.
Access is needed to save lives
Concern Worldwide’s Regional Director for the Horn of Africa Fearfal O’Connell said aid needs to arrive immediately. A lack of action could mean thousands of innocent people dying because of hunger and we need to do everything we can to prevent this from happening. It is imperative for world leaders to intervene so that all hostilities cease which is necessary to allow aid to arrive.
Concern is responding
Concern is right there on the ground in South Sudan. The aid agency is delivering emergency support for those people who are most in need. Concern is providing emergency nutrition as well as distributing food and water in the areas of the country that have been most critically affected. Concern is scaling up its life saving assistance, but it needs help and cannot stem the tide on its own. The international community must intervene to prevent the famine from escalating. Mr O’Connell says that in the end, humanitarian assistance only goes so far. The only solution is meaningful peace and security.
Category: Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide has launched a contest that encourages people to engage in humanitarian focused challenges. This could mean trying to survive on €5 worth of food over five days. Alternatively, participants could try hauling a daily allowance of five litres of water for drinking, cleaning and cooking. These are just two of the many tasks that participants of Concern Worldwide’s first ever World Champions competition.
The team that comes out on top in the competition will get to spend more than a week in one of 27 countries where the aid agency works, so they can see for themselves how money raised is spent helping people. The competition is meant to be life changing and involves people establishing teams who earn points by finishing regular missions and promoting their efforts on social media as well as raising money for the charity.
A real adventure
Jonathan Power of Concern says people who register for this contest will certainly have an adventure. Participants will not only have to face challenges, but in the process they will raise much needed funds which will be used to finance Concern’s activities in some of the poorest nations in the world. They will also have the chance to win the trip of a lifetime, to see Concern’s work first hand.
One challenge is the ‘survive on five’ mission which will allow teams to experience the reality faced by more than one billion of try to survive on less than €1 a day. Other challenges include spending day carrying a five litre can filled with water that they should use for their everyday needs. Teams can also opt to go mountain climbing or hosting fundraising events.
See the work Concern does first hand
The team who collects the most points by April 30th and raise a minimum of €3,000 will win the trip. The winner will be announced in May and be taken to one of Concern’s facilities during the summer, where they will get the chance to meet people living in extreme poverty and who benefit from the donations made by to concern the general public.
Category: Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide says the appeal it launched dubbed ‘Come Back From Crisis’ has raised a whopping £1.6 million. The success of the appeal has resulted in the charity launching a second appeal to tackle hunger for those people in Sierra Leone that have been affected by Ebola. The original appeal which was backed Pound for Pound by the British Government ran between September and December 2016 was designed to highlight the challenges faced by poor communities when disaster strikes.
UK government matches donations
The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) established UK Aid match to boost the awareness and support of the general public for charitable organisations that work in the developing world. UK Aid match doubles the amount of money raised by appeals organised by British charities both to recognise the generosity of the public as well as help fund the wide range of causes being supported.
Agency grateful for support
Rose Caldwell a spokesperson for Concern Worldwide UK said the agency was extremely grateful for the level of support it has received from the public. She adds that it is only because of the public’s generosity that Concern has been able to launch its latest projects that will enable farmers to grow more and better crops so the threat of hunger can be avoided. The new project was launched last year and seeks to improve on the quantity and quality of food production which will also enable incomes to rise.
The project is set to last for three years and so far, Concern Worldwide has already established 25 farmer field schools. These schools teach farmers how to raise crop production and improve the quality of their harvest. Concern has also set up 49 village savings and loans associations which will allow individuals to save cash for future investments. Concern has also identified 19 sites where basic infrastructure can either be built or fixed. These include bridges and roads which will enable farmers to get their crops to markets where they can sell their produce.
“Over the next three years the project will strive to help the poorest, most vulnerable families, such as Ebola orphans and survivors, who were especially impacted by Ebola so they can live a life free from hunger.” Raju Sorekaidoddi, Concern’s Acting Country Director in Sierra Leone, said.