Food For The Poor Takes Up Fight on Poverty in Ecuador, Peru
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 14, 2022) As Food For The Poor works to expand its mission to provide sustainable livelihoods for poverty-stricken families, the charity is adding Ecuador and Peru to the list of places it is focusing on in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Today, FFTP recognizes the rich culture and traditions of both countries as the charity marks National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, and charts a course for helping families in need thrive there for generations to come.
Both Ecuador and Peru are struggling with rising numbers of families living in multidimensional poverty due to the convergence of COVID-19, conflict and climate change.
“The poverty indicators for Ecuador and Peru were clearly there, hence we have expanded our efforts to these two, new countries this year,” said David Langle, FFTP Project Manager, South America. “To truly lift individuals, families and communities out of poverty, there must be a focus on developmental and sustainable efforts. This is only the beginning of our work in Ecuador and Peru, we are here for the long-term.”
In Ecuador, FFTP is working with partner Legado Foundation. The project goal is to diminish chronic childhood malnutrition by providing consistent water for the inhabitants of the community of Visote-Nueva Esperanza.
One of many needs in Ecuador is access to safe water, especially in the indigenous communities that are the most marginalized. With this water pilot project, not only will the indigenous community consume water safely, but it will also reduce indicators related to child malnutrition.
Members of that community participated in the work to install the water system, digging the trenches, carrying the materials to the site and burying the pipes that finally would bring water to them and their families. Watch video here: https://youtu.be/yogG87dO4rc
Ecuador’s poverty and income inequality mostly affect indigenous, mixed race and rural populations. Overall, 40% of the rural population in Ecuador lives below the poverty line, totaling about 6.9 million Ecuadorians who suffer daily from the effects of poverty, according to the World Food Programme, 2022.
In Neshuya, Peru, the project under way aims to improve the living conditions and increase the income of 500 cacao-farming families of the Ucayali region.
In Peru, many farmers and agricultural associations hit a plateau and are unable to scale or grow their farming businesses because they do not have the proper training or ability to educate themselves due to a lack of financial assistance, according to the FFTP needs assessment. Lack of financial assistance is one of the biggest obstacles as to why many cannot cross the line of poverty.
Through this cacao pilot project, FFTP and its partners are assisting cacao farming families with business, and technical and organizational training, including technological innovations, so that their operations can become more sustainable. The charity is working with Cáritas Peru and the local cooperative for cacao growers, Cooperativa Agraria de Cacao Aromático Colpa de Loros (CAC Colpa de Loros).
Additionally, the project will focus on helping the farmers gain better access to the consumer market, widening the opportunities beyond their local communities.
The goal is to increase their income by 20 percent through these technological innovations and by connecting to consumer markets that guarantee fair trade.
Started in June of this year, the project is expected to be completed in May 2023.
Slightly more than 20% of the population in Peru still lives below the poverty line, according to the World Bank Group. This material deprivation leads to widespread food insecurity, which leaves 33.4% of people in rural areas – including 13.1% of children – to face anemia, obesity, stunting and other effects of malnutrition, based on World Food Programme statistics.
“Poverty is not a single dimension,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “It’s multiple things that need to be tended to, as in these projects with water and agriculture. We want to make sure our work truly stretches from the relief to the development and that we are partnering with like-minded partners and with the churches.”
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.