Of course, the success of humanitarian relief efforts to combat world hunger depends on a number of things. Aside from the obvious requirement of large amounts of funds, charities offering humanitarian relief to war-ridden or catastrophe stricken regions also need the compliance of the local governments of these countries to be successful. Evidence of this can be seen in Zimbabwe where food aid organisations were only allowed in after a power-sharing deal has been signed by the two ruling political parties. Yet the problem is still far from over as a potential 5 million people might be in permanent need of humanitarian relief aid in the next couple of years. Yet world hunger is not only limited to one country.
Through the years there have been a number of humanitarian relief organisations dedicated to end world hunger. And in appreciation of their efforts and to give you a chance to join the fight against world hunger, we'll be naming a few of the many who've bettered the lives of many.
World Food Programme
As a part of the United Nations, the World Food Programme (WFP) is actively engaged in combating world hunger around the globe. It is perhaps the most well known humanitarian relief agency fulfilling this role due to its many successes. Their aims are to “Save lives in refugee crises and other emergencies”, “Improve nutrition and quality of life of world's most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives” and “Enable development by (a) helping people build assets that benefit them directly; (b) promoting the self-reliance of poor people and communities”. - www.wfp.org
World Emergency Relief
The world emergency relief is both a religious fellowship of people around the globe and a charity bent of global humanitarian relief of world hunger and many other acts of kindness and generosity. According to their website, their vision is to “give children all over the world a living chance by addressing their practical, emotional, spiritual and economic needs, as well as the needs of their families and communities.”
Established in 1985 with headquarters in the US, World Emergency Relief has offices in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Holland and the Honduras. – www.emergencyrelief.org
One of the main combatants of world hunger and poverty, CARE is a humanitarian relief organisation focusing on assisting impoverished women throughout the world as well as survivors of war and natural disasters. Some of their humanitarian relief aims include:
Enabling individuals to help themselves
Providing aid to those in need
Fighting world hunger
For a full list of their aims as well as the opportunity to volunteer or provide your support for their humanitarian relief efforts, visit their website at www.care.org .
Who’s NOT Helping
In an age where international charity organisations are reaching out to nations with AIDS relief measures, food relief and disaster relief, one has to wonder why exactly are there so much poverty in the world. Is it because these international charity organisations fail to reach some of the most stricken and war-torn countries? Yes, perhaps. Recent news reports indicate that UNAMID members are being denied into Darfur, a region of Sudan subject to genocide and resulting disease and famine. Further south international charity organisations have only recently been able to gain access to Zimbabwe to help the millions who are in dire need of food and medicine.
And then there is of course the question of AIDS relief. In sub-Saharan Africa there are more than 22 million individuals infected with HIV/AIDS, a figure that accounts for almost 60% of the world's HIV/AIDS population. International charity efforts to supply AIDS relief to African countries have by and large remained unsuccessful due to a number of reasons. Key among these is the wide-spread corruption within the African governments to whom funds are supplied for the purpose of AIDS relief. In addition most of these governments often lack the knowledge and infrastructure to apply the funds supplied by international charity efforts appropriately.
Still, that’s not all there is to it – as with most things in life, there are indeed two sides of the coin. The question of AIDS relief and international charity has been a subject enjoying the limelight in the media recently. In the one corner, U2’s Bono and Sir Bob Geldof and in the other, Jobs Selasie, head of Africa Aid Action. It was the latter that thanked the philanthropic superstars for their efforts. Yet he pointed out that the money raised through Band Aid, Live Aid, and Live 8 all only serve to increase corruption. In addition, he mentioned that a number of African governments who previously only relied on 20% of their annual budget coming from international charity and foreign aid, now rely on it for 70% of their budgets. And unfortunately there are news reports that confirm the like.
Yet there are a number of international charity efforts who have drawn severe criticism. The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was an AIDS relief initiative started by President George W. Bush of America. Its goal as to fight the spreading of the HIV/AIDS pandemic by providing antiretroviral treatment to 7 million people in Africa and care for 10 million infected individuals. And the end of its initial program in 2008, PEPFAR managed to supply antiretroviral drugs to 1.2 million individuals, short of its target. Additional criticism includes the fact that a substantial amount of its budget went into a program that promoted sexual abstinence until marriage. This raised speculations of religious overtones in the AIDS relief program. Other key points which drew criticism was the fact that PEPFAR were not to fund needle exchange programs.
In the end it might take a combination of the two: international charity focused on providing AIDS relief as well as internal efforts by the various African governments to weed out corruption and ensure that their citizens receive the best available treatment or care. And in addition to international charity and AIDS relief, one can only hope that international mediation efforts also take place in those African areas most ignored by the world that suffer from continuous violence.