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/ The Big Issues
/ The Big Issues

The challenge of getting food aid to those most in need

Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night.

It is an appalling fact, especially in a world where billions of tonnes of food is wasted every year.

There are few places on Earth, if any, were hunger is more of a critical issue than in Somalia, East Africa.

Malnutrition is rife in the country, which has been beset by drought and conflict. Government officials warn Somalia is on the brink of famine.

In this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast, we meet the people who are working tirelessly to stop hunger, in Somalia and elsewhere in the world.

Action Against Hunger works in more than 50 countries around the world, providing life-saving programmes and helping millions of people.

But how does an organisation like this go about helping so many people?

The Love Food Give Food Campaign

Action Against Hunger UK’s Love Food Give Food campaign brings together the food and hospitality industry and their customers to take action against hunger. Through our shared love of food, we can fight the hunger crisis and help vulnerable communities to build a brighter future.

Just £1 can provide a mother with a day’s worth of life saving therapeutic food to treat a malnourished child. In September and October, you can support our life-saving work by donating on Action Against Hunger’s website or at one of the restaurants participating in the campaign.

Click here to find out more

What work goes into getting the right help, to the right people, at the right time?

We are joined from Mogadishu by Action Against Hunger‘s Country Director in Somalia, Ahmed Khalif, detailing the exact work that is happening in the country.

He tells us about the groundwork that needed to be laid to allow aid to arrive, as well as how they overcome the challenge of working with different communities in the country.

Alison McNutly, Action Against Hunger UK’s Director of Operations reveals how the charity works out what help is needed, and the logistics of getting it where it is most needed.

Action Against Hunger UK’s Head of Nutrition, Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera, sheds some light on the innovations in nutrition that are helping to ensure the maximum amount of help is sent to the maximum number of people.

Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera, Action Against Hunger UK’s Head of Nutrition 

Alexandra is a multi-skilled registered nurse holding an MSc in Nutrition for Global Health from the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine. She has 16 years’ experience in the field of public health nutrition in diverse settings across Africa and Asia.  

Before Action Against Hunger, she worked for Doctors Without Borders, International Medical Corps and Save the Children. Recognised for her technical skills, she is a guest lecturer at the LSHM, LSTM, Metropolitan and Westminster Universities, King’s College and the American University of Beirut.  

She is, amongst others, a member of the strategic advisory groups of the Global Nutrition Cluster and Infant Feeding in Emergency core group and co-chairs the Global technical Assistance Mechanism on Nutrition Information Systems. She also coordinates a group of researchers working on the topic of Kwashiorkor 

Alison McNulty, Action Against Hunger UK’s Director of Operations 

Alison McNulty has been Operations Director at Action Against Hunger UK since 2020. 

She brings a strong background in research, evaluation and strategy following a career as a health and social care researcher, and has managed and led teams to support the creation of strong evidence.  

Alison has worked in the humanitarian sector since 2010, after leaving the academic sector, and has a passion to showcase the impact of the charity as it strives for a world free from hunger. 

Ahmed Khalif, Action Against Hunger Country Director in Somalia 

Ahmed is a seasoned humanitarian and development professional who has held middle and senior leadership positions in various organisations.  

Ahmed holds a Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance from Tufts University, USA; a Post Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Leadership from Deakin University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies from the University of Northampton, UK.  He has a specific interest in strengthening systems, such as food, health, and water as well as disaster resilience.

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Ahmed Khalif

Contributor

Action Against Hunger Country Director in Somalia

The Ukraine crisis has taken a lot of attention from a protracted crisis like Somalia, where you have cyclic drought and conflict. There needs to be a balance.

Ahmed Khalif

Alison McNulty

Contributor

Action Against Hunger UK’s Director of Operations

We’re definitely not on track to end hunger by 2030. We’ve seen an upswing in hunger. In 2020 there were 120m more people hungry than there were in 2019.

Alison McNulty

Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera

Contributor

Action Against Hunger UK’s Head of Nutrition

By empowering community health workers to give them the ability to treat malnutrition, we make sure that people don’t have to walk one or two hours to get treatment.

Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera