KENYA: HUNGER CRISIS ACROSS WIDOWED HOUSEHOLDS AS PRICES OF FOOD COMMODITIES GO UP.
Widowed households across Kenya have asked the government and supporting organizations to cushion them from an impending hunger crisis. This is after the price of essential commodities skyrocketed. The government recently reduced the prices of maize flour by 2 shillings which is still insignificant.
17% of Kenya’s population lives below a dollar a day. Widows living in low-income households make up part of these statistics. To afford maize flour, a staple meal in Kenyan households, these populations have to earn twice as much. The World Bank warns that the high food prices have triggered a crisis that will drive millions into extreme poverty, magnifying hunger and malnutrition while threatening to erase hard-won gains in development.
An unending cycle of poverty.
Given this, rising food prices have a greater negative impact on low- and middle-income households as they spend a majority of their earnings buying food.
“Everything is so expensive. I have 5 children who I have to take care of alone. My husband died and left me with nothing so I have to work very hard. But all of my earnings go to buying food and paying school fees.” narrates Joyce Tabitha, a widow beneficiary of The Goat Foundation.
Like Joyce, many other widows are experiencing the impact of inflation. Left alone to cater to households with some having no sources of income; they can barely afford food.
When the gross income of a population goes to expenses rather than investments, debt arises. If not, the quality of life will not be improved as all earnings are spent. This creates a wealth gap as the poor continue earning to meet their basic needs.
The Goat Foundation support
In the face of this crisis, The Goat Foundation in partnership with Financially Fit has deployed short-term and long-term responses to address food insecurity. This is by strengthening the capacities of widows across rural communities to efficiently cater to themselves.
So far, we have;
- ) Donated 500 goats to 250 widowed households living in extreme poverty across Kenya.
2.) Partnered with Financially Fit to educate our beneficiaries on social enterprises they can grow from our goat donations.
Equally, we are working to partner with agricultural-based organizations to help us in educating widowed farming communities on best practices to increase their total farm outputs.