Strengthening livelihoods and addressing the challenges of food insecurity have always been priorities for Tearfund’s partners, and in the midst of a global food crisis, this work is as critical as ever.
Your ongoing support for these partners is helping them to meet immediate needs among hardest-hit communities, and build long-term resilience in the face of a crisis that stretches painfully into the future. As the stories below demonstrate, even in the midst of widespread suffering and challenges, lives can be changed and hope restored. Thank you – your generosity and prayers are making a difference and building up Tearfund’s partners as they serve as Jesus’ hands and feet in communities facing food insecurity.
The impacts of projects aimed at improving food security remain vital, as communities in Yemen continue to feel the grip of the global hunger crisis.
Over 16 million people are suffering from acute hunger, and 8.7 million lack access to clean water. Our partnership with Tearfund Germany in Yemen is helping to restore water points in communities, promote health awareness and provide training in agriculture and livelihoods so that people can provide for their families.
After years of struggle and frustration, the light of hope is coming back.
Somaya and her family are experiencing renewed hope after many years of difficulty, living through loss and instability in conflict-affected Yemen. Somaya and her three daughters live with her brother's large family. Over the past eight years, she and her brother depended on irregular income from seasonal work as agricultural labourers. There was often not enough food for the children. But through a food security project implemented by Tearfund Germany and a local NGO, Somaya received training and resources to raise chickens. “Today, I have two small chicken farms and sell eggs and chickens,” Somaya shares. “I am feeding my daughters, nephews and nieces. I cannot believe that I am having my own income. I started to think about the future after all the frustrations in my life.” She has been able to build up her business and repay debts to her neighbours, and through her leadership role in a village group, ensures that the voice of women and vulnerable people can be heard. “This is the first time in my life I feel that I am strong and I can do something to change my life. After years of struggle and frustration, the light of hope is coming back."
In southern Ethiopia, food insecurity is at emergency levels and there are indications that famine conditions are likely to develop there as well.
Tearfund is supporting our partner Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission in this region to provide cash and immediate support for approximately 1300 households, many of whom have left their lands and homes to be closer to essential relief. In the Tigray region in the north, while we celebrate the recent peace agreement between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, not enough of the desperately needed food and medical supplies are getting through and there are an estimated 13 million people in need of food assistance. Critical infrastructure such as hospitals and schools were badly damaged and looted in the fighting, and people’s coping mechanisms have been severely eroded during this protracted crisis. It is going to be a long and slow road back to any sort of recovery.
Please pray for the region as people mourn the loss of loved ones, and as the task of providing food, medicine and restoring basic services continues. Pray for the people in these places as they try and plant for the next harvest, and pray for good rains to let their crops grow. Give thanks for our partners who have provided food and shelter to thousands of internally displaced people, and who are now also helping communities in the south ravaged by drought.
Recently, International Program Officer Marshall Currie visited our two local partners in South Sudan. He shares here about the impact of their work in communities facing the very real impacts of hunger, and the challenges – and hope – ahead:
“Both of our partners in South Sudan are working with farmers to help them increase their yields and cope with the increasingly unpredictable climate. They are forming Farmer Groups, which is a practice that is encouraged by the government, and setting up ‘field schools’ where farmers can learn and try out new and improved farming methods and skills. They are beginning to experience the benefits that learning and working together can bring.
I met Jason, secretary of one of the 25 Farmer Groups established by our partner Sudan Evangelical Mission (SEM). His group was harvesting their ground nuts when I visited. Despite Jason’s wide smile, he said that the rains were too heavy this season, and he showed me the damage done to their young bean and maize crop. Jason was worried about the yield they would produce – both in their group plot and on their individual farms - and that there will be hunger again after harvesting. But he remained positive that the group would stick together and try again next planting season, and that their new skills and knowledge would serve them well in the longer term. They had grown their resilience - their ability to endure.
There was also a feeling among Jason’s group that ‘it’s better for us to stick together than go it alone’. As well as farming, they had recently formed a savings group with training from SEM and were looking forward to the benefits that saving together might bring them. Diversifying income improves a community’s resilience.”
In addition to generously supporting the work of Tearfund’s partners, many of you have helped to make an impact through your advocacy as part of Help Fight Famine. In February, the Australian Government announced $25 million of additional funding to fight famine and provide other essential support to the Horn of Africa, Pakistan and Yemen. This comes on top of the $15 million we welcomed in October taking the total to $40 million since Help Fight Famine was launched. The funds will go towards providing food, water and other essential support, delivered through Australian and local NGOs, the Red Cross and UN.
Many of you wrote to MPs and took action to help drive this campaign. Thank you for all your support! We continue to advocate for $150 million in urgent famine relief but this is another good step in the right direction.
The impact of your support means that our partners can continue to deliver both immediate assistance and long term initiatives to help communities withstand future hunger shocks.
Your donation to Tearfund’s Our Daily Bread Appeal will be used to help tackle this hunger crisis, directly supporting our partners as they work to restore health, livelihoods and hope in communities hardest hit by hunger and food insecurity.
Help hope break out in the midst of hunger
Support our partners as they work to restore health, livelihoods and hope in communities hardest hit by hunger and food insecurity.