Hunger is a perpetual global crisis that affects 805 million people every day. Some continents have hunger rates as high as 21 percent of its population. In fact, Africa and Asia have the highest hunger rates in the world. 791 million hungry people live in developing countries. 
The United States has long been a food provider for the world, but the way in which food aid is chosen and delivered to poor countries around the world is outdated. In fact, the system is bloated with nugatory, bureaucratic red tape and payments that go to middlemen instead of buying the food and transporting it that is desperately needed.
Food Aid Reform has been an area of contention for quite some time in Washington. Some of our leaders want to keep the status quo intact while others are loath to waste another year through archaic feeding programs that can easily be shifted and reshaped to feed more people.
By Lisi Martinez Lotz PhD, Program Director, Vaccine Ambassadors
Vaccine Ambassadors was created by parents and healthcare professionals in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of immunizations for all children, whether living in an area where vaccines are part of routine care or where this resource is far less common. By becoming Vaccine Ambassadors during their clinic visit, parents are able to give to the global community, while also engaging in a conversation with their pediatrician on the value of immunizations.
Our program speaks to the issue of under vaccination. In many areas of the world lack of access leads to low vaccination rates, while in others it is a direct consequence of misinformation. Vaccine Ambassadors offers parents a meaningful way to make an impact in the lives of children who otherwise would go without life-saving vaccines, while also highlighting the need for vaccines in our local communities.
We will join Global Impact to discuss these aforementioned women’s and girls’ issues on Friday, March 13 at 1 PM EST. Join us using #HerDay2015.
In Ormoc, Philippines women tend to take on village leadership roles to ensure children under five get their scheduled vaccinations and routine check-ups. These women also provide medical information to mothers and families who live deep in the rural parts of Ormoc and have a harder time attaining health services.
These village leaders are, for all intents and purposes, the lifelines for these rural families to health care. In addition to village leaders, rural health units staffed by volunteer health workers and nutrition scholars are charged with providing essential health care and information to families who otherwise would go without medical care.
“Being a leader makes me happy, but it is difficult,” said Ludivinia Perez, a village leader in Ormoc, Philippines on Leyte island. “I feel good about it. What makes it difficult is if I don’t have enough funds and resources.”
Across the globe 748 million people still lack access to clean drinking water every day. Dirty water leads to a whole host of waterborne diseases including diarrhea, one of the top three killers of children under the age of five. One of the main challenges that NGOs face when providing clean water to people is that there is rarely a guarantee that when clean water is provided to a village or community it will continue to flow.
World Vision is the largest NGO provider of clean water in low- and middle-income countries. In fact, in 2014, World Vision provided clean drinking water to people in 2,416 villages in Africa. And, because of their work, one person gets access to clean water every 30 seconds.
On a recent trip to the Philippines with World Vision USA I saw some of their water projects in small, rural villages. AfterTyphoon Haiyan World Vision worked to get clean water flowing via gravity from springs to villages at the base of mountains. In addition to providing water to the villages, World Vision also provides community awareness programs to also teach the community members about sanitation.
A few days ago I had never heard of Zlatan Ibrahimović. Now, I’ll never forget his name and the 805 million people who go hungry every day.
On February 15, the United Nation’s World Food Programme launched a moving hunger awareness campaign with international football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic called 805 Million Names. The campaign features Ibrahimovic with 50 names temporarily tattooed on his body symbolizing the hundreds of millions of people who go without adequate food each day. He revealed the tattooed names during the February 14th game between his team Paris Saint-Germain and Caen after making a goal.
“If I could, I would write all the names of people suffering from hunger on my body. But they are 805 million. It is a disaster. Me and the World Food Programme want to make sure the world knows this,” Zlatan Ibrahimović said in a statement.
Even though Ibrahimović was immediately slapped with a yellow card during the game after taking off his shirt to reveal the 50 names, the message had already been sent. In just a few short days the video has been seen over 2.5 million times and counting.
Watch the Video
To learn more about the campaign and the World Food Programme’s role in feeding people around the world visit wfp.org/805millionnames.
Last week, Human Rights Watch released a scathing report exposing mass rape by the Sudanese military. We first heard about these mass rapes late last year, but the news could not be easily corroborated. Since then, however, through telephone interviews, Human Rights Watch has been able to verify that nearly 200 rapes occurred during a three-day period – between October 30 to November 1, 2014 — in the small town of Tabit in North Darfur.
Through 130 interviews Human Rights Watch learned that women and girls were routinely raped in their homes by government soldiers sometimes in front of their husbands and children. They were not shown any mercy often having several men rape them. Soldiers who left the military told HRW that women and girls were targeted because those in high command beliebed them to be rebel supporters.
“The deliberate attack on Tabit and the mass rape of the town’s women and girls is a new low in the catalog of atrocities in Darfur,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “The Sudanese government should stop the denials and immediately give peacekeepers and international investigators access to Tabit.”
If you’re like many of us you may have waited until the very last-minute to buy your loved ones Valentine’s Day gifts. While you can still run out and buy a wealth of flowers, cards, and chocolates, here are nine virtual Valentines’s Day gifts you can give that also give back.
Vaccine Ambassadors: There is no doubt that vaccines save lives. Vaccines are one of the best ways to show love for children around the world. Buy vaccines with love for children whose lives can be saved by this easy intervention. $10 vaccinates 19 children against the measles.
Friday, February 6 was International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation. Individuals, corporations, NGOs, the media, and foundations rallied together to raise awareness about FGM. Over 140 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM and it is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
Press Conference on Engaging Health Workers to End Female Genital Mutilation at the United Nations
UNICEF announced its largest fundraising appeal in history, $3.1 billion, to provide assistance to 62 million children who are victims of armed conflicts, natural disasters, and infectious diseases. This latest appeal is a $1 billion increase over UNICEF’s 2014 appeal.
“A staggering 1 in 10 of the world’s children – or more than 230 million – currently live in countries and areas affected by armed conflicts. Children have the right to grow up happy and safe, and should not have to fear that they will be targeted by combatants,” said Caryl Stern President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “I have seen firsthand the devastating impact that living in a conflict zone – without protection or access to water, medicine, food and school – can have on children.”
Annual fundraising appeals routinely rely heavily on the private sector, corporate partnerships and large philanthropic organizations to provide critical funding to help the world’s poorest. Today, 1 in 10 children are living in countries with armed conflicts including Syria, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq. These conflicts cause children to be deprived of basic necessities like food, water, an education, and shelter. While UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories, there are certain hotspots where children need added assistance.
Guest post by Erin Sosne, Policy and Advocacy Officer for the Advocacy and Public Policy Department at PATH. This post originally appeared on DefeatDD.org.
With the measles outbreak dominating the US vaccine-related news (and jeopardizing a trip my two-month old baby and I planned to take to visit family in southern California), I wanted to share some positive news.
Last week, I joined mothers (and fathers) around the world and took my baby boy to receive his first series of childhood vaccines, including the vaccine against rotavirus. As a person working on vaccine-related policy issues, I awoke with a number of emotions and thoughts running through my head: