- Acerca del Hambre
- Erradicar el Hambre
- Nuestro Impacto
- Cómo Puede Ayudar
By Faustine Wabwire
There are forces that make the world less safe for everyone, regardless of where we live. They include conflict in countries with weak institutions; the repression of public calls for social change so that it becomes explosive, and the combination of demographic pressures and climate change.
As Congress debates the next fiscal year’s budget, I cannot emphasize enough the need for stronger commitment to U.S. foreign assistance. Currently, U.S. foreign assistance accounts for less than 1 percent of the federal budget. This small amount of money makes a huge difference in the lives of the world’s approximately 800 million hungry people.
Assistance to help people caught in hunger emergencies is even more urgent today: the world is facing the most serious food crisis since World War II. 20 million people in four countries — northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen — are facing famine or are on the verge of famine. There is much we can do to save millions of lives, but the window of opportunity to do so is extremely limited.
According to the United Nations, humanitarian agencies urgently need $4.4 billion to respond to and avert famine. So far, only $429 million of this amount has been received. The most immediate needs include improving access to food and treating malnutrition. For more on the famine situation, see “Skinny Budget Versus Hungry Babies” in this issue of Institute Insights.
It is also critical not to abandon these areas once the crisis begins to abate. Support to foster peace and stability, enable people to earn a living, and rebuild public institutions will help ensure that the threat of famine doesn’t simply recur next year or the year after. That is why the administration’s proposed cuts to international development assistance are particularly disturbing.
In this budget environment, it’s worth remembering that U.S. development and humanitarian assistance has inspired other donors to make significant contributions of their own. For example, the World Bank Group is significantly scaling up its response in some countries with hunger emergencies, providing both short-term support for immediate needs and long-term support to reduce the risk of crisis in the future.
While responding to food emergencies is vital, we also know that investing in governance institutions and building agricultural and economic systems that are sustainable in the long run not only saves incalculable human lives and suffering, but is a much more cost-effective approach.
Over the past 15 years, U.S. foreign assistance has paid greater attention to long-term investments in women and children and in country-led initiatives that lay the foundations for sustainable agriculture and livelihood strategies.
A good example is Feed the Future, a U.S. foreign assistance program that complements funding from partner countries themselves and works with American businesses across sectors to improve livelihoods through agriculture value chains. Other efforts, such as the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program, bolsters food security while also supporting local farmers and encouraging girls’ attendance at school.
Cutting funding for these programs will not significantly reduce the deficit — but it will undermine the progress already made and ultimately raise the human and financial costs.
Faustine Wabwire is senior foreign assistance policy analyst at Bread for the World.
There is much we can do to save millions of lives, but the window of opportunity to do so is extremely limited.
Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.
Even before Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico, hunger and food insecurity were much more common among Puerto Ricans than among their fellow U.S. citizens in the 50 states.
Before the hurricanes, 1.5 million Puerto Ricans were food insecure. The child food insecurity rate was...
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Margot Nitschke
Ending hunger in the United States is within reach, explain Marlysa Gamblin and Margot Nitschke, in Getting to Zero Hunger by 2030...
A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.
Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.
Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.
Bruce Puckett urged...
In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.
For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.
Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.
Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.
Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...
Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.