A mother carries her child on her back whilst waiting for an action against hunger-run malnutrition clinic

How we're helping children in conflict zones

Hunger is one of the biggest threats to children in conflict zones. Here's how we're making a difference.

By Action Against Hunger

Nov 15 2018

The news of violence in Yemen and other countries is inescapable. The reality remains, though, that so many vulnerable families face a daily struggle to survive in conflict zones. In fact, 60% of undernourished people around the world live in a warzone. 

Action Against Hunger is working in countries such as Yemen, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support families suffering from hunger due to deliberate acts of burning agricultural land, poisoning water wells, bombing food markets and destroying or confiscating harvests.

Violence continues, but our work does too.

WE HELP CHILDREN LIKE OSAMA

Did you know that of the 13 million people in Yemen at risk of starvation, 4.2 million are children?

Osama (left) with his brothers and sister.

At the age of 13, Osama was orphaned and left to care for his younger brothers. As the conflict in Yemen grew, Osama and his brother were forced to move between towns, being passed from one relative to another. Although extended family members were able to provide shelter, the children lacked a stable source of income to buy basic essentials and feed themselves:


“We, as children, had to take care of ourselves because we had no parents to do it for us.”


Osama and his brothers have gained some vital independence after receiving food and essential supplies, such as soap and blankets. But their story is just one of millions. Families are finding it increasingly difficult to gain access to the basic services they need. 

You can help. By making a donation to Action Against Hunger for our Children in Conflict appeal this Christmas, you will help provide vital support to children and families in conflict countries and around the world.

THE MOST URGENT CONFLICT SITUATIONS

YEMEN

Despite difficulties with access, we still run vital nutrition and health programmes in Aden, Hodeida and Hajjah. We manage acute malnutrition by distributing food and providing cash or food coupons. We’re also improving communities’ access to clean water, distributing hygiene kits and providing training to Yemeni health workers.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The DRC has the most internally displaced people (IDPs) in Africa. Since 2016, a staggering 1.4 million inhabitants of Grand Kasai have been forced from their homes, escaping violence perpetrated by a variety of armed groups. We provide health and nutrition assistance to pregnant and lactating women, and children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.  We also provide psychosocial support to communities that have lost their harvests due to ongoing conflict.

NIGERIA

In Nigeria’s Borno State, where the agricultural sector has been decimated as a result of the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency since 2009, many vulnerable people are facing food insecurity.

To respond, we implemented a Porridge Mums programme that allows women to meet, learn and discuss child feeding practices. This is so vital for vulnerable populations, often forced to flee violence leaving their crops and resources behind. Porridge Mum groups ensure that children under five, and pregnant or breastfeeding women, receive an additional nutritious meal every day. The groups also provide a strong foundation for the promotion of infant and young child feeding practices, providing support for breastfeeding and regular malnutrition screenings for children under five.

Action Against Hunger | Help save children in conflict zones
Action Against Hunger | Help save children in conflict zones

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Photos: Guy Calaf / Action Against Hunger