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Food & Hunger

Broken promises, pipelines and dreams and how the EU can help mend them

World Vision

Broken promises hurt. They can impact friendships, cause doubt and ruin trust. But usually, broken promises don’t leave you hungry.

For millions  of  children  around  the  world,  broken  promises  leave  them  hungry,  unable  to attend school and fulfil their life’s dreams.

When rains don’t come (or come too much) crops and livestock die – destroying the food on which many rural farming families across Africa, Latin America and the Pacific rely. This year’s El Niño is making things even worse: less rains, fewer crops, more hunger.

El Niño is a climate phenomenon, linked to a warming of ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific  that  is  putting  the  lives,  food  security  and  livelihoods  of  millions  of  already  vulnerable women, men and children at increased risk.

In dozens of countries, across 4 regions, World Vision is responding to the El Niño crisis.

In Zambia,  where  over  1  million  are  suffering  the  effects  of  drought-induced crop  loss  and hunger,  World  Vision  is  distributing  maize  across  4  districts,  reaching  nearly  24,000  of  the most  vulnerable.  Partnering  with  the  World  Food  Programme  to  run  cash  for  work programmes, with the Pan-American Health Organization to provide therapeutic feeding and with UNICEF to improve community wells, World Vision Honduras is mitigating the effects of drought. Despite this work, there is much more to do, and not enough funding to do it. 

broken-promises-pipelines-and-dreams-and-how-the-e-body1.jpgImage: World Vision

In  these  devastating  circumstances,  governments  and  global  leaders  must  step  up  their efforts to provide  meals at schools or  to families who prepare for the next  climate-change induced  disaster.  Everything  from  gardening  with  better  seeds, to  catching  rainwater,  from reforestation to irrigation helps in the long-term and is rewarded with food for now. These are the promises leaders  must  make: to assist  with  food  for  today  and  livelihoods  for tomorrow.

This  is  what  is  supposed  to  happen  when  leaders  have  strong  wills,  sound  policies  and sufficient funding; when donors have deep pockets and efficient funding pipelines; and when aid agencies have effective programmes. 

This is not what is happening.

Devastatingly, natural and man-made disasters are too big and happening too often. Leaders are  overwhelmed  and  the  funding  pipeline  is  at  the  breaking  point.

Breaks  in  funding pipelines have resulted in underfunded food assistance programmes – meaning the promised food never arrived or the resilience interventions were never implemented. 

World  Vision’s  new  report: ‘When  there  is  no  food  assistance’ presents  a  snapshot  of stories  from  Eastern  Democratic  Republic  of  Congo  (DRC),  Niger  and  Somalia,  where families were promised help that never arrived. 

A school girl in DRC lamented, “When there is no food at school, I miss the food and being able to learn. We will not be able to move forward.”

broken-promises-pipelines-and-dreams-and-how-the-e-body2.jpgImage: World Vision

Today, World  Vision  is  sharing  these  stories  of  broken  promises  with  the  European Parliament  (Heidi  Hautala, hosting member of the European Parliament (EP) and member of the Development Committee and Linda McAvan, Chair of the EP Development Committee), the  European  Commission  (DG DEVCO  and DG ECHO),  the  European  External  Action  Service,  the  World  Food Programme and aid agencies such as Care International, Oxfam and Save the Children, in the hopes of mending broken promises, pipelines and dreams.

World Vision’s report calls for a better response to humanitarian appeals linked to El Niño related crises. It also calls for governments and donors to urgently pledge funds to the $100 billion a year (by 2020) Green Climate Fund and to disperse the funds as quickly as possible to help countries impacted by climate change.

If the European Union and all actors step up, we can mend broken promises, pipelines and dreams. As humanitarians, we owe  it  to  the  most  vulnerable  to  fund emergency appeals, provide food assistance, build resilience, save lives and protect livelihoods. 

And as human beings, we must keep our promises. 

Key facts:

• At  last  count  795  million  people  around  the  world,  or  one  in  nine,  regularly  don’t  have enough nutritious food to eat each day.

• Each  year,  poor  nutrition  is  an  underlying  cause  of  2.8  million  (45%)  deaths  in  children under  5,  or  one  in  six  children  in  developing  countries.  Roughly 100  million  children  are underweight.  Almost 100 million  of  the  most  vulnerable  global  citizens  require  food assistance from the international community each year to ensure they have something to eat during a difficult time in their lives.

• In  2015,  WFP,  the  world’s  largest  UN  agency  fighting  hunger,  estimated  its funding requirements at US $8.6 billion. As of November 3, 2015, the total funding it had received was  US$3.8  billion;  a  funding  gap  of  55%.

Learn more by downloading World Visions new report: ‘When there is no food assistance.’

Join the conversation with World Vision, the EU and partners by following @WorldVisionEU on twitter and using #hungerfree.