Food, hunger and sustainable livelihoods | ActionAid UK

Food, hunger and sustainable livelihoods

ActionAid helps women in the world’s poorest countries to feed their families. There are many reasons why women living in poverty don’t have enough food: some are prevented from owning land, others cannot afford the tools to farm crops or earn a living, and some find it difficult to grow crops in harsh or unpredictable weather, thanks to climate change. 

Local ActionAid staff are teaching women sustainable farming techniques, and stand side by side with thousands of women fighting to own their land. We train women in the skills they need to earn their own income and stand up to those who try to take it from them.

Helping women to earn a wage

ActionAid offers women like Boridi and Vyasupathi (pictured above left to right) in Andhra Pradesh, India, training in fishing and farming skills, as well as how to run a successful business. We connect women and encourage them to stand together in the fight for equal access to land and the right to make their own money. 

Find out how we’re supporting women like Beatrice in Rwanda and Zenia in Malawi.

ActionAid’s work on hunger in numbers: in 2016

Women in 24 countries gained more control of the land they farm, as well as access to water and other natural resources 1

Grant from the European Union for a cash transfer programme in Lesotho to support communities affected by El Niño 2

 Farmers in 25 countries practised climate-resilient farming methods 3

Ending hunger with sustainable farming

We aim to end hunger – for good. Millions of women rely on farming for food and income, but unpredictable and extreme weather is making farming increasingly difficult. Floods and droughts, rising sea levels and unpredictable seasons are causing harvests to fail.

So we train women farmers in resilient farming and fishing techniques, including soil conservation, crop diversity, seed banks and water management.

Read about how we’re supporting seaweed farmers in the Philippines to produce sustainable harvests.

Tackling the impacts of climate change

As floods, droughts, typhoons and other climate-related emergencies become more frequent, people living in the most vulnerable places are finding it even harder to farm and earn a living. The poorer people are, the harder it is to recover from the effects of climate change. 

ActionAid is supporting millions of people with new, climate-proof ways of farming, like table gardening, or using salt-resistant seeds and heat-resilient livestock so they are better armed to cope with the massive weather changes. 

Bulbuli in Bangladesh is one of the women we’re helping to adapt to climate change. Read her story below.

El Niño and the current food crisis 

El Niño, the naturally occurring warming of oceans, combined with climate change, is having a devastating impact on people in the world’s poorest places. 

El Nino-driven drought and storms have left a staggering 60 million people around the world facing crop failures and worsening hunger

ActionAid is working in Ethiopia, Somaliland, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, feeding people who are on the verge of starvation and helping them tackle the problem in the long term.

Below, Amina from Somaliland describes the impact that the drought is having on her life.


Page updated 13 May 2019