May 13, 2021
When you go to bed on an empty stomach, how do you feel? Are you uncomfortable, restless, and annoyed? Do you get hangry and snap on a few loved ones? Or, have you never gone to bed with an empty stomach and have dozed off feeling content and satisfied?
Unfortunately, while it’d be wonderful to say that everyone goes to sleep after a good meal, the reality is so much different. Every night, about 8.9 percent of the world’s population goes to bed on an empty stomach. For context, that’s 690 million people sleeping without having a good meal.
Since 2014, that number has slowly grown, and if it continues to increase at its current rate, it will exceed more than 840 million by 2030. One initiative focused on reducing this number is the Sustainable Development Goal, which calls to end hunger by 2030. However, it’s unlikely this goal will be achieved.
Experts predict that an additional 83 million to 132 million people will experience chronic hunger because of COVID-19. What’s worse is that hunger knows no boundaries and is seeping into every country. People everywhere are encountering the effects of this problem because it doesn’t show preferential treatment. However, despite that truth, some individuals are experiencing hunger at a higher rate.
How many people are affected by hunger in Africa?
According to research, Africa has the second largest number of undernourished people, only falling behind Asia because its population is smaller. Out of 1.2 billion people living in Africa—compared to the 4.4 billion people in Asia—513.8 million individuals are facing hunger.
When it comes to those who are specifically impacted, people living in Sub-Saharan Africa are the most affected. This region is home to the largest number of individuals experiencing extreme poverty, with 413 million of them living on less than US$1.90 per day.
Additionally, 319 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to reliable drinking water sources. In 2018, 239.1 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa were also considered undernourished.
Which countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are impacted by hunger?
Within Sub-Saharan Africa, there are many countries, including well-known ones like Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia. However, there’s one country, in particular, that’s extremely impacted by hunger, and that country is Eswatini.
This small kingdom is home to 1.1 million people, and research suggests that 347,000 Swazis, including 180,000 children, are encountering acute food shortages. Even worse, around 60,000 Swazis in Eswatini are facing emergency levels of hunger, which means they could starve or die if they don’t get immediate assistance.
There are multiple reasons for the extreme hunger in Eswatini. Those reasons include the following:
The government is working hard to increase job opportunities in Eswatini, but currently, Swazis are struggling to find jobs, especially because of COVID-19. The pandemic decreased many homes’ income, making it hard to buy food.
Poverty is a reality for many Swazis in Eswatini. Without jobs, there are few ways to make money. And the unusually high commodity prices make it even more challenging to buy food.
Droughts and erratic rainfall don’t allow farmers to grow crops easily. Without consistent rain, not only do Swazis have less food, but they also have less income to buy what they need.
How to help decrease hunger in Africa
Reducing hunger in any place isn’t easy, especially when many people are affected by the problem. But at Khutsala Artisans, we’re committed to helping decrease hunger in Africa, and specifically, in Eswatini.
This kingdom in Southern Africa doesn’t get the attention that it deserves, so we work to raise awareness around its hunger crisis and do what we can to help alleviate the problem. If you want to come along for the ride, there are multiple ways you can get involved.
Heart for Africa is a faith-based humanitarian organization that has many objectives, including decreasing hunger in Eswatini. One way you can help is by sponsoring a child.
Heart for Africa has multiple children’s homes that care for orphaned and vulnerable kids, and currently, the organization is loving and providing for over 280 children. It costs $225 to care for one child, and as Heart for Africa’s family grows, more needs will arise.
If you want to help care for the children in Eswatini to make sure they’re getting the nourishment they need and other things—like medical care and clothing—sponsor a child through Heart for Africa. Your contribution will help ensure Swazi children are getting the nutritious food and attention they deserve.
Khutsala Artisans is a Heart for Africa initiative, and all of our profits go toward Heart for Africa. When you purchase jewelry or home decor from Khutsala Artisans, you’re not only buying beautiful products. You’re also helping support the children at Heart for Africa.
Additionally, Khutsala Artisans helps provide jobs in Eswatini. We only employ Swazis, and we’re also a part of SWIFT, which stands for Swaziland Fair Trade. As a member of this organization, we pay fair wages to our workers, so they have the financial resources they need to buy food and other necessities.
If you want to help Khutsala Artisans maintain its success and grow to employ more Swazis, buy some handmade jewelry and home decor. Your purchase will help Khutsala Artisans support employees and hire new ones so that Swazis have the money they need to regularly purchase food.
In 2009, Heart for Africa started an initiative to help churches in rural Eswatini feed orphaned and vulnerable children in various communities. More than 350 churches applied for Heart for Africa’s assistance, and 30 churches from the most rural areas in Eswatini were chosen.
Through a partnership with Feed My Starving Children, Gleanings for the Hungry and International Egg Foundation, Heart for Africa provides daily nutritious dry meal packages and hard-boiled eggs to churches. These churches then give food to the children in need, which helps reduce malnutrition.
The goal is to eliminate malnutrition in the 3,500 orphans and vulnerable children that Heart for Africa serves through its church partners. If you want to contribute to this goal, you can donate to the Hunger Initiative. Whether you do a one-time gift or recurring monthly gift, your contribution will help reduce hunger in Eswatini.
Because Khutsala Artisans is part of such a meaningful mission, you may want to do more than just purchase products. If that’s the case, you can become an affiliate for Khutsala Artisans.
Through the affiliate program, you’ll receive a customized hyperlink to Khutsala Artisans’ website. Whenever you share it, you’ll be able to track how many clicks, orders, and sales have come from it.
And remember, becoming an affiliate means you’re contributing to the profits that Khutsala Artisans provides to Heart for Africa. Additionally, it also means you’re helping Khutsala Artisans grow so that we can hire more Swazis who need the financial resources to buy food.
The road to decreasing hunger
Reducing hunger in Eswatini doesn’t happen overnight or within a couple of years. It takes time. However, your involvement, along with the many others who are contributing their time and effort, will make it easier to provide access to food, decrease food security, and make a long-term impact.
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