Published in June 2022

There are ripples of unease about an impending global food crisis this year. Will there be enough food to feed everyone? It’s the question that is taxing governments and aid agencies around the world.

History shows that the poor and most vulnerable citizens of the world rarely receive enough food. And this sad state of affairs is not getting any better. The UN estimate that the number of those who have no secure source of food has doubled in just two years – from 135 million pre-pandemic to 276 million today. More than half a million are experiencing famine conditions. That’s five times more than 2016.

This year a perfect storm of factors is coming together to threaten global food supplies. The impact of COVID is still being felt in many parts of the world. Recovery has been patchy and slow and it may take some time for things to get back to the way they were. Conflict and war are disrupting the food supply chain with blockades preventing much needed food reaching the hungry. In some parts of the world, such as Ukraine which is a major grain producer, the normal cycle of sowing and harvesting has been disturbed.

"The impact of climate change on food production is also starting to be felt, threatening local food production and wiping out some of the technological gains made in recent years. The drought in East Africa for example is already leaving many hungry and with limited access to food and water."

History shows we have been here before with widespread hunger in vulnerable parts of the world. Aid agencies delivering food supplies will help to alleviate the immediate need to feed the hungry but humanitarian organisations are already starting to see sharp increases in food costs. And it’s getting more and more expensive to move food to places where it is needed.

Investment in local food production can help communities get the nutrition they need close to home and sand dams have a part to play. Once a community has a functioning sand dam in their locality, there is water to irrigate crops and support local agriculture. Food is produced for the local market and nutrition improves. Our own research shows increased food production from crops supported by a sand dam can result in a 54% reduction in the number of households that do not have a balanced diet.

The UN has set a target to end hunger. Sadly, it looks as if the problem is getting worse. All the more reason to help people grow local. Sand dams help communities in some parts of the world do just that.

Donate today: help communities recover from drought with sand dams

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