To allow people to live a life in dignity, securing food supplies is a crucial area which is being supported and developed in many countries by the German Red Cross and its sister societies.
Undernourishment and malnutrition still threaten millions of people worldwide and put them to enormous challenges. This is why the GRC is committed to ensure food security in emergencies as well as ongoing crisis. The aid provided by GRC can be implemented in many different ways.
Emergency food supply
Especially after natural disasters or in crisis areas, the affected families and communities can quickly face great need. The destruction of agricultural areas does not only leave the people without a source for food production, but often also without an economic basis. In these cases the food supply for the affected population must be quickly restored. In close cooperation with its sister societies the GRC ensures short and medium term food supplies for the affected parts of the population.
Long term development of agricultural production
After crisis and disasters, thousands of people are quickly threatened in their very existence. The measures taken by the GRC to secure food supply aim to ensure the fulfilment of the needs in the long run and to enable the consumption of enough, safe and nutritious foods in the long term future.
This means that food security encompasses a number of different dimensions: Availability of food, access to food, use and utilisation of food and secure food supplies over long periods of time.
One focus area of the work the GRC does in food security is to promote agricultural production with a special emphasis on on supporting smallholder farmers in rural areas. Considering innovative approaches as well as social and environmental aspects, the work promotes increasing productivity, diversification as well as processing and marketing, amongst others.
Local seed markets are strengthened as well as seed propagation to enable farmers to produce their crop sustainably. Imparting knowledge on health and nourishment, hygienic food storage and food preparation besides general hygiene standards is a crucial aspect with respect to food production.
This way the German Red Cross locally contributes to improve agricultural production and in the long run to ensure food security for the population.