Peace Corps Recognizes World Food Day
October 16, 2009WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, on World Food Day, Peace Corps volunteers will continue their work to address food shortages and improve food security in the 74 nations and local communities that they serve in worldwide. World Food Day is a global event designed to increase awareness and understanding about food security and promote informed, year-round action to alleviate hunger.
Peace Corps is committed to addressing food security challenges at the grassroots level. Since Peace Corps' inception in 1961, Peace Corps volunteers have addressed the adverse impact of food shortages in the countries they serve. Projects have ranged from fish farming and the introduction of small scale irrigation systems to improvements in food processing and marketing. Volunteers have also helped address food availability and nutrition through a variety of projects, including building school gardens, growing agricultural microenterprises and educating others about good nutrition.
Peace Corps volunteers are working across sectors in agriculture, information technology, education, microfinance, small business development, and health and HIV/AIDS to help address food security issues. The following are some examples:
- In Nicaragua, volunteers are helping to establish community banks with revolving loan funds that provide farming families access to low-cost grain silos. The grain silos allow farmers to store their corn and bean crops, access their crops all year and sell surplus crops at the time of their choosing.
- In communities affected by HIV/AIDS, volunteers are helping families improve nutrition. In Namibia, a Peace Corps volunteer is working with an HIV/AIDS support group to help build a fish pond. The group harvests the fish, earns extra income by selling surplus fish and improves the nutritional intake of the community.
- Peace Corps volunteers in Guatemala are assisting farmers groups in accessing new markets for their products and working with womens groups to establish home gardens and improve poultry raising techniques.
The following video highlights some of the financial and geopolitical reasons behind food security issues and details Peace Corps volunteers efforts to improve agricultural techniques and food security for communities abroad.