The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is a prime agency for helping governments across the world develop food security and to adopt ways and methods that lead to better health and hygiene and quality of life. In the Darfur region of Sudan, the humanitarian crisis caused by the recent war has brought about several urgent and crucial problems that the FAO is trying to help the country with. The region faces an acute problem of malnutrition that is sustaining in spite of the continued efforts made by several international agencies including the FAO.
The main challenges in fighting malnutrition in Darfur are not restricted to providing the people with substantial food aid or aids for the development of infrastructure. Instead, the problem has been identified as being more deeply rooted in the way the people of the region approach child upbringing and their hygiene related bad practices. FAO has identified the various causes of malnutrition as the lack of adequate food security, lack of safe drinking water, prevalence of diseases, lack of education especially among the females and the mothers, and lack of adequate family or community support to child-raising.
In the light of the above causes, FAO feels that there is a need to meet the problem of malnutrition in a more substantial and holistic manner. FAO has therefore stated the following objectives for its program for the Darfur region: Objectives of FAO for Removing Malnutrition in Darfur 1. To continue to provide adequate support for sustainable food security for the region. This includes providing seeds, tools, trainings and land acquisition. 2. To improve the availability of milk and cereals for the consumption of children 3.
To improve education of women 4. To improve awareness about hygiene and health management 5. To educate and gather support from the family members in raising the children as well as taking responsibilities of the household and work. The above objectives indicate that there is a need to work with several different organizations and agencies and on various different aspects of the issues involved. The current brief presents the strategic plan for FAO that takes into consideration the formulation of partnerships with different governmental as well as non-governmental agencies and the local community.
It will also include a plan of action for getting new sources of funding and acquiring new forms of support. FAO aims to enter into a more dynamic partnership with the government in getting the desired outcomes. Its strategies are divided on the basis of its objectives which can be segregated into three broad categories: Ensuring food security, ensuring education for women, creating and ensuring awareness about health and hygiene and structural and community support for mothers. Ensuring Food Security FAO has already helped over 117000 households in getting food security and in restoration of their livelihoods.
It had distributed over 2000 tonnes of seeds and thousands of tools as well as helped in the building of wells for harvesting the plants. There has also already been an improvement in the quality and quantity of livestock due to better practices and vaccinations provide to them. FAO wants to continue providing support - both in terms of training and products to the region. However, it looks upon building partnership with agencies like CARE that are already providing grass-root level support to households, and especially to the women of Darfur – for example, CARE has initiated poultry keeping and cheese making programs for females as means of sustainable income (CARE, 2007) Additionally, FAO aims at providing a framework of generating finance and self-support for the local population.
Instead of simply making things available to the people free of cost, FAO wants to create a structural framework that leads the farmers and other small businessmen to invest their profits into local micro-credit organizations that will ensure a steady flow of funds in times of needs.
For this, FAO will need governmental support in terms of financial amendments and the communities support in encouraging the people to invest and save. Ensuring Education For Women Of Darfur The educational department of the government of Sudan can help FAO by taking initiatives that lead to better educational provisions for the population in general and women in particular. Sudanese government needs to help in building infrastructure – in the form of night schools or even temporary shelters where the women folk can be educated.
The non-governmental agencies too can be involved in this objective. There have been initiatives for enrolling the children back to school, like the ninemillion. org of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR, 2010) and the The Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, a private foundation that is helping the displaced children of Sudan (VAD, 2010). However, there has been little or no focus on creating educational opportunities for adults and women. FAO wants to align itself with these agencies already working towards education and influence them to include adult education in their programs.
More specifically, there are agencies like Population Council & Women's Commission for Refugee Women & Children that have been involved in research about prospects for child education in war (El-Kogal et al, 2010). FAO would aim to partner with these two organizations and take their help in assessing the scope and need for women education in Darfur. Creating and Ensuring Awareness about Health and Hygiene FA O believes that lack of awareness is one of the main reasons for lack of hygiene and unhealthy weaning and poor child nutrition in Darfur.
There is therefore a need to involve the local NGOs in actively disseminating information on food necessities for the infants and small children. Organizations like the UNICEF are already involved with providing safe drinking water and educating the people about sanitation and hygiene and disease prevention among children (UNICEF, 2009). FAO would like to partner with UNICEF and the government of Sudan in creating and initiating community based programs that teach specific details of maintaining safety and hygiene. Additionally, FAO would like to target the women specifically for teaching them the benefits of breast-feeding and providing a balanced and nutritious diet to their children.
Structural and Community Support for Mothers FAO presumes that the mothers in Darfur do not get adequate time to take care of their infants and little children due to the immense work load that they share with their husbands. In some cases, the women are single mothers or they have to look after and support a large extended family. The unavailability of the mothers is one of the reasons for high rates of malnutrition in the region.
FAO intends to partner with the local community groups and encourage them to create supporting mechanisms for such mothers. This could be done by allowing the working mothers to take short regular breaks while working to feed and look after their children, or by involving neighbors and other members of the community in child upbringing. FAO would also target the local NGOs and agencies like UNICEF to build and maintain childcare centers for providing a safe and hygienic place where the children of working mothers could be fed and looked after during the work hours. References CARE, 2007 , Crisis in Darfur: CARE’s Response to the Ongoing Emergency in Sudan and Chad [Online] available at: http: //www. care. org/careswork/emergencies/sudan/20071220_darfur_report. pdf retrieved on 15 May 2010 FAO, 2010, ‘World Food Insecurity and Malnutrition: Scope, Trends, Causes and Consequences [Online] available at: ftp: //ftp. fao. org/docrep/fao/010/ai799e/ai799e02.pdf retrieved on 15 May 2010 FAO 2010, ‘Sudan Work Plan 2008: Darfur’ available online at: http: //www. fao. org/emergencies/tce-appfund/tce-appeals/sudan-workplan08/darfur/en/ retrieved on 15 May 2010 The Valentino Achak Deng Foundation (VAD) 2010 ‘Community development in southern Sudan’ [Online] available at: http: //www. valentinoachakdeng. org/community_development. php retrieved on 15 May 2010 UNHCR, 2010.
‘Ninemillion. Org’ [Online] available at: http: //www. ninemillion. org/ retrieved on 15 May 2010 UNICEF, 2010. Highlights April-June 2009 A selection of recent UNICEF-supported activities for women and children across Sudan [Online] available at: http: //www. unicef. org/sudan/UNICEF_Sudan_Highlights_-_April-June_2009.pdf retrieved on 15 May 2010 El-Kogali, S., J. P. Robinson, J. Rankin, C.B. Lloyd and A. Rashed, 2010 ‘Schooling and Conflict in Darfur: A Snapshot of Basic Education Services For Displaced Children’. [Online] available at: http: //womensrefugeecommission. org/component/docman/doc_download/614-schooling-and-conflict-in-darfur-a-snapshot-of-basic-education-services-for-displaced-children-schooling-and-conflict-in-darfur-a-snapshot-of-basic-education-services-for-displaced-children? q=darfur retrieved on 15 May 2010