Adaptations in Adversity: Stories of Resilience and Innovation
This post is written by Clarissa Perkins, Agrilinks Team.
The food security community is not new to adapting during times of adversity.
In 2007 – 2008, global food shortages sent food prices skyrocketing, exacerbating hunger in already vulnerable communities. Out of this global crisis, the U.S. Government's Feed the Future initiative was created to strengthen resilience and end hunger, better enabling the food security community to do the same while adeptly navigating changing landscapes. From the Ebola outbreak to the fall armyworm crisis, food security advocates have helped global communities weather unpredictable shocks.
Since its creation, Feed the Future has helped:
● 23.4 million people climb out of poverty
● 3.4 million more children live free from stunting
● 5.2 million more families out of suffering from hunger
Feed the Future and the greater food security community continue to tackle today’s challenges head-on. For example, in Colombia, a project has pivoted from in-person counseling to tele-counseling to educate families on breastfeeding and nutritious foods. In Zimbabwe, partners distributing food now distribute via smaller groups, so fewer people are gathering at the same time. They have also begun sharing critical information on nutrition and COVID-19 through community radio and social media.
Thanks to the hard work over the past ten years, communities are also better placed to withstand shocks from the pandemic. For example, despite trade challenges from COVID-19, the Growth, Enterprise, Employment and Livelihoods (GEEL) project in Somalia saw a 29 percent increase in sesame exports.
This September, Agrilinks will feature projects that have adapted in this time of adversity. This is not the year that many expected, but scores of projects have quickly adapted and continue to build towards long-term, sustainable growth.
Here at the Agrilinks Team, we invite the food security community to share how you have pivoted in your projects. You are welcome to use the guiding questions below to help share how you have surmounted the challenges this year:
- How has the pandemic changed the landscape in your project’s country of work?
- How has your project adapted during the pandemic?
- What difficulties did your project face in making their adaptation?
- What were the results of your adaptations?
In honor of Feed the Future Week, you are also welcome to share your experiences in a Feed the Future Twitter Chat on Wednesday, September 16, from 12-1 PM EDT. The discussion will cover hope in times of crisis and how to continue to make progress in the fight against hunger, poverty and malnutrition. Make sure to follow @FeedtheFuture on Twitter and use the hashtags #CultivatingHope #EndHunger to participate in the chat.