OXFAMExchange Fall 2009

Facing Down Hunger: The global food crisis one year later

Part of our role at Oxfam is to look hard at the face of poverty presented to the American public. Many of us were raised on images of hungry children with bellies distended by malnutrition, their eyes vast, hands extended. This was, we were told, the face of hunger.

But a hungry child exists in a larger context: if we nourish communities, they can nourish their own children.

The woman on our cover, Fatou Doumbia, and other women in her village in Mali, pooled their resources last year. They set aside nearly a ton of millet as a defense against the hunger they’d seen as food prices spiked. Hers is another face of hunger: determined, resourceful.

After the last harvest, Oxfam reached out to supporters to respond to the food crisis. We’ve devoted much of this issue to looking at what communities have done to avoid the kinds of hardships they confronted. When people living in poverty are hit by a food crisis or natural disaster, they lack resources to tide them over.

Oxfam works to help people build their resilience. Let respect and hope fuel your efforts to support women like Doumbia.

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