13 February 2013

Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger| ACF International  is a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger. The organization saves the lives of severely malnourished children and helps vulnerable communities become self-sufficient, through long-term sustainable systems.

The Numbers:

  • Lifesaving impact in 40+ countries
  • 5000+ field staff assisting more than 6 million people each year.
  • 30+ years of expertise in contexts of conflict, disasters and food crises

Where Your Money Goes: 

93% of all funding goes towards program services. (That's $0.93 of every dollar). 4% goes to general operating and management expenses, and 3% goes to fundraising. One of the reasons fundraising costs so little, may be because there are so many, easy, ways to get involved. Donors can contribute directly via the website, shop in the organization's online store, or even use free tools through the Action Against Hunger website to create their own fundraising campaign to end hunger. 

So what does that 93% in program services look like? Well in 2012:

  • 550,000 small farmers were provided with tools after drought and displacement
  • 42,000 severely malnourished children in the D.R. Congo were treated
  • 170,000 people gained access to clean water in Kenya


  • Nutrition: "Action Against Hunger’s methods for identifying and rescuing populations afflicted with acute malnutrition are internationally renowned, having pioneered revolutionary nutrition products and field tested treatment protocols that have become industry standards. From rural mountain villages to the confines of refugee camps to ethnically divided cities, Action Against Hunger treats and prevents malnutrition in over 40 countries around the world. [Action Against Hunger's] programs are launched most often during times of crisis and focus on the most vulnerable, including young children and women who are pregnant or nursing."
          What They Do:
    • Evaluate nutritional needs: To assess the root causes of a malnutrition outbreak, ACF collects baseline data on key nutritional indicators like local capacities and resources, cultural practices, infrastructure, and geography. These nutrition surveys are essential for mounting an effective, customized response.
    • Treat acute malnutrition: ACF treats cases of severe acute malnutrition with inpatient care (for those with medical complications) and with community-based, outpatient programs. Without treatment severely malnourished women and children would likely face imminent death.
    • Prevent acute malnutrition: ACF’s prevention activities provide Ready-to-Use-Foods to patients discharged from therapeutic care, children with moderate acute malnutrition, and children in communities faced with seasonal hunger. Prevention can save millions of lives while long-term solutions are developed.
    • Build local capacity: ACF strengthens public health systems to combat malnutrition. They field teams that consist overwhelmingly of local staff and integrate their programs into existing health structures. When crises subside, they ensure local capacity is in place to support continued improvements in communities’ nutritional health.

  • Food Security & Livelihoods: "Encompassing a wide array of activities customized to meet a community’s specific needs, [Action Against Hunger's] programs are designed to bolster agricultural production, jumpstart local market activity, support micro-enterprise initiatives, and otherwise enhance a vulnerable community’s access to sustainable sources of food and income."
           What They Do:
    • Evaluate local needs: To determine what’s causing hunger in a given area, Action Against Hunger carries out comprehensive evaluations by collecting and analyzing key data on local assets, resources, and livelihoods strategies. Their teams meet directly with community members to better understand local conditions and create a collaborative plan of action.
    • Respond to emergencies: When disasters destroy infrastructure and food supplies, when violence forces thousands to flee, or when drought disrupts food production, Action Against Hunger responds with distributions of food, cash, and other items to prevent hunger in the short-term and ensure that crops can be replanted and livestock restocked in the future.
    • Provide long-term solutions: Designed in collaboration with local populations, Action Against Hunger's strategies are context-specific: micro-grant support for families recovering from conflict; seeds and tools for agricultural recovery; livestock and veterinary services where needed; small business assistance; and other programs that help families regain self-sufficiency.

  • Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene: "Every day 4,000 children die from illnesses like diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera caused by dirty water and unhygienic living conditions. [Action Against Hunger] can’t fight malnutrition without tackling the diseases that contribute to it. As part of [their] integrated approach to hunger, [they are] getting safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services to communities in need all over the world."
          What They Do:
    • Provide access to safe water: During emergencies, ACF trucks water into affected areas and installs storage tanks and reservoirs. Where water is scarce or unsafe, they drill and decontaminate wells, install hand-pumps, protect natural springs, tap aquifers, rehabilitate damaged infrastructure, and pipe water into hard-to-reach villages and health centers.
    • Promote sanitation & hygiene: To prevent outbreaks of disease during a crisis, ACF’s teams distribute hygiene kits and build latrines and hand-washing stations. In communities at risk, they construct water filters made from basic materials and teach healthy practices like hand-washing, cooking with clean utensils, and drawing water from protected sources.
    • Ensure lasting change: ACF’s commitment to community participation ensures long-term capacity: the organization trains community-based water committees to manage their water and sanitation infrastructure themselves, and organize village health teams to model good sanitation and hygiene practices for their communities long after ACF leaves an area.

  • Emergency Response: "From cholera epidemics sweeping through refugee camps, to catastrophic natural disasters, to spikes in malnutrition rates brought on by drought, Action Against Hunger responds to humanitarian emergencies all over the world, delivering immediate life-saving services to populations in distress. With emergency teams on call 24 hours a day, and pre-positioned stocks of essential supplies ready for deployment, [their] internationally renowned rapid response capabilities ensure that life-saving assistance can be delivered anywhere in the world when needs arise."


  • Four Star charity rating by Charity Navigator
  • A- rated organization by Charity Watch
  • 2012 Top Nonprofit by Great Nonprofits

To learn more about Action Against Hunger|ACF International please visit their website. The site is definitely worth a visit, as it provides comprehensive information on how the organization implements their program services, the organization's impact, news from the field, and of course, all the financial and reporting documents savvy funders are looking for.

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