Poor economic conditions and disasters have contributed to an increase in the need for emergency food assistance for poor children according to a recent report.
The report released by Children International, a U.S.-based humanitarian organization, reveals the number of children and families receiving emergency support increased in 2010 from the previous year.
Job loss, illness, death of the family breadwinner or natural or man-made disasters were the main causes of the need for emergency food support.
According to the report, natural disasters in Guatemala, Philippines and Chile were factors in the spike in families suffering from an inability to work to pay for food.
Many families’ incomes or ability to provide food were drastically reduced by the effects of a hurricane, volcano eruption or earthquake either temporarily or more long-term.
The report says a faulty global economy is also at blame for an upturn in the number of poor children and their families who are moderately or severely malnourished.
Unemployment in addition to living on less than $1.25 a day poor families were forced to reduce the meager quantity they consume even more.
Children International’s president and CEO Jim Cook said, “Poor children and families are suffering tremendously. It is our duty to respond to this global crisis and support the children and families living in desperate times with the help of our partners.”
To address the exploding need to feed and nourish poor children, Children International has established a Lifeline Food program. The program works to improve the immediate access to food and food insecurity by providing the following:
- emergency family support and disaster response
- school feeding programs
- provision of ready to use therapeutic foods and integrating other family members to improve nutrition
- nutrition rehabilitation programs
With the worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa, Children International has also reached out to its partners to provide relief to help starving children in Somalia and Kenya.
In response to the call for help, Children International will work with its partners on the ground to provide financial aid for the nutritional relief and recovery of refugees in the Horn of Africa, the area hardest hit by the famine.
Part of the contribution — $25,000 — will be given to UNICEF to provide emergency assistance to children at the largest refugee camp in Kenya.
More than 1,500 people arrive at refugee camps daily. Children suffering from severe malnourishment will receive nutritional food along with vitamins and vaccinations to protect them from measles and polio.