Thanks to you, Action Against Hunger carries out innovative, lifesaving programs in nutrition, food security, water, and sanitation, health, and advocacy. These programs reach millions of people annually, restoring dignity, self-sufficiency, and independence to vulnerable populations around the world.
Action Against Hunger’s nutrition programs treat and prevent acute malnutrition in those most vulnerable, including young children and women who are pregnant or nursing. The programs are launched most often during times of crisis: when an earthquake devastates a city, when civil war tears apart a country, when drought leads to famine, when families flee violence only to confront hunger. The context for our programs can be as varied as the crisis: from rural mountain villages, to ethnically divided cities, to the confines of overcrowded relocation camps for internally displaced persons.
A vicious circle exists between disease and malnutrition. A malnourished child is more vulnerable to diseases than a well-fed child. A sick child, weakened by illness, often becomes a victim of malnutrition. It is therefore necessary to fight disease to combat hunger. We set up mother and child health centres to provide immunization and pre/post-natal care. Our public health programs train medical staff, provide medicine, monitor and control epidemics, and rehabilitate clinics.
Action Against Hunger’s integrated approach to hunger involves extending water and sanitation services to communities faced with water scarcity, unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene: We truck water into affected communities during emergencies, decontaminate wells and install hand-pumps. Employing sophisticated geophysics, we locate water resources and tap aquifers. We protect natural springs and pipe water into villages and health centres, and rehabilitate damaged infrastructure to ensure access to adequate sources of clean water. We build latrines, bathhouses and introduce basic sanitation infrastructure to keep communities hygienic.
Action Against Hunger’s food security programming forms a continuum with the work we do in nutrition. While our therapeutic nutrition programs restore to health individuals suffering from acute malnutrition, our food security programs prevent future outbreaks by supplying needed inputs (seeds, fertilizers, tools, fishing nets, etc.), introducing new techniques, and fortifying coping mechanisms and livelihoods through training in income-generating activities such as farming, gardening, animal breeding, and food conservation. Our food security programs put people on the road to self-sufficiency.
Because Action Against Hunger works where populations face routine violations of fundamental human needs — access to food, drinking water, land, and livelihoods — we have advocacy strategies in place to alert, inform, and influence decision-makers and politicians. These advocacy strategies allow our agency to address the underlying causes of hunger while delivering direct assistance to those in need. In practice, humanitarian advocacy enables us to engage in political arenas in ways that don’t threaten our programs on the ground, the security of our field staff, our access to vulnerable populations, or our neutrality.