Photo: Kathleen Prior for Action Against Hunger.
To save lives this holiday season:
A letter from Executive Director Danny Glenwright.
Dear Action Against Hunger supporter,
It certainly wasn’t the year we hoped for.
As we enter the final weeks of 2017, we are thinking of the 3.1 million children whose lives we weren’t able to save this year. From the cholera epidemic in Yemen to the devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean, 2017 was a challenge.
You can ensure the year ends on a positive note.
Earlier in 2017, we saw that individual Canadians like you made the difference between life and death for children in South Sudan. Your commitment to taking action against hunger put an end to famine in that country, saving the lives of over 31,000 children.
Around the world, malnutrition remains the leading cause of death for children under five. Thanks to you, Action Against Hunger has been fighting childhood malnutrition and helping communities become self-sufficient for almost 40 years.
With your help, we can continue to reach the forgotten this holiday season. People like Dildar Begum, one of many Rohingya mothers currently struggling to keep their children alive.
Dildar gave birth to her son while traveling the dangerous road from Myanmar to Bangladesh on foot with five children in tow. She still hasn’t given her newborn son a name.
She told us she breathed a sigh of relief when she finally arrived at the refugee camp in Bangladesh. Why? She saw an Action Against Hunger banner in the distance. She knew of our work in Myanmar and instantly knew her son had a fighting chance at Action Against Hunger’s Emergency Centre in the refugee camp.
But our emergency team can’t support mothers like Dildar without you. Her children’s lives depend on your generosity.
For example, your holiday gift of a survival kit for $110 will restore a malnourished child like Dildar’s son to health, give her family a basic shelter, and ensure the family have access to clean water. Gifts like this are not only life-saving, but are also a smart investment in a healthier, more productive and peaceful world.
But most importantly, your gift will ensure more children like Dildar’s son can see the new year.
We saw back in June that when Canadians come together, we can change the world, like we did in South Sudan. Your commitment directly resulted in the downgrading of the emergency from a famine, which is a technical term for the most severe form of food crisis.
Thankfully, donors like you were there to save lives.
Now, in Bangladesh, children make up more than half of the 604,000 refugees that have fled Myanmar. Escaping violence, children are arriving in Bangladesh right now without having eaten for days. They have lost their homes, their belongings, and often, one or both parents.
You can help these children this holiday season by giving them the gift of a full stomach, a dry place to rest their heads, and access to safe drinking water so they can make it to 2018.
Indeed, your compassion is crucial in the fight against hunger and in the lives of children like Dildar’s.
For all that we have accomplished this year, and as much pride as you should take in saving so many lives, our work is far from done. Without adequate resources in places likes Bangladesh, we may have to scale back or suspend our efforts. But with your support, we won’t lose another 3.1 million children to malnutrition in 2018.
That’s why I am asking you to be as generous as possible with your year-end gift.
In the next minute, two more children will die due to severe acute malnutrition. More, like Dildar’s new son, will have just arrived at camps such as those in Bangladesh — on the brink of death before they have even had the chance to live.
You know we can reduce that deadly toll. You can make sure kids like Dildar’s son will live to have a fighting chance, and a name.
Thank you for being a part of this lifesaving work.
Best wishes over the coming holiday season,
P.S. Remember: The deadline to receive a 2017 tax receipt is December 31.
P.P.S. It only takes $110 to provide a set of life-saving supplies for a family in a crisis.
To save lives this holiday season:
Faces of the crisis
Photos: Kathleen Prior for Action Against Hunger.