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12/19/2014 - 15:54
Focus on Women, Food For Assets

Building Resilience
For WFP, the resilience of a community is measured by its capacity to prevent, resist and respond to unexpected challenges (shocks) and to recover from and adapt to them in a sustainable way. In regions of Mali that are beginning to emerge from the recent series of crises, WFP is working with communities to ensure they have the ability to be resilient in the face of future shocks.  

Many of the resilience projects currently underway in Mali have been made possible thanks to funding from the European Union. The EU and WFP are working together to find the most effective means of building long-term, sustainable solutions to food insecurity and malnutrition in Mali.

Planning Together
In the region of Ségou, WFP and its partner, World Vision, have been working with the villagers of Dorolo since February of 2013.

Before getting to work, WFP and a group of community representatives sat down to discuss the specific challenges facing their community and what sorts of projects would be most effective for them.

The community told WFP that their main problems were a lack of food and rain. Without sufficient water, they explained, agriculture was difficult and food hard to come by.

Taking the First Step
Together, WFP and the community decided that the first step toward building their long-term food security would be to create a grove of fruit trees and a market garden, which would be run mainly by the women of Dorola. To make this project possible, WFP would help them build several water wells, a water pump and a composting area, where villagers would learn to create organic fertilizer for their own use and for sale.

When we visited in November of 2014, the trees were still too young to bear fruit. However, women had individual plots where they were growing vegetables to feed their families. 

Demouny Diarra, a mother of five, told us that she and her family have really benefited from the garden project.

"Before this project – I can’t even tell you – there were so many problems. Especially for women – we were so tired. After the harvest, all the women would go to the interior of the country to work as cleaning ladies so they could buy food for their children,” she explains.  “But, with the garden, what do we have? Food!” she laughs. “You see that plot of trees and peppers over there?” she asks, pointing. “That’s mine. Since starting this work, I haven’t had to pay anything at the market."

Multiple Angles
Building resilience requires attacking the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition from multiple angles.

The community of Dorola also told WFP that the villagers had already started building a new, more direct road to make it easier to get to and from the local market. They explained that work was slow going as able-bodied workers also have families to feed and weren’t able to devote much time to the project.

Food for Assets 
WFP has seen first-hand how food assistance for assets – using food, cash or vouchers – can result in immediate gains for food security. To support the community in achieving their goal, WFP provided family food rations to those working on the road so that they could complete the project more quickly without having to worry about how they would feed their families.

On a recent visit to the village, the Mayor, Yaya Traore, told WFP


We have many challenges here in our community, including a lack of food and rain. This road has helped us deal with our food problems because now we can easily transport food home from the market.

Mr. Traore also told WFP that the community has created a committee, which is responsible for ensuring the upkeep of the road, and he has set up a fund in the village’s budget to pay for its regular maintenance.

A Bright and Independent Future

The project to build resilience in Dorolo began in early 2013 and the community quickly saw the benefits. The following year, the villagers were eager to continue building on their success. In 2014, when WFP and World Vision returned at planting time to continue their support, the women were already in the garden, working.

Etienne Dembele, one of the community project managers, said these projects have gotten people excited for the future and he let us in on some of the village’s plans:

“What we’d like to do next is start cultivating rice. We’re thinking of building a dam to block the water, which would give us a pond to grow rice. Being able to grow and eat our own rice – that’s our hope.”

WFP is currently working with communities similar to Dorola across Mali – helping them build their resilience, improve food security and reduce malnutrition in the process. WFP intends to continue working with and supporting these communities until they can be self-sufficient.  

In Mali, a recent pastoral crisis, successive droughts and political instability have left many communities in a precarious situation – a situation that could be devastating if another shock hits before they can fully recover.

12/19/2014 - 13:40

On their way to a health workers’ camp in Port Loko district, about 45 miles east of Freetown, Michael Redante, WFP’s Emergency Telecommunications and Information Management Officer, and his team members passed a house cordoned off by a red line with a sign reading ‘’QUARANTINED."  A woman living in the house had recently tested positive for Ebola and had been transferred to a nearby Ebola treatment centre.

Redante was shocked - just a few days earlier, the family had been living a normal life. Now, they were cut off from the world. They looked scared.

As they entered a camp for health care professionals working at an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) near Port Loko town, Redante and his team met Nicolai Kristensen, the camp manager, who welcomed them.

‘’We have no reliable cellular network out here,” Kristensen soon confessed.  ”My team needs medical supplies but it costs us $5.00 a minute to call out. What do we do if we need to buy a list of equipment that is three pages long?’’

Five health workers were just returning from testing blood samples at a laboratory in the ETU. They needed to inform healthcare teams that a patient had to be relocated. But, due to the poor internet connection, it was taking hours to send a single email.

Health workers in the camp also told Redante how they missed family members and friends, with whom they were unable to talk for weeks on end. In Sierra Leone, the mobile network outside Freetown is weak and in some cases non-existent.

Responding to the health workers’ needs, Redante and his colleagues rolled up their sleeves. In no time, they had put up a satellite dish and wifi equipment provided by WFP partners, and Ericsson Response. After two and half hours’ work, camp dwellers were able to communicate with their colleagues, friends, and families. Redante managed to make a video skype call to Rome, 4,500 kms away.

“The sense of relief and comfort I got from seeing and hearing a familiar and loving face gave me some hope to continue doing this work,” he said.  

For health workers and Ebola patients, this technology means that lives can be saved through timely communication.

Led by WFP, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster is dedicated to providing humanitarian workers with the innovative technology they need to fight Ebola efficiently. Among its ranks is a team of Information and Telecommunications specialists from standby partners including Ericsson Response, the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief and WFP staff who donate their time and expertise in response to emergency situations.

Reliable internet for communications is a necessity for health workers and humanitarian actors fighting Ebola in West Africa. In order to care for infected patients and prevent the disease from spreading, aid workers need to be able to coordinate from the frontlines, ensuring they have the right supplies, staff and information. The WFP-led Emergency Telecommunications Cluster provides communications equipment and services in remote areas so that humanitarians can fight Ebola effectively. Comprising a network of partners from humanitarian, government and private sectors, this cluster relies on dedicated individuals who are willing to face risk and adversity to support the humanitarian cause.

12/19/2014 - 09:03

Judith has a lot to smile about.

Just a few years ago, a bad harvest would have meant hunger for her family and the entire community. Now, thanks to her participation in a World Food Programme-supported project for local farmers, she and many of her neighbours have learned useful tools such as collective marketing that have allowed them to sell their crops at higher prices.

[quote|When the harvest is good, I can even employ temporary workers from neighboring villages to help me farm my five acres. It’s a great feeling to be able to give jobs to other people.]

While her eldest four sons attended only primary school, her two youngest boys are attending secondary school – a first for Judith’s family! She’s able to send her youngest boys for more education thanks to her own hard work and success as a farmer.

Through the farming collective - Gakiuma Cereals Marketing United Group - Judith and many of her neighbours are learning the power of working together and the nutritious benefits of the food they are producing. By feeding their children the food they grow, everyone wins.

Like Judith, we’re building brighter futures in Kenya.

Together, with our partner Knorr, the World Food Programme is giving more children access to school meals – because nutritious food should be within everyone's reach.

We’re working with smallholder farmers to bring home-grown school meals to more schools in Kenya. When school meals are locally grown, it’s not only children who benefit – but entire communities.


Share a meal and double your impact today. When you share a meal, Knorr does too!

Give today and your gift will be matched.


As the mother of six boys, a farmer and the leader of her farming group, Judith is the perfect example of a local saying - Empower a woman, and you empower an entire community.

12/16/2014 - 10:11
Responding to Emergencies

KADET, Unity State - I am Nyankein Kong. I am 35 years old and I have seven children. This year has been difficult. It started with the war. There was fighting in Bentiu (about 60 km north of Kadet) and people ran here to be safe. But then there was also fighting here. It was just difficult and we did not know what to do. Whether to stay or run. Whether we should plant or not. I planted a few crops but then the rain came and the floods washed away most of what I had planted.

You see the food I have here it is not enough. I harvested only a little bit. We have been surviving on this ‘water lilly’ (she pulls a container half full of dried water lilly). This is what we have been eating and we have to go into the river to harvest it. Then we dry the fruit and we try to make a porridge.

I have heard that the people giving food (WFP) are here. I don’t know what to say to them apart from the fact that we have been surviving on water lilies. What we want is peace. We also need food. But if we had peace and we had fishing nets and fishing hooks, it would be better.

MABIOR, Jonglei State – I am Rebecca Nyanwut. I am 40 years old. When the fighting started I was in my village Piomawan near Mabior. I fled with my five children and my husband to Guolyar (Awerial County of Lakes State). There were many people who had fled the fighting. So many were from Duk County. Life was very hard there and the little children in particular had problems. You know we are used to having fresh milk which makes our children healthy but we had lost our livestock.

After eight months I decided to leave Guolyar with my two youngest children. I moved closer to Mabior but the problem is that very little food had been cultivated. Even the little food that was grown was washed away leading to a poor harvest. When I heard that there was going to be a food distribution I was so happy. I heard they were also going to distribute the porridge (Super Cereal Plus) which is good for little children. I am really thankful for the food assistance which prevents us from going hungry but the food that comes from the air (WFP airdrops) does not give our children milk.

I hear that they (the parties to the conflict) are talking about peace. We hope that this will bring peace. We want peace so that we can cultivate our own food and take care of our livestock which produce milk for the children.

*Both Rebecca and Nyankein spoke to WFP’s George Fominyen through interpreters

It is one year since conflict erupted in South Sudan. The fighting has seriously affected food security in the country, leaving it on the brink of a hunger catastrophe. WFP and its partners have been at the forefront of efforts to bring lifesaving assistance to over 2.5 million people affected by the conflict. All these people just want peace so that they can return to their lives. Two women who received assistance from WFP and its partners in Mabior (Jonglei State) where WFP assisted nearly 40,000 people in November and in Kadet (Unity State) where the agency provided food to 10,000 people in November, talked about their experiences and wishes.

12/15/2014 - 17:48

FARAFENNI – Just outside the back gate of Yalal-Ba Lower Basic School is an empty piece of land: the school farm, which unfortunately could not be cultivated during this cropping season due to lack of rain. This area of The Gambia, the North Bank region, is amongst the most food-insecure and vulnerable areas in the country. Drought has been chronic, especially during the last two years. Malnutrition is prevalent, with rates above 10 percent. WFP provides daily mid-morning meals to students between the ages of 4 - 14 made of rice, salt, peas and oil. Beneficiaries under the school feeding programme are also supported through school gardens, which serve as a learning centre and also a source of vegetables and fruits to supplement the children’s diet.


Local participation

Collaboration with the local community and other organizations is important for WFP’s success. The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education is striving to create a National School Feeding Policy and working towards local procurement.  Teachers work to educate their students, and smallholder farmers work hard to meet the requirements to sell locally grown commodities to schools. School meals are also a source of income for local women, including  Fatou Bah.

“When I am not working on my field where I grow rice, maize and a few vegetables, I am at the school cooking for the children,” said Fatou, a cook at Yalal-Ba Lower Basic School.

Fatou wakes up every morning at 5:00 am and walks several kilometers to the school, where she and two other women prepare the students’ daily lunches. They serve up to 187 children daily.

This year, each parent committed to giving the school a bundle of millet.

“The millet will be prepared for the children, but some of it will be dried and used as seeds for the next cropping season,” explained Musa Jallow, the school’s garden master and grade one teacher. Millet is a good source of micronutrients, which will enrich the daily meals. Local participation is not a new facet of the programme, however: in addition to providing school children with locally-produced food, communities also assist in school gardening and the day-to-day management of school feeding.

Fighting hunger…

High food prices and the lingering effects of a severe food insecurity crisis in 2012 have given new importance to school feeding as a vital means of social protection. Nationally, two thirds of households face food insecurity. Giving children meals at their schools encourages poor families to send their children to the classroom—and keep them there.

“When there is food in school, the children stay at school ... Most times there is little or no food at all at their homes,” said Fatou.

In addition to combating hunger, school feeding also complements educational opportunities. Studies show it is difficult for children to learn without adequate food and nutrition.

“School meals make our work easier. When there is food the children come to school willingly and participate actively in class.” said Jallow.

Towards sustainability…

In efforts to work with the Government towards sustainable school feeding programmes, WFP prioritized advocacy and community engagement in 2014. From trainings with farmer organizations on procurement procedures and standards, to drafting policy and sharing best practices from other countries’ school feeding experiences, the locally driven school meals programme is picking up steam.

In line with the new home grown approach to school feeding, WFP and the Government, through the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, procured over 60 mt of rice from smallholder farmer groups to feed schoolchildren in 2014.  In 2015, local procurement will be expanded to cover other locally grown commodities such as beans, millet, maize, and findi, in line with local preferences in each region.

Besides the opportunity to learn, children look forward to two things at the beginning of a school year in the The Gambia: reuniting with friends and the daily hot meals that WFP provides to more than 100, 000 children, thanks to the European Union. 

12/15/2014 - 13:05

I had barely been back in the country for two months when fighting started in Juba last year. That night I heard sustained guns and explosions. The next morning I realised that my neighbour and four people had been killed. I had not really experienced gunshots in my life as I had grown up in Uganda where my parents had taken me to when I was four years old to escape the civil war between the North and the South (Sudan). I decided to immediately flee back to Uganda.

I wanted to continue my education but I had no money. I really needed a job. So when I heard that the World Food Programme was recruiting people who could go out with its teams to the field in South Sudan, I returned, applied and I was recruited as an enumerator.

When we travel to remote places to assist people in need of food, my job is to register people ahead of food distribution, identify those who are most vulnerable to ensure that they can be quickly assisted, and help in crowd control and food distribution.

The job comes with its challenges. You know most of us (enumerators) are young. Sometimes some of the community leaders try to force us to register people and they threaten to detain us if we don’t follow their instructions. We have to be firm and luckily we have the support of the team leaders and senior WFP staff members who travel with us. But at times it can be scary because you are in the middle of nowhere, in places where there has been fighting which means there are guns around. But generally people are kind.

However, one of the most frightening experiences I have had took place after a distribution in Akobo near the border with Ethiopia. We had stopped briefly at a market and one of my colleagues went to buy plastic bags which we would use during distributions the next day. Suddenly, we saw a crowd of people running away from the direction he had headed to. Next thing we heard were gunshots.

We could not see him as confusion spread around. I broke down in tears and cried. I thought he had been killed. Fortunately, after a while we saw him. He had survived. I don’t know which was worse for me: the days of fighting in Juba or that moment when I felt a colleague had been killed.

 I  have also been in a  canoe that overturned on the River Akobo which separates South Sudan and Ethiopia. We were travelling in the canoe to go and assist two villages which were on the other side of the river. We were four of us in the canoe when it capsized. I swam to the river bank but one of our team mates was not a really good swimmer and he swallowed a lot of water. I don’t want to describe how he felt and how frightened we all were.

Despite all of this, I like the job.  It has really allowed me to discover my country. It has given me a full understanding of my country. I have learnt that there are people starving, people living in flooded marshlands, people who can’t harvest crops because of fighting. It may sound funny to some people but I feel better when I am in the field than when the teams are on transit in Juba. Yes, it is difficult staying in tents, sometimes our food only comes two or three days after we have arrived meaning that we have to survive on snacks but I just want to go and help people. These are my people. What will be better is for this war to end. There is just too much suffering out there.

KADET - Doru Gladys Oliver had only been back in her home country, South Sudan, for two months when fighting erupted. The 20-year-old now works as an enumerator for WFP travelling to hard-to-reach areas to provide assistance to people in need. She tells us her story.

12/15/2014 - 11:55
Preventing Hunger

1. More than half of the 1.8-million population lives below the national poverty line of Maloti 246 (local currency) per month (less than a dollar per day).

2. Some 23 percent of the population is HIV positive, the second highest prevalence rate in the World. 

3. There are 360,000 people living with HIV and 26,000 new HIV infections every year.

4. A quarter of the population (447,000 people) was said to be food insecure in August 2014.

5. Some 23% of people of working age are unemployed.

6. Stunting (low height for age) affects 39.2% of children. In 14.8% of cases, it is severely. 

7. Some 47 percent of children aged 6-59 months suffer from iron deficiency while 26 percent of women aged between 15 –49 are also anaemic.

8. Total life expectancy is 42.4. In women, life expectancy is 45.3 and men 39.4.

9. Of every 100,000 people, 405 suffer from tuberculosis. This is one of the highest rates in Southern Africa. 

10. Lesotho has 360,000 orphans and vulnerable children. Many of them lost their parents to HIV and AIDS. 



  • The Bureau of Statistics, the Demographic and Health Survey 2009 and 2011, the Annual Joint Review Report by Ministry of Health 2014, Lesotho National Social Protection Strategy by the Ministry of Social Development, 2014, Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) 2014 

Here are ten facts that give the measure of the hunger situation in Lesotho, the country with the second highest HIV rate in the world. Please help WFP raise awareness by sharing these facts on Twitter.

12/15/2014 - 11:06

“The study will provide us with compelling evidence on the consequences of child undernutrition, as well as the justification to increase investment in nutrition and the potential economic returns if we are to take aggressive measures towards eliminating stunting,” said General Director of Planning and Economic Cooperation Mbaiguedem Mbairo at the launch in early December.

Some 38.7 percent of children in Chad are stunted, or have impaired growth as a result of undernutrition during the early stages of their lives. 

“If the trend of child undernutrition continues, the continent’s desired economic development agenda will not be achieved,” said Dr. Janet Byaruhanga, Health Officer at the Department of Social Affairs, speaking on behalf of the African Union Commission.

Chad will be the ninth country in the continent to take part in COHA. It has already been undertaken in Egypt, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland and Uganda. Chad will implement the study - along with Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique and Nigeria - in 2015.

COHA is a pan-African initiative led by the African Union Commission and the New Partnership for Africa Development, with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

“The goal of eliminating stunting, and more broadly of eliminating hunger, will be achieved only through a sustained and coordinated effort,” said WFP’s Africa Office Director and Representative to the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa, Thomas Yanga. “We hope that when the economic cost of hunger in Chad becomes apparent, the findings and recommendations of the study will pave the way for financial support from all stakeholders.”

Previous COHA studies have revealed African economies to have lost the equivalent of between 1.9 and 16 percent of Gross Domestic Product to child undernutrition.

N’DJAMENA – A groundbreaking study of the impact of hunger on Chad’s economy is starting in the New Year. Part of a series of surveys known as the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA), it will examine the effects of child undernutrition on health, education and national productivity in Chad.  

12/12/2014 - 16:35


By Tsitsi Matope

Maseru, Lesotho-

Lesotho is putting into practice an old saying: “it takes a village to raise a child”, as it refashions its national school feeding programme to become more inclusive of the local agricultural sector. Lesotho recognizes it will take a community to feed a child, and to also create a sustainable, home-grown feeding programme that benefits both children and smallholder farmers. 

 On 18 November 2014, government and various parties endorsed Lesotho’s National School Feeding Policy.  The policy was formulated by the Ministry of Education and Training with support from WFP, and outlines how relevant sectors will cooperate to provide free and nutritious school meals to children throughout the country. WFP played a critical role in the designing of the “home-grown” component of the national policy, which will facilitate stocking schools’ food supplies by buying largely from local farmers.

As the agricultural sector in Lesotho takes on more responsibility for feeding its children, the home-grown concept shows exciting potential to benefit local communities and develop the country’s rural economy.

Currently, school feeding in Lesotho is divided between WFP (covering 200,000 pupils) and the government (which caters for another 200,000). Food for Lesotho’s 400,000 school-going children is imported and bought from local sources. 

[quote|“A home-grown school feeding programme will facilitate the access of farmers to a predictable local market and ultimately promote agricultural and rural development."]

However, with the “home-grown” component of the new National School Feeding Policy, WFP will work with the support of the government to procure a bulk of its food for the programme from local farmers. The aim is to help smallholder farmers increase their production levels and revenue, and also diversify their operations into food processing. Through a Share-Crop initiative that complements the National School Feeding Policy, the government is partnering with smallholder farmers to share 50 percent of all costs of food production, including land preparation and inputs such as seeds and fertilizer. The farmers and government will share the produce, which will be allocated to various programmes, including school feeding.


“A home-grown school feeding programme will facilitate the access of farmers to a predictable local market and ultimately promote agricultural and rural development,” said Lethusang Hanyane, the Deputy Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

With WFP, the government and other stakeholders working together through a variety of creative and collaborative approaches, Lesotho is making great strides towards a year-round crop production to benefit school feeding.   


.... As stakeholders show support for “Home-Grown” school feeding

12/12/2014 - 15:19
Climate Change, Preventing Hunger

ADDIS ABEBA – Zemada used to struggle to repay the loans she took out to buy seeds and fertilizer for her plot of land. Once, the situation got so bad she even found herself in court. But things changed after she enrolled in an initiative, run jointly by WFP and Oxfam America, which set out to help farmers like her become more resilient to climate shocks such as drought.

So, in 2012, after another drought hit her crops, she received an insurance payout of 2,100 Ethiopian birrs (around US$105). This allowed her to repay her loan for improved seeds and fertilizers, as well as buy two sheep that produce milk for her family. Some 300 other farmers in her village of Abraha Atsbeha benefited in the same way.

WFP/Lorenzo Bosi

(Zemada Kebeb, close-up. Photo:WFP/Lorenzo Bosi)

[quote|"I was always very afraid about what could happen if a drought occurred at the end of the season“]”I was always very afraid about what could happen if a drought occurred at the end of the season,” says Zemada, who has no husband to help her with her farming work. “Now we have no fear because we have seen that insurance works.” 

Today, Zemada has 5 sheep and she has not had to sell any belongings to repay her loans. Other farmers were able to establish beehives and started making honey for sale. 

Building long-term resilience

A key strength of R4 is that it links the insurance scheme to existing initiatives. One of these is an Ethiopian government programme in which chronically food insecure people receive food or cash in exchange for work to help build long-term resilience to food shortages (the Productive Safety Net Programme, or PSNP).

The R4 initiative was launched by WFP and Oxfam America in 2011 to enable vulnerable rural households to increase their food and income security in the face of increasing climate risks. It builds on the experience of a programme set up by Oxfam and the Relief Society of Tigray in 2009 -- the Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation (HARITA) programme. 

To date, R4 has helped 25,000 farmers in Ethiopia and 6,000 farmers in Senegal through a comprehensive risk management approach that improves natural resources management and reduces the impact of climate shocks when they occur. 

R4 reduces the impact of uncertainty about the weather by providing insurance coverage to farmers. They get this cover in exchange for work on soil and water conservation structures, through a system called Insurance for Assets (IFA). This means that the poorest and most vulnerable farmers, like Zemada, are able to make investments that increase their productivity. Better off farmers also have the option of purchasing insurance with cash. 

When a drought hits, farmers receive automatic pay-outs, so that they do not have to take desperate measures such as selling off livestock or tools to survive, or taking their children out of school. 

In addition, the work carried out through Insurance for Assets, and in particular the planting of fruit trees (mango and avocados), will allow Zemada to improve the nutrition of her family and provide some additional cash. She is also able to irrigate the fruit trees, and others in the village can irrigate their crops and obtain three harvests per year.

A flourishing environment

[quote|"Thanks to the assets created through these initiatives, the environment is also changing in our village“]Although in 2013 and 2014 there have been no payouts, Zemada continues to benefit from Insurance For Assets work, and is protected by insurance. 

Thanks to the assets created through these initiatives, the environment is also changing in our village: we have more water, we planted more trees and we have less heat than before,” says Zemada referring to the benefits of R4 in combination with the Productive Safety Net Programme.

WFP/Lorenzo Bosi

(Zemada poses close to a newly planted Mango tree. Photo:WFP/Lorenzo Bosi)

R4’s ultimate goal is to help people diversify their livelihoods, take risks and opportunities, and become more resilient to climate disasters. Results from R4 in Ethiopia show that the initiative is helping improve farmers’ resilience. Insured farmers save more than twice than those without any insurance, and they invest more in seeds, fertilizer and productive assets. Women, who often head the poorest households, achieve the largest gains in productivity. R4 currently operates in Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi and Zambia.

Read more about  the resilience-building initiative.

Zemada Kebeb is a farmer living in Ethiopia’s drought-prone Tigray region. In the past, recurring droughts threatened to push her and her four children into chronic hunger. But now, with the help of a resilience-building initiative called R4, Zemada no longer fears a lack of rainfall and has enough stability to start growing new things like mangos.