Of the more than 840 million people who malnourished across the globe – 799 million of them live in the developing world. Each year, hunger and malnutrition claim the lives of six million children under the age of five. While malnutrition and food insecurity have many causes, such as drought, floods, armed conflict or political disruptions, most of widespread hunger in the world results from deeply rooted poverty.
Poverty prevents people from having sufficient access to nutritious food, as well as the means to buy farming equipment and other necessities to produce their own food. PCI is addressing large scale issues like world hunger and malnutrition by working with communities to distribute food through our school feeding and agricultural assistance programs.
PCI’s school-based feeding programs provide a nutritious daily breakfast to school children and give poor parents an effective incentive to send their children to school. By alleviating their hunger, students are better able to concentrate and learn during class.
We support the construction of family gardens and the provision of small livestock to diversify and improve diets, and we also empower farmers by training and providing them with the tools necessary to increase crop yields, market their products, and improve their grain storage capacity and irrigation techniques.
These projects also improve family income levels by promoting greater commercial enterprise. In particular, we target those most vulnerable to malnutrition – infants and young children – through nutrition counseling and breastfeeding promotion, growth monitoring, and supporting positive nutrition models within the local community.
Good nutrition has also been called the key to helping those living with the HIV virus. Where malnutrition prevails, the immune system is weakened, and although antiretroviral therapy is becoming increasingly available, treatment can fail when patients lack proper nutrition. PCI is ensuring that those receiving treatment for HIV/AIDS also have access to the food and nutrition they need to complete therapy successfully.