Ahead of World Hunger Day, Compassion International updates its ongoing response to the global food crisis

“I get sad when there is no food at home”

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Since 2019, food insecurity around the world has steadily increased–and is expected to continue growing in 2024. The far-reaching impact of hunger on child development makes it an area of focus for Compassion International, which is responding to immediate and long-term needs for some of the world’s hungriest children.

Between July 2022 and March 2024, Compassion has distributed 1,360,956 food packs to 275,877 households. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization distributed more than 23 million food packs to children and their families (2020-2022). It is also investing in sustainable solutions to hunger, such as seeds, fertilizer, permaculture gardens, livestock, and the training needed to ensure solutions are viable for the long-term. 

For children like Johaner and his four siblings in Colombia, these interventions are life changing.

“I get sad when there is no food at home,” shares nine-year-old Johaner, who was struggling from malnutrition. His mother, Elis, often avoids sending the children to school when they have no food. “Sometimes when I can’t go to school because there is no food, I get worried about not passing the school year.” 

Compassion International partners with over 8,500 church partners in 29 countries around the world. The local church partner in Johaner’s community has been providing food baskets for his family. The food has helped Johaner to gain weight, his health has improved, and he’s able to continue going to school.

Colombia is just one of many countries grappling with the global food crisis. A combination of extreme weather, conflict, and economic shocks has resulted in the worst food crisis in modern history. Vulnerable children are disproportionately impacted. Reports suggest that 333 million children around the world are living in extreme poverty and don’t know where their next meal is coming from (UNICEF-World Bank). 

“We are seeing growing populations in crisis and on the verge of emergency if no action is taken,” notes Faith Magadi, a program design lead at Compassion International and an expert in disaster response and relief.

In Haiti and Burkina Faso, two countries in which Compassion International partners with the local church, more than 50% of the population is classified as food insecure. Other countries with high populations facing food insecurity include Indonesia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Philippines, and, as mentioned above, Colombia. 

“Hunger and malnutrition are casting a far-reaching shadow on child development, encompassing physical, cognitive, and emotional facets,” says Dr. Yona Kapere, a Ugandan medical doctor with Compassion International. “These setbacks can persist into adulthood, subjecting these children to enduring challenges.” 

In addition to the physical impacts, hungry and malnourished children often struggle with learning, memory, and problem-solving, ultimately affecting their academic performance—and one of their primary opportunities to escape poverty. Furthermore, they often wrestle with emotional and behavioral problems, including anxiety and depression, while struggling to cultivate healthy social relationships.

To cope with the lack of food, children are eating smaller meals or skipping them entirely. Many are eating only once a day, or only every few days. In other cases, families are relying on low-cost, nutrient-deficient foods to fill empty stomachs. Many children have resorted to begging in the cities. Others are looking for help from food programs or relying on community support.

“While these coping mechanisms demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity, they often result in inadequate nutrition, hindered child development, and perpetuate the cycle of poverty,” adds Dr. Kapere. 

You can learn more about Compassion’s response to the global food crisis at https://www.compassion.com/donate/global-food-crisis.htm. For only $50, Compassion International can feed a child and their family for one month.

To interview Dr. Yona Kapere or Faith Magadi, please contact Petra Kooman at [email protected]

About Compassion International
Compassion International is a Christian child development organization working to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Founded in 1952, Compassion partners with more than 8,500 local churches in 29 program countries to deliver spiritual, economic, social, and physical care to over two million babies, children, and young adults in poverty. Ranked No. 10 in Forbes’ America’s Top Charities List in 2021, Compassion is a founding member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and an accredited charity with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information, visit compassion.com or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Petra Kooman
[email protected]

SOURCE Compassion International

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ahead-of-world-hunger-day-compassion-international-updates-its-ongoing-response-to-the-global-food-crisis-302153150.html
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