Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger (known internationally as Action Contre la Faim, or ACF) is an international relief and development organization committed to saving the lives of malnourished children and families while seeking long-term, sustainable solutions to hunger. Recognized as a world leader in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, Action Against Hunger specializes in responding to emergency situations of war, conflict, and natural disaster. Their innovative programs in nutrition, water and sanitation, food security, health care, and advocacy reach more than 5 million people in over 40 countries, helping vulnerable populations regain their self-sufficiency. Humanitarian aid

History

Action Against Hunger (ACF) was established in 1979 by a group of French doctors, scientists, and writers with a mission to end hunger worldwide. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Professor Alfred Kastler served as the organization’s first chairman.

ACF moved immediately to provide desperately needed assistance to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, famine-stricken Ugandan communities, and Cambodian refugees in Thailand. As ACF expanded to address humanitarian concerns in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the Balkans and elsewhere in the 1980’s and 1990’s, it became recognized as a leading innovator in humanitarian aid and hunger relief. Action Against Hunger’s Scientific Committee pioneered the therapeutic milk formula (F100), now used by all major humanitarian aid organizations to treat acute malnutrition. As a result, the global mortality rate of severely malnourished children under the age of five has been reduced from 25% to 5%.

Action Against Hunger – USA was established in 1985 and became the first member of what is now the Action Against Hunger International Network, known also as Action Contre la Faim (ACF). The network currently has headquarters in five countries – France, Spain, the United States, Canada and the UK. All members of the Action Against Hunger International Network adhere to a charter of principles that forms the foundation of humanitarian commitment: independence, impartiality, nondiscrimination, free and direct access to victims, professionalism, and transparency.

Action Against Hunger’s involvement typically begins with emergency relief in response to a crisis, but relief is always reinforced by longer term programs enabling victims to regain their autonomy and the means to live independent of external aid. In the short term, Action Against Hunger addresses hunger and malnutrition through feeding centers, food and supply distributions and by providing water and sanitation facilities in emergency situations. In the long term, ACF provides training in nutrition, water and sanitation, food security, and health care to ensure self-sufficiency and to assist communities in rebuilding. ACF relies on the skills of hundreds of international experts and over 6000 local (national) staff to develop programs that are well adapted to the needs of its beneficiaries.

Attack against workers

Action Against Hunger recently lost 17 of its workers in a town called Muttur who were working in post 2004 Tsunami reconstruction effort in Sri Lanka due to violence. The independent Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission has implicated the government forces but the government currently denies it and is conducting an investigation.

Programs

Their innovative programs integrate activities in nutrition, water and sanitation, food security, health care and advocacy.

Nutrition Programs

Saving the life of a severely malnourished child can be a matter of hours. ACF sets up therapeutic feeding centers to treat malnourished children. They also help control and prevent malnutrition through child-growth monitoring, nutritional surveys, and public education. Therapeutic feeding centers, at the heart of their emergency programs, save children from dying of acute severe malnutrition through rigorous programs of medical treatment. Re-nutrition products and protocols defined by the nutrition department are the basis of our interventions in emergency situations.

Water and Sanitation Programs

Water is the leading weapon against hunger. Access to safe drinking water and better sanitation allows improvement in the state of health of communities and prevent the spread of diseases. ACF provides access to safe drinking water by drilling wells, tapping springs, and installing water systems. They train local teams and whole communities to maintain equipment and work with the population on the importance of clean water and sanitation.

Food Security Programs

To protect food security in the long term, it is essential to support local agriculture and economies by ensuring access to new resources. They distribute seeds and tools as well as conduct training programs in income-generating activities such as farming, gardening, animal breeding, and food conservation. Food security programs put people on the road to self-sufficiency.

To respond to crises ACF often must distribute food for immediate survival needs. The choice and quality of foods (which must take cultural factors into account) and identification of the neediest beneficiaries are key elements for defining the appropriate type of aid. In post-crisis situations or in order to prevent a recurrence, it is essential to support local agriculture and broaden a population's economic options by supplying inputs (seeds, fertilizers, tools, etc.), new techniques, and strengthening community resilience to future crises.

Health Programs

A vicious circle exists between disease and malnutrition. A malnourished child is more vulnerable to diseases than a well-fed child. A sick child, weakened by illness, often becomes a victim of malnutrition. It is therefore necessary to address disease in order to eliminate hunger. ACF sets up mother and child health centers to provide immunization and pre/post-natal care. Their public health programs train medical staff, provide medicine, monitor and control epidemics, and rehabilitate clinics.

Advocacy Programs

Action Against Hunger raises awareness about hunger and seeks to alert the international community when human rights, especially the right to food, are violated. Their advocacy and public awareness efforts aim to effect institutional and cultural change to help create a world without hunger. Action Against Hunger is in the process of starting the HungerForce, a network of community and school based chapters dedicated in their fight to make hunger history. [ [http://www.actionagainsthunger.org/involved/students.html Student Outreach | Action Against Hunger ] at www.actionagainsthunger.org]

Notes

External links

* [http://www.actioncontrelafaim.org/ Action Contre la Faim (France)]
* [http://www.actionagainsthunger.org/ Action Against Hunger (USA)]
* [http://www.justiceformuttur.org/en/muttur/ Justice for Muttur - Action Contre la Faim (France)]
* [http://www.accioncontraelhambre.org/ Accion Contra el Hambre (Spain)]
* [http://www.aahuk.org/ Action Against Hunger (UK)]
* [http://www.actioncontrelafaim.ca/ Action Contre la Faim (Canada)]
* [http://www.observatoire-humanitaire.org/fusion.php?l=FR&id=1 Observatoire de l'action humanitaire ]
* [http://www.observatoire-humanitaire.org/fusion.php?l=GB&id=1 Aid Watch ]
* [http://www.intelligentgiving.com/charity/1047501 Intelligent Giving profile of Action Against Hunger UK]


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