In Africa, temperatures are rising faster than any other continent and Madagascar is facing the world’s first famine due to climate change. And 11 million children across the globe are at risk from extreme hunger.
As world leaders prepare for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Action Against Hunger launches a campaign to highlight the link between the climate crisis and the devastating hunger crisis affecting millions of mothers and children across the globe.
The Mothers on the Frontline campaign – funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery – asks donors to dig deep to help mothers around the world feed their starving children.
Women around the world are more likely to experience hunger, as they skip meals to ensure their children can eat. But a malnourished mother will struggle to produce breast milk and will give birth to low birth weight babies, which continues the cycle of ill-health and malnutrition.
In Ethiopia, drought means there is no grass to feed livestock; no grass means livestock cannot produce milk; no milk means farmers cannot sell their produce to buy food to feed their children. Meanwhile, in southern Madagascar, mothers are resorting to feeding their children cactus leaves, due to the chronic shortage of food that has been caused by crippling droughts over the last two years.
The climate crisis is driving children to Action Against Hunger’s malnutrition treatment clinics.
As well as providing children with life-saving treatment for malnutrition, the charity is also providing farmers with training, equipment and seeds and teaching them be resilient to climate hazards.
In Guchi Town, 11-month-old Munira, pictured, started losing weight and rejecting food. Her mother took Munira to hospital, but they didn’t know what was wrong, so the baby’s condition continued to worsen.
Medina said: "Munira was very sick; she stopped taking breast milk. She did not eat and had no strength. I was so worried that I didn’t know what to do."
After months of seeking help from local hospitals, family members and neighbours, Medina found an Action Against Hunger clinic, where the team diagnosed her baby with malnutrition. Munira was given medicine and nutrient-rich food that helped her put on weight and replace some of the nutrients she had been missing. The clinic saved her life and mum Medina was elated.
She said: "I noticed her belly was getting bigger and her body was getting thicker. I was so happy, so happy."
Players have raised over £1.6 million for Action Against Hunger.