In areas of the world which have been affected by natural disasters, extreme poverty, droughts, wars and other circumstances, people are at risk of starvation due to lack of food and water. There are many international charities who strive to bring medical aid, water and food delivery to these struggling communities. With their help, people are able to survive and recover from the disaster.
Photo by isafmedia.
Transporting such an enormous amount of food thousands of miles at merely a moment’s notice, usually into some of the most inhospitable places in the world, is no easy feat. How in the world do these charities do it?
Case Study – The World Food Programme
Photo by IK’s World Trip.
In order to understand how charities get food delivery to people in need, we will look at one particular organisation as an example. Any other food charity will work in a very similar way so this is a helpful way of understanding how the process works.
An example of a charity which gives food to the needy all over the world is the World Food Programme. This is a United Nations frontline agency which has been created to help with the problem of world hunger. One in every seven people on the planet is affected by global hunger and the WFP delivers food to save the victims of natural disasters, war and civil conflict. After the emergency, this organisation comes in to help the community rebuild and recover.
There are many charities similar to this one that also offers food delivery to needy regions of the world in the wake of any catastrophe which threatens the local food supply.
How is the Food Delivered?
So how does the WFP get all of the food to the hungry poor?
The main form of food delivery which WFP uses is ocean transport with 90% of its food is moved by ships. However this simply gets it to the nearest coastline. Often the communities that need food are thousands of miles inland, so the next step is to develop a line of delivery which makes the most logical route through the deserts, mountains, rivers and other obstacles around the way.
Often charities will have to transport food through areas where there are no roads or bridges and sometimes they build these roads and bridges along the way. They can also bring food delivery by aircraft, arranging air drops in the affected location.
Once there is a clear path to the affected area which the supplies can be carried along, the charity will use any means available to transport the goods. In the past this can included trucks, trains, canoes, planes, helicopters and even more primate forms of transport such as yaks, donkeys and elephants.
The food delivery which is transported into these impoverished regions destroyed by war or natural disaster has to be non-perishable because it will not be refrigerated if it is being carried on the back of a donkey. The typical types of foods that charities send to these locations include grains such as rice, wheat and maize as well as beans, peas, vegetable oil, salt, sugar, cereal, biscuits and bread. These are all carbohydrates which will give people lots of energy and last a long time without refrigeration.
After making it over mountains, rivers, deserts and jungles, the food delivery finally reaches its recipients, saving their lives and giving them the nutrients that they need so that they can recover their community.
This is not the only charity which provides food to people in need. There are many similar relief organisations which deliver food, clothing, medical care and shelter to suffering communities, such as Operation Blessing, the Red Cross and World Vision.
Photo by Dan.
Food delivery is very important in times of crisis and it can make the difference between life and death. The logistics of providing food to remote and poor locations is sometimes an incredible challenge, but these charities make it their job to find a way.