Resilience and Responsibility in Addressing Food Insecurity

By Aneesh Chatterjee

Indian children having a meal

Indian children having a meal. Photo: AkshayaPatra/Pixabay

Global chains of supply and distribution are not unfamiliar with disruptions and upheavals, the likes of which caused by the tumultuous invasion of Ukraine being particularly pertinent to the discussion of food security. The July 2022 Briefing Notes on the matter of food shortages in Ukraine, issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), predicts 60% of the country’s population to be plunged in poverty by 2023 as a result of the war. The presence of conflict, forcing farmers to reduce their operation sizes, abandon harvesting sown crops and lose access to vital seeds and fertilizer, will not only exacerbate current food shortages, but spiral the crisis into a greater dearth of resources, driving up food prices in the process.

Muno is 5 years old. She is carrying on her back her 2 year old baby brother. Recently, she and her family were displaced from the Bay region of Somalia after the drought killed all their livestock. Muno is not old enough to take responsibilities, but seems like the circumstances forced her to help her mother and take care of the younger child. Photo: Ismail Salad Osman Hajji/Unsplash.

A crisis in one nation is not contained in a world as connected as it is today, and the war’s impact is felt directly on existing food security crises in Africa. Wheat exports to Somalia, for instance, are primarily supplied by Russia and Ukraine, the shipping of which has stopped since the outbreak of war. Rising prices and shortages caused by the war exacerbates the existing drought in the Horn of Africa, with up to 13 million people suffering from severe hunger. In the case of Somalia, drought and famine have internally displaced over a million people in 2022, with over 513,000 children predicted to suffer from acute malnutrition, and more children dying of hunger every day.

Food availability in Africa is impacted by the war to the degree that food production is predicted to drop by 20% across the continent, as farmers now face a 300% hike in fertilizer prices. As demonstrated by Somalia’s current crisis, made worse by the constraining of global food supplies, food security is in dire need of greater attention from the most influential global actors.

The following GlobalWA members are working to address the food security crisis through versatile, innovative and impactful projects.

Exhaustive endeavors for crisis management

For a matter as widespread as food security, some organizations employ multiple approaches, spanning several sectors of focus, to achieve effective results.

In the context of a multi-sector approach to addressing the hunger crisis, one example is Resonance Global. Specializing in a broad-spectrum approach to such complex challenges, Resonance leads initiatives in finance, systemic innovation and collaborative partnerships, developing case-specific models to address issues faced by agricultural economies and niches.

Four methods are promoted by Resonance as core processes to improving the global system of food production and consumption: generating cross-sector partnerships between private, non-profit and governmental entities; intra-sector partnerships where private entities transcend competitive production to collaborate toward the same goals; open-source innovation, where opportunities to develop solutions to problems are granted not only to key players in the sector, but outside parties as well, and blended finance – including grants, investments and equity – such that active parties can transition their economic practices to an ecosystem-focused model, rather than one that prioritizes commodities.

The 2020 partnership between PepsiCo and USAID, coordinated by Resonance, exemplifies the value of cross-sector partnerships. By working to dissolve barriers to entry for women in the workforce, this partnership sought to empower women in driving forward economic prosperity, agricultural resilience and food security. Intra-sector partnerships are exemplified by One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B), a platform for private entities to collaborate on matters of agricultural development, food security and biodiversity. Through the system of non-competitive collaboration, Danone and Mars worked with the Livelihood Funds to facilitate a sustainable supply chain for coconut farming in the Philippines, empowering over 5000 farmers through training in sustainable practices, advanced agriculture and ecological awareness. The 100+ Accelerator Program demonstrates the impact of outsourcing innovation. By allowing outside entities – private startups from over 20 countries – to pitch solutions to complex issues, the program invests in and develops chosen companies to work with current partners in implementing their solutions. Finally, the aforementioned Livelihood Funds is an essential system of blended finance, building opportunities for financial collaboration between businesses,  governmental actors, non-profit entities and other investing parties.

Resonance demonstrates the vital importance of multi-sector engagement when addressing the global food security issue, building a four-pronged approach and generating widespread opportunities for worldwide collaboration.

Oxfam International logo

Corporations are also acknowledged as high-impact players in the real of global food supply and distribution. The importance of corporations is acknowledged by Oxfam America in their efforts to address global food insecurity. Their Behind the Brands initiative (2013-2016), a component of the GROW Campaign, aimed to encourage more sustainable and ethical operational policies for the biggest food sector companies in the world like Nestle, Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s. By pushing for transparent accountability and evaluating company policies on a proprietary scorecard, the initiative pushed high-impact corporations to adopt policies that ensure sustainable access to food, promotes agricultural success, include more women in the agriculture workforce, acknowledge and legitimize land rights for farmers, prioritize water access and be wary of climate impact. A sister campaign, Behind the Barcode (2018-present) employs similar accountability practices for large supermarket chains. Corporation-centric initiatives at Oxfam aim to shift priorities away from the traditional nexus of short-term profit maximization goals, and toward more socially and environmentally conscious, ethical practices that empower and grant resource access to the populations directly impacted by corporations and their policies.

Through a more grassroots approach, Oxfam empowers farmers to tackle rapid weather changes and climate disasters by teaching resilient agriculture techniques. By disseminating knowledge on processes such as agro-forestry and rice intensification, Oxfam grants access to training, knowledge resources and financing opportunities for farmers. With special consideration for women, who comprise around half of the agricultural workforce, these training initiatives aim to equalize the disproportionate prioritization of male workers when it comes to the provision of farming resources.

By addressing the matter of food security at both a broader systemic level, as well as through hands-on agricultural training at the individual scale, Oxfam demonstrates the value of multi-sector considerations.

Focused projects for high-impact development

While multi-sector initiatives make groundbreaking advances, sector-focused projects also demonstrate the importance and benefits of specialization.

In the fishing industry, for example, Future of Fish is working through partnerships to tackle the impacts of overfishing and unregulated exploitation. With an ascertained 1 in 10 people suffering from malnutrition due to fish scarcity in regions dependent on seafood, nutrition deficiencies impact over 2 million people across the world due to overfishing, poorly-managed supply chains and drastic impacts of climate change. Through partnering with communities dependent on seafood, Future of Fish helps build resilient, adaptive and innovative solutions to counter the negative impact on local fish populations.

Future of Fish logo

In Peru, for example, Future of Fish operates multiple programs to stimulate local fisheries in the Piura region. By granting access to financing resources, formalizing fishing operations and providing leadership training, Future of Fish advocates for formal, efficient operations and sustainable fishing practices in the region. The Pnipa-Sia project aims to improve the quality of mahi mahi yields by implementing a refrigeration system within vessels and observing the quality of captured fish – a significant effort to improve the quality of a vital food resource. In Chile, similar practices have been employed to address unregulated overfishing through formalized partnerships between local communities, training farmers in marketing, financing, sustainability and managerial practices. Relationships between communities and enterprises are built to improve the efficacy and quality of supply chain management, and capital coordination has yielded up to $150,000 for the Chilean fishing industry. Future of Fish partners with the Mi Caleta Foundation to stimulate the market value of local fish, and SERNAPESCA to implement electronic monitoring systems that prevent bycatching during large-scale fishing operations.

Future of Fish demonstrates through these examples the necessity for specialized inquiry into high-impact sectors across the global food industry. In the fishing industry alone, improper regulation and climate change are leading causes for resource scarcity and malnutrition for millions – a problem addressed through rigorous formalization, resource access, cooperation, financing and leadership training for farmers.

Heifer International

Heifer International is tackling food insecurity in multiple regions through sector-focused projects. Hatching Hope, operating in Mexico, Kenya and India, provides farmers with scalable poultry farms – both to generate revenue and alleviate food insecurity. The project is based on the ease of entry into the poultry business, as chickens and eggs are both easy to cultivate and provide reasonably fast returns on investment. By ensuring that farmers have access to vets who can vaccinate chickens to prevent disease, and equipping farmers with the agricultural knowledge, tools and sanitation resources required to operate effectively and scale their businesses, Hatching Hope aims to provide hunger relief and improve nutrition levels for up to 100,000,000 people by 2030.

Another Heifer initiative is the NIKA Milk project, operating across Nicaragua. With dairy products in high demand, NIKA aims to equip 3,600 dairy farming families with the resources they need to effectively increase and diversify their range of dairy products, stimulating the dairy market in Matagalpa. The project establishes cooperatives for farmers, allowing them to sell their products in bulk, remove middlemen in sales and engage with high-paying buyers. Access to resources like variations of feed for cattle and effective vaccinations also grows the yield of dairy farms, enables farmers to diversify their products, enforces sanitation standards and allows for scalability.

Starbucks Foundation

Philanthropy through partnerships is another impactful way food security is being addressed. The Starbucks Foundation, through partnerships with Gawad Kalinga, the Philippine FoodBank Foundation and Grab, has worked to address food insecurity in the Philippines through a $50,000 grant in April of 2022. Focused on raising child nutrition to healthy levels, the grant supports the Kusina ng Kalinga initiative, reaching up to 600 children in the Batasan Hills and Laguna regions.

Beyond the Philippines, the Foundation has awarded over $25 million in grants for developmental and humanitarian projects across the world. Their 2018 announcement of a seven-year strategy, in partnership with the Malala Fund, aims to empower up to 250,000 women across India and Latin America. With a sector focus on regions where coffee, cocoa and tea production is concentrated, the initiative aims to provide essential education and leadership training for young women, equip farmers with knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices, provide access to clean water and sanitation, open doorways to financing for small-scale farming ventures and stimulate local economies by upscaling coffee and tea production.

Set models for diverse challenges

GlobalWA members also implement flexible, scalable and exhaustive models that help guide their operations in various regions with differing factors at play. The value of having an established model to follow is demonstrated by the following examples.

Earthworm logo

The Earthworm Foundation employs a 3-tier process to improve the lives of farmers, reduce food insecurity and generate financial and nutritional stability for farming communities in multiple regions.

The first step, Rural Dynamic Diagnostics (RDD), is the preliminary set of operations when Earthworm engages with any community project. RDD involves a multi-tiered process of data collection, from individual farmers, local authorities and industry experts, to understand the state of affairs in terms of regional economy and public health and nutrition. The data collection process not only helps construct the unique approaches required for any given case, but develops trust with farmers, whose voluntary participation is cited as essential for the program to succeed. The second step, Holistic Farm Management (HFM), involves training workshops for small-scale farmers to consider ecological factors when engaging the market. When priorities are expanded beyond profits alone, and the needs of the ecosystem are taken into consideration, agricultural operations can develop better resilience, absorb unprecedented shocks, and provide long-term reliability for farmers. The final step, Livelihood Diversification Strategy (LDS), engages directly with farming families and provides them with finance management tools, bookkeeping skills, opportunities for income diversification and the knowledge required to scale and expand revenue streams. Enabling farmers to diversify their income portfolio relieves the pressure of success from any given farming operation and generates increased financial stability for small communities.

The Foundation’s model has been implemented in 15 countries, directly engaging 21,456 farmers and their families since 2015.

The Hunger Project logo

In Ghana, The Hunger Project is making significant impacts on the region’s severe food security crisis. According to 2020 evaluations by the World Food Programme, 12% of Ghana’s population were reportedly suffering from food insecurity; 24% of all child mortality cases due to malnutrition were observed in Ghana, and 24.2% of the country’s population lived in poverty, suffering from severe hunger. To address these issues, the Project has implemented their Epicenter Strategy to mobilize communities and build resilience, self-reliance and innovative adaptability to address the hunger crisis. Through collaborative initiatives, communities are trained and educated on nutrition, prevention of STDs, improved farming techniques to promote greater food security, best practices for sanitation, adult literacy programs and financing resources.

The Epicenter Strategy, much like the model employed by the Earthworm Foundation, has 3 branches of consideration: holistic integration, economic resilience and environmental sustainability. Integration promotes a cohesive collaboration between sub-programs that specialize in different fields, ranging from education to sanitation, farming techniques, financial training and nutrition. Economic resilience highlights the priority of building communities to become self-reliant, even after the project withdraws from the region. By bringing together groups of communities and distributing the knowledge, training and resources required for self-reliant and sustainable operations, the Project builds community models that can generate their own revenue, have low environmental impact, and continue successful operations after the program withdraws from the region. Finally, sustainable practices such as drip irrigation are implemented at low-scale farming operations and designed for scaling, such that the environment is prioritized at every level of the agricultural process.

Ghana is one example of the Project’s Epicenter Strategy being implemented in numerous projects across Africa, including Zambia, Senegal, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Benin. Beyond Africa, the Project also operates projects in India, Bangladesh, Peru and Mexico. With over 11 million people reached, the Project’s initiatives have brought about a 42% decrease in rates of severe hunger, a 30% reduction in household poverty, a 29% decrease in child marriage cases and a 31% increase in female entrepreneurship in their target regions between 2015-2021.

Through region-focused implementation of a flexible operational strategy model, the Hunger Project demonstrates the value of ground-level training and self-reliance through a scalable and flexible operations model.

From the ground up

The efforts undertaken by these organizations demonstrate that no matter the scale of the operation, the scope of its focus or the number of actors involved, exhaustive collaboration is vital at every stage of the process in order to address a crisis as widespread and destructive as food insecurity. From training individual farmers in their homes to holding multinational corporations accountable for global food supply chains, the hunger crisis is controlled and quelled only through intensive networks of collaboration, effective coordination of funds, sector specialization and heightened ecological and economical responsibilities for high-impact actors.

In addition to the above organizations, the following GlobalWA members are working towards Food Security in communities where they work through their programs, addressing SDG 2 – Zero Hunger.

Agros International

Founded in 1984, and inspired by the teachings of Jesus, Agros International’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty and create paths to prosperity for farming families in rural Latin America.

Climate change, agriculture, and poverty are deeply intertwined. Current farming methods do not meet the world’s growing demand for food, do not generate enough income for those growing the food, and contribute a third of all greenhouse emissions worldwide. We are investing in modern production systems that significantly increase the number of harvests and increase the yield of each harvest—meaning more income and more food is generated on less land with fewer emissions. We are especially excited that a special partnership with Rick Steves will facilitate the continued growth of our Climate Smart Agribusiness Center in San José, Nicaragua.


Hunger and malnutrition remain the leading threats to public health worldwide. Our 2030 Goal: 75 million people, the majority of them women and girls, increase their fulfillment of their right to adequate food, water, and nutrition.

CARE promotes changes in value chains that generate positive, sustained impacts for large numbers of marginalized households in terms of income, employment, power relations, and access to products and services that empower the poor to better their lives.

Our [agriculture] programs build on and are inspired by the vital roles that women play in smallholder agriculture around the world: meeting the food needs of their households, contributing to the development and growth of livelihoods, and working toward sustainable futures for their households and communities.

CARE focuses on reducing stunting because this reflects success on many fronts: food systems, health systems, education, WASH infrastructure, and safety nets, to name a few.

Read more: Tackling Food and Water Insecurity – Fight World Hunger – CARE

Concern Worldwide

Concern Worldwide is a global community of over 4,700 humanitarians working to end extreme poverty with sustainable, community-driven programs – whatever it takes. To achieve this mission, we partner with the most vulnerable communities across 25 countries to address the root causes of extreme poverty fueled by inequality, vulnerability, and risk.

Ending extreme poverty requires us to focus on two of its root issues: health & nutrition. Zero poverty is only achievable if we also reach zero hunger. We work towards this by addressing malnutrition, along with the overall health and wellbeing, in the communities we serve. Specifically, we focus on those most vulnerable to malnutrition, including children and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or of age for pregnancy. We balance rapid response with long-term solutions that address many of the root causes of hunger.

For over 54 years, Concern has led the way with standard-setting programs that strengthen local health systems and provide quality nutrition support and education to the world’s most vulnerable communities. Last year, we reached 11.4 million individuals with health and nutrition programs, ensuring they gained increased control over their natural resources, skills, and knowledge to break free from living on less than $1.90 a day.

Earthworm Foundation

Smallholders in Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa harvest 53% of the world’s crop calories consumed by humans. Farmers often work in challenging field conditions, have limited training opportunities, and don’t produce optimum yields, all of which affects their livelihoods. This – along with the impacts of globalization, disease, pest outbreaks, and climate change – threatens the future of our farms, crops, and global food supply. At Earthworm Foundation, we see farmers as entrepreneurs who, with a little targeted support, have the power to elevate their farm businesses to their full ecological, economic and social potential. We are proud to benefit from the wisdom of farmers to support tens of thousands of farming families across the globe, including nearly 3,000 farmers who have increased their household income by 20% through diversification.

Future of Fish

Seafood is an excellent food source that contributes to a healthy, nutritious diet with a 150g portion providing about 50-60% of the daily protein requirement for an adult. The fatty acids in fish are optimal for supporting brain development in young children. Beyond the fats and proteins, the nutrients in fish provide additional public health benefits, such as fighting micronutrient deficiencies, a problem affecting approximately 2 million people globally in resource-poor communities. Managed sustainably, wild fisheries are uniquely poised as a resource to help improve nutrition in countries that need it most, helping to meet UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: Zero Hunger, as well as support SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption. Overfishing, inefficient and inequitable supply chains and markets, and climate change are human-caused problems which require human-focused solutions.

We believe new models and approaches are desperately needed in order to deliver coordinated fishery transformation at scale. That’s why we work to generate systemic change in fisheries through a progression of coordinated activities developed in collaboration with stakeholders whereby stocks are managed more sustainably, fishery communities maintain resilient economies, and fishers and seafood workers benefit from improved social equity and livelihoods.


Landesa champions and works to strengthen land rights for millions of those living in poverty worldwide, primarily rural women and men, to promote social justice and provide opportunity. With severe food insecurity on the rise, enhancing smallholder farmers’ ability to use their land is critical. When smallholder farmers have secure legal rights to land, they have the incentives to invest in their land and produce food for their families, communities, and our world.

In Kenya and Rwanda, Landesa is laying the foundation for millions of smallholder farmers — women and men — to break free from the cycle of poverty and hunger. Through the Agricultural Systems Change Initiative, a partnership with One Acre Fund and Co-Impact, we seek to strengthen rural women and men’s land rights and transform the agricultural sector so smallholder farmers can increase their productivity and income. The initiative simultaneously works to shift gender norms and ensure equitable access to agricultural markets for women, who produce a significant portion of the world’s food yet often lack the same resources as men.

Mercy Corps

Driven by climate change and the war in Ukraine, extreme poverty and malnutrition are on the rise around the globe. Mercy Corps works through programs, local partnerships, and advocacy to meet urgent needs while building more inclusive and resilient food systems to ensure lasting food security. In 2021, Mercy Corps reached 1.1 million people with direct nutrition assistance.

Mercy Corps is currently responding to the prolonged drought and hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. Team members are providing immediate assistance to alleviate hunger and meet basic needs while also providing water and dietary supplements to prevent malnutrition.

Opportunity International

Opportunity International launched its Agriculture Finance (AgFinance) program in 2008 to help end the cycle of low-productivity farming in rural African communities. Opportunity delivers targeted, finance-based solutions, like access to seeds and fertilizer, connections to buyers, and training on agricultural best practices. These programs are designed to help rural families transform their small farms into more productive, lucrative, and effective enterprises.

To date, Opportunity International has helped more than 540,000 farmers in sub-Saharan Africa build resilient livelihoods for themselves through small-scale farming. Read more about the Agriculture Finance program.

Oxfam America

Responding to the Hunger Crisis and tackling root causes

The world is experiencing an unprecedented spike in hunger driven by a confluence of factors that is having deadly consequences for millions of people around the world. Conflict, poverty and inequality fueled by Covid-19 lockdowns, and severe weather super-charged by climate change have all coalesced t create a hunger crisis. People are particularly hard hit in East and West Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti and Central America. Nearly 124 million people ar suffering “acute” levels of hunger or above, with 550,000 facing famine-like conditions.

The international community is mobilizing international support, but the scale of the crisis is daunting. Oxfam is mobilizing resources to reach 2.4 million people in East and West Africa alone with critical support including clean water and improved sanitation services, cash and food aid to meet food needs and protection for vulnerable households that have been internally displaced. We are also working to identify needs for communities who have lost their assets, including farming tools, seeds and livestock so that we can help them get back on their feet.

We are also working with donors and technical agencies to raise the alarm and bring greater attention and awareness to this crisis. In June, Oxfam America joined the chorus of organizations calling for the US to do more to meet urgent humanitarian need. Thanks to our collective push, we secured $5 billion in funding from the US government to respond to hunger emergencies around the world. This was a 230 percent increase over what the President originally requested in the emergency supplemental he sent to Congress.

The work is still not done. We are now pushing for the reauthorization of the Global Food Security Act, legislation that provides the strategy and direction for US government assistance to tackle the drivers of food insecurity, including the urgent need to support smallscale food producers who are at the heart of food security at the local and national levels but too often are neglected. The GFSA passed the House and we anticipate it could pass the Senate before the term ends at the end of the year.


We help players across sectors collaborate, co-invest, and innovate to build and support productive, regenerative, resilient, and nutritious food systems

We deploy collaborative, market-led solutions for sustainable and productive agricultural systems. Together with companies and the global development community, we advance regenerative agriculture, combat food insecurity and waste, and boost the resilience of agricultural value chains.

Save the Children

Hunger and malnutrition are devastating for children. Save the Children works in the hardest-to-reach places to address the root causes of hunger to ensure the most vulnerable grow up heathy and nourished.


According to the USDA, more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, in the United States are food insecure. Starbucks is committed to helping fight hunger and support thriving communities. Learn more about our commitments.

As the company marks its 25th year in the Philippines, Starbucks strengthened its commitment to positively impact the well-being of all who connect with Starbucks by supporting hunger relief in the market by expanding the reach of its partnerships with Grab, the Philippine FoodBank Foundation and Gawad Kalinga to help local communities and children facing hunger. Read more.


Celebrating their 25th year, Meera Satpathy, Founder of Sukarya, wrote this wonderful guest blog for us that discusses all the myriad of ways they are addressing food and nutrition in India’s slums where they work: Nutrition & Food Security: Sukarya’s Ongoing Endeavor Since 1998.

The Hunger Project

The Hunger Project is committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. We facilitate individual and collective action to transform the systems of inequity that keep hunger in place. Through holistic and integrated programs, Hunger Project participants lead change in their communities and our world.

Investments in the resiliency of communities are key to addressing food security. Climate change, conflict, economic shocks and growing inequalities are putting pressure on our food system’s capacity to produce and distribute nutritious and affordable food. We work with smallholder farmers to strengthen their production capacity, decreasing reliance on external inputs, and diversifying livelihoods. We are working with farmers to reintroduce indigenous crop varieties and foods into their businesses. The inputs for these crops are often more accessible and they tend to be resistant to local diseases and pests.

We are also working with local leaders to educate communities about nutrition, particularly for maternal and childhood health. Through advocacy through our Right2Grow program and a partnership with Latter-day Saints Charities, we facilitate training workshops about nutrition for both children and mothers and the importance of pre- and postnatal care, as well as facilitate opportunities for on-going child health and weight monitoring.

World Concern

World Concern is about extremes. We go to the end of the road to serve people in extreme need because we have an extreme calling—to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a broken world. We follow Him to the thirsty. The hungry. Exploited. Traumatized. Forgotten. We Listen. Walk alongside. Equip and train.

Food is a basic human need and an essential part of bringing the whole gospel to a village. A mother cannot hear the gospel over the cries of her hungry child. Having enough to eat moves families beyond the struggle to survive and allows them to focus on the future for their children. Providing food for today and offering sustainable ways for families to produce nutritious food long-term opens the way for transformation.

World Concern provides emergency nutrition, emergency food, improved farming methods, and livestock to combat hunger and food security.

World Vision

One in eight people in the developing world do not have enough to eat. Many poor farmers are unable to grow enough food to feed their own families, much less sell for additional income. That’s why we partner with communities to address immediate food needs — but also to grow sustainable food for the future.