MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 25, 2020
COVID-19 and an Economic Downturn Leading Causes of Concern about Food Insecurity
MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the world, so do increasing concerns about food instability, particularly in Africa. Global humanitarian organization, Alight, is leveraging their active networks across the continent that have established food, agriculture and nutrition initiatives, bringing immediate focus on South Sudan and the Somali Peninsula to help empower vulnerable populations by coming together to directly address the situation as a unified community.
Since 1995, Alight has had a solid footprint throughout South Sudan, supporting and creating strong ties within displaced communities in order to reach some of the most remote parts of the country to provide clean water, shelter, protection, livelihood assistance, and most recently nutrition. With a wide range of food and nutrition initiatives that include screening of children, pregnant and lactating women for acute malnourishment, targeted supplementary feeding programs, and education and counselling around maternal, infant and young children’s sustenance, Alight has already surpassed their goal of the number of people they would reach in need of nutritional support in South Sudan by more than 150,00 people or nearly 150 percent in 2020.
“As an organization with deep humanitarian roots in some of the most vulnerable and hardest to reach regions, our teams on the ground have collaborated with grassroots activist and smaller organizations to creatively tackle the challenges many of these migrant communities and displaced populations are facing, in a human-centered way,” says Daniel Wordsworth, Alight CEO. “For example, just because food is a human need and food insecurity is a relatable problem, it is the way we are addressing it, which is to not only work together with the community to create solutions, but we are doing so via a sustainable approach that will make the long term difference.”
Over the last two years, Alight has been working with Somalis who are slowly returning to the once rich and successful fishing town of Kismayo, as well as people affected by the decades long conflict, to build livelihood opportunities through a local resource – fish. Conflict throughout the country effectively shut down the industry, with many fishing families fleeing Kismayo, resulting in the trade not being passed down from one generation to the next. Taking a two-pronged approach, Alight supported an initial assessment of the area’s irrigation system followed by the implementation of programs to enhance the capacity of sustainable fishery value chains, along with the establishment of a poultry farm for women within the community. The impact thus far has reached close to 16,000 people and resulted in improved income generation while also improving local food security.
A creative and eco-friendly way Alight has enhanced these efforts is through a recent collaboration with the Somali Stability Fund and the Jubaland Ministry of Fishery and Marine Resources to deploy a fleet of five mobile, solar powered fish kiosks around Kismayo. The kiosks come with a solar-powered refrigerator and a built-in cooker that can oven-bake or fry fish, thereby making access to fish easier for families throughout town.
To learn more about the work that Alight is doing and to support their efforts, please visit www.wearealight.org.
Established in 1978 by founder Neal Ball, Alight, formerly known as American Refugee Committee, provides health care, clean water, shelter, protection and economic opportunities to more than 3.5 million people in 19 countries each year. Alight believes in the incredible creativity, potential, and ingenuity of the displaced and works to shine a light on their humanity, the tremendous amount of good that’s already happening and the possibilities to do more. The organization exists to see and help every person make meaningful change in the world – from displaced and marginalized communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas to…anyone, anywhere. Learn more about Alight at www.wearealight.org.
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