Long-Term Solutions for Battling Hunger
- 1 in 8 people goes to bed hungry each night.
- In some countries where IOCC works, 1 in 3 children is underweight.
- Delivering food is a temporary solution to hunger. A more permanent and sustainable solution is giving people the means to produce more food for themselves.
- Sound agriculture practices are at the heart of the solution to hunger. When you support IOCC, your donations go towards local organizations and responders who help communities develop better farming and animal husbandry practices.
Agriculture is one of the few sectors of the Greek economy that has not been undermined by the country’s financial crisis. This has attracted many city dwellers to move to rural areas and seek an opportunity to make a living off the land.
Through a new IOCC initiative that establishes 24 cooperatives, an estimated 850 families (nearly 3,000 people) will benefit from financial and technical support to improve the productivity and profitability of their family farms. This includes the purchase of large equipment (e.g. tractors, cultivating and harvesting machinery) and other tools and machinery needed to efficiently produce crops, run a dairy farm (milking equipment and milk storage), livestock production (e.g., sheep and cattle) and forestry (e.g industrial saws for cutting timber).
As you might guess, this equipment and machinery is too costly for small family-run farmers to afford on their own. But when bought for a co-op, many farmers can share the machinery which increases everyone’s productivity considerably. And they have profitable businesses.
High unemployment, an unreliable water supply and living in isolation have severely limited steady access to food for families in Gaza. More than 1,410 households (with about 11,000 family members) are receiving agricultural supplies and training to grow family gardens or raise livestock (e.g. sheep, chickens, rabbits, honeybees). Their training includes animal husbandry so there will be more food, marketable produce and other farm products to sell.
You help make it possible for IOCC to work in cooperation with the Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese of Raška and Prizren and the Visoki Dečani Monastery in Kosovo. In this mainly rural area about two-thirds of the population lives in remote villages. Most are small-scale farmers trying to eke out a living with limited farm equipment and an often unreliable water supply.
Non-majority rural families are learning how to raise their levels of nutrition, standard of living and agricultural productivity. This comes primarily through the building of new greenhouses and digging of new wells to improve access to water.
During the armed conflict in 1999, all 1,000 residents from Brestovik and Siga fled their homes to seek refuge in Serbia and Montenegro. Only 58 families, approximately 135 people, have returned to their homes in the two villages and now live in isolation and uncertainty.
Winter came early to Kosovo, with snow capping mountains above the villages of Brestovik and Siga by mid-October. But that didn’t keep Miodrag from providing his family of six a bounty of fresh, organically grown produce using the greenhouse that he built last year with assistance from you and IOCC.
You’re helping these families extend their growing season with greenhouses. Equipped with his newly gained skills and semi-automatic pipe-bending and CO2 welding machines provided by IOCC, Miodrag and his fellow villagers have produced greenhouse frames for himself as well as nearly 30 more neighboring families who are also reaping the benefits of greenhouse farming.