REDUCING POVERTY & HUNGER IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE ROLE OF FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS Association for International Agriculture & Rural Development 41st Annual Meeting Washington, DC; June 5-7, 2005 By Charles E. Owubah, Ph.D.
Research Questions • What are the causes of Hunger? • What has been the early roles (1400s to World War II) of faith-based organizations in reducing hunger and poverty? • What are examples of successes of how have faith-based organizations have helped to reduce hunger and poverty?
Outline • Definition of faith-based organizations • Early Roles of faith-based organizations • Uniqueness of faith-based organizations in addressing the causes of hunger & poverty • Examples of success stories
Faith-Based Organizations? • “Religious and religious-based organizations, places of religious worship or congregations, specialized religious institutions, and registered and unregistered non-profit institutions that have a religious character or mission” (Global Health Council, 2005)
Faith-Based Organizations? • Definition • Registered faith-based relief and development organizations • Large American faith-based relief and development organizations involved in reducing hunger and poverty in developing countries • Adventist Relief and Development Agency • Catholic Relief Services • Food for the Hungry International • World Vision
Early roles of Faith-Based Organizations • Development of Human Capital • Development of Agriculture
Early Roles • Ghana • Roman Catholic Church conducted its first mass in Ghana on 20th January 1482, in Elmina, a small fishing town along the coast of Ghana • The Catholic faith grew and was followed by the Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist Churches
Early roles: Development of Human Capital • Ghana • In 1876, the Methodist Church built the first secondary school, Wesleyan High School, in the country • Early missionaries did set up clinics, maternity homes, hospitals, and orphanages • In 1980, a third of the bed strength of the hospitals in Ghana was under the care of Churches (Buah 1989)
Early roles: Agriculture • Ghana • The Methodist Church established the first “Scientific Farms” in Cape Coast to train farmers on appropriate technology • The Presbyterian Church established nurseries and experimental farms in Akuapem to supply farmers with seedlings of new crop varieties
Early roles: Development of Human Capital • Kenya • In 1892, the East African Scottish Mission (Presbyterian) started a school in Kibwezi • In 1926, Protestants in Kenya collaborated to establish Alliance High School. In 1948, Alliance Girls High School was established to improve the level of education for girls • Churches established mission hospitals as part of their outreach: (Kikuyu in 1901; Maseno in 1906; Tumutumu in 1908; Chogoria in 1915; Kijabe in 1915)
Early roles: Agriculture • Kenya • Missionaries taught new farming techniques (terracing, intercropping, etc.) • Missionaries introduced new crop varieties E.g. Presbyterians planted the first coffee seeds in Kibwezi in 1893
Early roles: Agriculture and community development • United States • In the early 1900s, the clergy were often instrumental in efforts to improve health care, farming, and the establishment of credit unions and farming cooperatives. • Theodore Roosevelt: • “Any consideration of the problem of rural life that leaves out of account the function and possibilities of the church and of related institutions would be grossly inadequate…because, from the purely social point of view, the church is fundamentally a necessary institution in country life.”(Prins and Ewert, 2002)
Early roles: Agriculture and community development • United States • Church-extension collaboration strengthened rural communities in the early 1900s. • In the 1920s and 1930s, seminaries and colleges collaborated in summer school curricula to: “assist ministers in acquiring new insight into tested methods of town and country church work and understanding of the trends and problems in modern country life; to develop a fellowship among those engaged in rural service; to develop contacts between agricultural leaders, particularly those in extension work and rural ministers” (Landis & Willard, 1933, Prins and Ewert, 2002).
Causes and dimensions of Hunger • Key Causes of Hunger • Lack of assets and resources to produce sufficient food • Limited, or lack of income to procure adequate food for consumption • Dimensions of Hunger • Transitory, or short-term • Chronic
Relief Interventions to address Transitory/Short-term Hunger • WV Relief Interventions • Relief Interventions
Chronic Hunger • Chronic hunger is a manifestation of poverty, and that attempts to eradicate hunger can only be successful when poverty is alleviated • “Hunger is, in most instances, a consequence of economic impoverishment and marginalization.” • “It is imperative that economic empowerment form the core of strategies to eliminate the underlying causes of hunger.”(1993 NGO platform at the World Bank Conference on Actions to reduce Hunger WorldWide)
The Big Five Developmental Interventions (UN Millennium Project) • Agricultural Inputs • Investment in basic health • Investment in education • Power, transport and communications services • Safe drinking water and sanitation
Uniqueness of Faith-Based Organizations • An already existing infrastructure • Loyal groups/followers • Holistic ministry/programming
Uniqueness of Faith-Based Organizations • An already existing infrastructure • Alliances and partnerships with churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, etc. have been used as entry points to deliver aid and engage in development activities • In times of disaster, access to individuals and groups who understand a culture, and knows the terrain, and location of hamlets and villages is essential to saving lives
Uniqueness of Faith-Based Organizations • Loyal groups/followers • Have unique advantage in delivering appropriate and scientifically proven development messages to needy communities • E.g. Resistance to polio vaccine in Northern Nigeria
Uniqueness of Faith-Based Organizations • Holistic ministry/programming • Encompasses all aspects of interventions that address the well being of the mind, body, and soul • Deep belief that it is not enough to preach the gospel of God, and that humankind must have access to food and other necessities of life (John 6:35; “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” • Values-based programming—”the ABc approach”—has become important in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa and other places
Success Story: Morulem Irrigation Scheme in Kenya • Background • In 1979, African Inland Church began an irrigation scheme in Morulem, Turkana District, Kenya • In 1984, the African Inland Church withdrew its support and in 1990, the Morulem community approached World Vision for support • In 1992, World Vision secured PL 480 Title II funding from the Office of Food for Peace, USAID • In 1997, WV secured additional funding from USAID to support the program
Success Story: Morulem Irrigation Scheme in Kenya • Outcomes • The objective of increasing food production to meet 80% of household annual grain requirements, has been met and exceeded. In 2000, for example, household grain production met 138% of household grain requirements. • In 2000, massive food aid distributions were done in Turkana and other districts to save lives, but the beneficiaries of MIS were food secure to the extent that they had surplus food in their grain bank.
Success Story: Morulem Irrigation Scheme in Kenya • Outcomes • Program has diversified the local economy and has created 938 jobs, in an area where there are no other job creators beside the Government of Kenya • Farmers are able to produce enough grain to feed their families throughout the year, while selling surpluses on the market • The Program is sustainable on all four key criteria; Financial, Infrastructural, Environmental, Institutional
Success Story: Morulem Irrigation Scheme in Kenya • Awards • 1999: “Outstanding Performance in Environmental Conservation”—resulting in UNDP commemorating the World Day to combat desertification with the people of Morulem • 2000: “Outstanding Performance in Food Production” (FAO) • 2001: “Outstanding Performance in the Field of Food Security” (FAO)
Success Story: Brazilian Farmers Access to International Melon Market • Background • In 1999, WV established a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, and began helping poor farmers in the Rio Grande do Norte State to gain direct access to the melon market in Europe.
Success Story: Brazilian Farmers Access to International Melon Market • Results • 1999: 45,000 boxes were exported to Europe, and increased incomes by 54% • 2000: 75,000 boxes of melons were exported to Europe • 2000: 15,000 boxes sold to a Brazilian national chain of supermarkets
Success Story: Brazilian Farmers Access to International Melon Market • Results • 2001: 140,000 boxes of melons exported to Europe • 2001: 30,000 boxes sold to local consumers in Brazil • WV strengthened the capacity of a small local export company and reduced legal costs from 26% to 8%, thereby increasing farmers incomes exponentially, and allowing them to pay off debts and build assets • Local export company is financially sustainable and no longer depends on WV.
Success Story: Tomoya Irrigation Project, Bolivia • Background • 1994: Leaders of Sorojchi, Yoroca, Chua Chua, Molle Molle and Sorocoto requested Food for the Hungry International to help build an irrigation system along the Tomoya river to irrigate 1,300 acres of arid farmland, and provide clean drinking water for the communities • FHI secured PL 480 Title II, Title III, and Development Assistance funding from USAID to support the project. • The project took seven years to complete
Success Story: Tomoya Irrigation Project, Bolivia • Results • A 28 kilometer road along the sides of the cliffs have been constructed • Communities have been able to build irrigation canals, and terraced hillsides and are able to harvest crops two to three times in a year
Success Story: Tomoya Irrigation Project, Bolivia • Results • Crop yields have doubled and tripled, in some cases, allowing farmers to sell surplus food • FHI has helped farmers to build a food processing plant, allowing local farming cooperatives to add value to their produce • Clean water is available all year round and is having a positive impact on the health of children
Conclusions • Faith-based organizations have been instrumental in reducing poverty and hunger for centuries • Faith-based organizations continue to be significant and influential change agents on the war on hunger and poverty
Conclusions • The growth and uniqueness of faith-based organizations is a reflection of their assets; • (a) an already existing infrastructure, • (b) Loyal groups/followers, and • (c) Holistic ministry/programming • Strategies to end hunger and poverty are known, and that there continues to be hunger and poverty because the level of commitment and scale of operation continues to be meager compared with needs
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