Strengthening the Capacity of Small Farmers
We are at the threshold of an extraordinary opportunity. In July, world leaders made an unparalleled financial commitment to end world hunger at the G8 summit. They agreed to provide $20 billion over three years for a Food Security Initiative that will support rural development in developing countries.
This commitment is not only financially significant; it represents a shift in the way world leaders approach foreign aid - from providing short-term food aid to building the capacity of rural farmers in the developing world to increase their own food production. The new initiative also highlights the need to empower small farmers, particularly women.
The Hunger Project's (THP's) low-cost strategies are indeed just the type of approach that world leaders have embraced. THP is poised to do everything possible in the coming months to share our best practices, lessons learned and methodology with as many policymakers, funding agencies and like-minded organizations as possible.
Prior to the G8 announcement, THP provided input to the US administration based on our on-the-ground experience, both through in-person meetings and through documents created collectively with other members of InterAction, the largest coalition of U.S.-based NGOs working in international relief and development. Ultimately, decisions on action programs will be made in each developing country, and THP intends to work with all parties to make this commitment a reality.
Spotlight on Our Microfinance Program
THP's Microfinance Program is one such low-cost strategy that empowers rural farmers. It is a program of training, savings and credit that addresses a critical missing link for the end of hunger in Africa: the economic empowerment of the most important but least supported food producers on the continent - Africa's women.
By providing women food farmers easy access to credit, adequate training and instilling in them the importance of saving, THP enables women to engage in income-generating activities to increase their incomes and invest in their businesses, pay their children's school fees, construct pit latrines, purchase medicines, pay for health care, and make home improvements or build new homes. Furthermore, through participation in the program, women leaders develop self-confidence and assertiveness, gaining elevated status in their households and communities. They are creating a new future where women and men are equal partners in the development of the well-being of their families and their community.
To demonstrate THP's commitment to all members of the community, THP also offers men the opportunity to participate in the Microfinance Program, following the same principles and procedures. However, because the focus of the program is on rural women, THP allocates close to 90 percent of all loan funds to women.
Watch our overview video and discover how THP empowers people to meet their own basic needs and build better futures for their children.
Read more about how our Microfinance Program in Africa works to empower women farmers.
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