What can you not stand about Switzerland

More and more people are suffering from hunger - Switzerland cannot look the other way!

In the public perception, the subject of hunger has faded into the background and has almost been forgotten in recent years. However, the reality is different: According to a recently published report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), 690 million people were already suffering from hunger before the Corona crisis. That is 8.9 percent of the world population. The number of children suffering from malnutrition and who can expect permanent damage to their health is 144 million.

After years of decline, the number of starving people has been increasing again since 2014 and, according to forecasts, is likely to increase significantly in the coming years. The causes are the still great poverty and inequality in the world as well as structural problems in the global agricultural and food system. Ongoing climate change destroys much of what people in the poorest countries have painstakingly built up and deprives them of food security. The situation is getting worse with the corona pandemic. The informal market for agricultural products and simple services has collapsed in many places, and food prices have risen massively. Schools remain closed, which means that many poor children have no one meal a day. The FAO fears that up to 130 million people will experience acute famine. The goal of a hunger-free world, which the international community has set itself as part of the “Agenda 2030”, is thus becoming a long way off.

An aid package against global hunger

In view of this dramatic development towards more hunger in the world, Switzerland is called upon to act. Fighting the corona crisis has had top priority for the state government in recent months. “The Federal Council has implemented a package worth 30 billion Swiss francs for those affected in our country and has shown that it wants to face the current challenges with courage. This creates the basis and the trust that Switzerland will also take responsibility for the people in poor countries and enter into greater commitment. Caritas assumes that a humanitarian aid package will have broad support among the Swiss population, ”said Hugo Fasel, Director of Caritas Switzerland, at a media conference in Bern this Monday. Caritas expects the foreign department to submit a humanitarian aid package of around CHF 1 billion to parliament, Hugo Fasel said: "The individual states do not have the means to deal with the humanitarian crisis on their own." Switzerland is also called upon to work out a strategy for cooperation with Africa and to shape its agricultural policy fairly.

Caritas Switzerland campaigns against hunger with its own projects. There is a particular focus on African countries south of the Sahara. In Mali, Chad, Ethiopia and Uganda, for example, Caritas Switzerland not only supports the agricultural production of smallholder families, but is also committed to giving them access to local markets and thus generating an income.