Specifically, the World Food Programme is assisting by fixing roads in rural areas so that farmers can get their produce to market. Roads enable farmers to provide for their families because they are the only means by which farmers can bring their food from the farm to the consumer. The WFP helps in the critical process of assisting farmers to get their products to markets on time before they spoil and the farmers lose months of hard work.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — Sierra Leone, a small country located in western Africa, is one of the poorest nations in the world. Ten years of bloody civil war, which ended in 2002, destroyed the nation’s resources and infrastructure and has left the people struggling to recover. The government is also weak and unable to provide its citizens with basic life essentials such as clean water, food and sanitation.
About 75 percent of people in the country live below the poverty line with half living on less than one dollar a day. Those most affected by poverty and hunger reside in rural areas. The problem stems from low productivity because of poor health, malnutrition and lack of education. Those living in rural regions also have limited access to land, technology and markets. All of these factors lead to low agricultural production that then causes the price of food to increase. This cycle keeps those in rural areas impoverished.
However, both the government and the international community are taking steps to break the cycle of hunger in Sierra Leone. With help of international aid, the country has begun reconstruction of its infrastructure and movement toward stability.
Often during the rainy season, roads are washed away or become blocked. Farmers, then, have a harder time bringing their goods to market, which affects the rest of the community. With less food available, the prices dramatically increase. As a result, many are left hungry because they cannot afford to purchase the expensive food.
The WFP’s work helps to break this cycle. The organization’s primary objective is to connect farmers to markets through the construction of reliable roads. Passable roads allow the farmers to use vehicles to transport the food instead of walking, which they have to do when the roads were impassible. With more food available to the people, it becomes more and more affordable, which causes fewer people to go hungry.
But solving the issue of hunger in Sierra Leone is more complex than developing the access to reliable roads. The international community is helping to address those issues as well. For example, the nonprofit organization Action Against Hunger is working with the poor in the country, focusing specifically on those most in need in the rural regions. Action Against Hunger works to provide essentials such as clean water, sanitation and hygiene to the people. With safe water and better health the poor will be able to live healthier, longer lives and work their way out of poverty.
Poverty and Hunger in Sierra Leone is a pervasive and complicated problem. But with both local and international effort, bringing prosperity to all those in the country is achievable.