One in 10 of the world’s population - up to 828 million people - will go to bed hungry tonight.
Extreme weather and drought have collided with the impact of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and rising inflation and now threaten the world’s most vulnerable children and families.
Right now, families of sponsored children are being impacted by skyrocketing food prices and our church partners are feeling the pressure to meet the emergency needs of the children and families in their care.
Amid this growing crisis, we’re so thankful for your ongoing support which is helping our 8,500 local church partners deliver essential care to some of the most vulnerable children and families.
To keep you updated on how Compassion is supporting your sponsored child during this time, here are answers to 10 questions you may be asking.
1. What is global food insecurity and how is it affecting Compassion’s local church partners and children?
Food insecurity occurs when a person doesn’t have regular access to enough nutritious food. It’s caused when food simply isn’t available or when a person doesn’t have the resources to obtain it, like a family living in poverty. At its worst, severe food insecurity means a person has no access to food for a day or more.
As of mid-May, Compassion's partner countries of Burkina Faso, Haiti, Uganda, Togo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar have all reported increased food insecurity, with Ethiopia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar already actively providing food packages to vulnerable families, using Disaster Response and Global Food Crisis Appeal funds.
2. How is Compassion responding?
Our response is two-fold, meeting children and families’ urgent nutrition needs now while working towards sustainable, long-term solutions to help build food resilience.
Thanks to your support, our local church partners are currently providing immediate food packages and/or unconditional cash transfers to households deemed vulnerable to food insecurity. This includes children and families in Compassion’s programme, local church partner staff, pastors and community members.
Cash transfers are a secure and cost-effective method which enables local church partners to continue to meet children’s urgent needs, empowering caregivers to decide where to direct the transfer to best support their family.
In the second phase, local church partners will provide long-term food security through distributing seeds, fertiliser, livestock, and training on how to build and maintain home gardens and small-scale farms.
3. How well placed is Compassion to tackle this problem?
The Local Church
Compassion partners with more than 8,500 local churches around the world. These local partners are best positioned to assist in this crisis because they have established decades of trust and relationship within the community— the church was there before, will be there during, and will remain long after the crisis.
Meet some of the amazing local staff and volunteers from Compassion projects around the world and discover how they are meeting the immediate needs of their community.
Sustaining Local Economies
Church partners can deliver relief supplies. These supplies, including food, are purchased, (if possible,) within the local community to sustain local economies. If this is not feasible, national offices will work to find the best and closest source for necessary relief. The goal is to promote local economies whenever possible.
Thanks to your sponsorship, participants receive routine health screenings that enable local staff to monitor your sponsored child’s health. When a crisis hits, this means there is already a strategic and targeted response in place. Church partners are trained to identify malnutrition and hunger and take immediate action.
Over the past two years of the pandemic, local church partners have been providing food support to families facing hunger, but now the crisis is skyrocketing so too is the number who need help.
4. Will this impact normal activities at my sponsored child’s Compassion project?
Where possible, Compassion church partners will continue to run project activities, in line with any existing COVID-19 guidelines in their area. If there are outbreaks of violence or political unrest the situation will be closely monitored, and each national country office will modify the delivery of the programme to keep children, families and local partners safe.
5. How will I know if my sponsored child is impacted?
During this time, it’s understandable that you’ll be concerned about the well-being and health of your sponsored child. To protect the privacy of your sponsored child and their family we treat all health information as sensitive data therefore we won’t be able to share specific information with you.
We’ll be keeping our news and prayer pages updated with the latest news and prayer requests from our national partner offices. Here you’ll find more information about how the global food crisis is impacting your sponsored child’s country.
Your sponsored child may choose to share how food insecurity is impacting them and their family in their letters. Here are a few ways you can sensitively reply:
- Let your sponsored child know that you’re regularly praying for them.
- Write out your specific prayers for your child and their family. Tell him or her that you are praying for their family members by name (if you know them).?
- Tell your child that although you don’t know exactly what they are going through you are thinking of them. If appropriate, you could share a verse that has got you through a difficult time.
6. How will the situation affect children and local partners in the coming months?
We've seen the prices of food, cooking oil, and fuel increase over the last few months. That will likely continue or worsen, impacting households already stretched thin on income. Children living in poverty are likely to be at increasingly severe risk of malnourishment or undernourishment.
Similarly, the costs for Compassion’s local partners to provide meals for participants as part of normal project activities will increase—and families will be even more reliant on those meals.
7. I thought my sponsorship donations cover my child’s nutritional or food needs?
Yes! Your sponsorship funds provide supplements to fight against malnutrition, which may include a meal or snack at their Compassion project. Your sponsorship also covers education support, healthcare, tutoring and mentoring, and the care of the local church.
Over the past two years of the pandemic, local church partners have been providing food support, including delivering more than 23 million food packs to hungry children and their families. But now the crisis is skyrocketing and so is the number who need help. The cost of providing this urgent support exceeds what sponsorship giving can provide. That’s why we’ve launched our Global Food Crisis Appeal.
Will you stand alongside Compassion and our church partners as we take action? Your donation to our Food Crisis Appeal will provide emergency food packages to children and families vulnerable to food insecurity. What’s more, your generosity will also help provide long-term, sustainable solutions to food insecurity.
8. Why is Compassion not addressing the food crisis here in Ireland?
As a ministry, we feel specifically called to serve children in poverty around the world. We believe this is the mandate God has given us and that it is the best stewardship to focus our time and efforts on the more than 25 countries where we work.
We do however acknowledge the need of families here in Ireland and we wholeheartedly support and pray for other Christian charities who are focused on helping them during the cost-of-living crisis.
9. I’m struggling with my sponsorship donations, what can Compassion do to help?
We understand the rise in the cost of living is impacting many people. If you are experiencing difficulties, please call our friendly team on 01 513 3719 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are a number of options we can offer, and we’d love to discuss how we can best support you.
10. How can I be praying for my sponsored child?
As well as practical support, it’s also important to turn to our Heavenly Father and lift up all those facing food insecurity. Please join us in praying for:
- Children, families and communities experiencing acute hunger.
- God’s miraculous provision as families try to survive with what little they have.
- Compassion’s local church partners who are seeing hunger first-hand and responding to meet needs.
- Peace in countries where social and political unrest is causing food scarcity. Please pray for conflicts to cease and for global food supply chains to be restored.