• Standard of Living Better in SA: Stats SA

    Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) poor South Africans enjoy a better standard of living compared to their counterparts in many other countries.

    The latest figures released by Statistics South Africa puts the country's extreme poverty line at R26 a day per person.

    This is almost double the international line for extreme poverty, at about R14 per day. Lack of proper housing, malnutrition and hunger are some of the characteristics of poverty.

    To read the article titled, “Standard of living better in SA,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Mateus: Children Chronically Malnourished

    According to the deputy minister for Women's Affairs and Social Welfare, Virgilio Mateus, chronic malnutrition affects 43 percent of Mozambican children under the age of five.

    Speaking at the launch of a report by the United Nations Children's Fund, Mateus says the figure is an improvement from 2013, where 48 percent of all children under five were suffering from chronic malnutrition.

    He recognises that malnutrition constitutes a threat to the survival and to the healthy development of children and that greater efforts are needed to improve the well-being of Mozambican children.

    To read the article titled, “43 percent of children chronically malnourished,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Malnutrition Compromise Africa’s Growth

    African leaders and development officials say that poorly-fed children rob Africa of up to 16 percent of its potential growth, making investment in programmes to end malnutrition as critical to the continent's future as building bridges and roads.
    According to World Bank and United Nations reports, almost half all child deaths in Africa are caused by inadequate food and it is the underlying cause of many diseases, yet approaches to tackling health and child nutrition are disjointed and uncoordinated, limiting their impact.
    Meanwhile, World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, at an event on the sidelines of the United States-Africa Leaders Summit, explained that, "Every child stunted is GDP [gross domestic product] growth that is left on the table."
    To read the article titled, “Child malnutrition stalls Africa growth,” click here.

    News 24
  • Reel Life: Food Security Projects Intern

    Reel Life NPC
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Friday, September 12, 2014
    Opportunity type: 
    Reel Life is a nonprofit company (NPC) aligned to Reel Gardening, a multi-award winning social enterprise that is bringing about the growing revolution on an international stage at the same time as prioritising widespread food security, sustainability and water saving ventures. Reel Life NPC implements food security projects around the country with a focus on sustainability and accessibility, using the Reel Gardening technology, an innovative biodegradable seed tape. Reel Life NPC is a compact, far-reaching NPC, working in and around South Africa. Reel Life brings together numerous stakeholders and facilitates the Planting Revolution which aims to capacitate everyone and anyone to grow their own organic food using inexpensive, sustainable gardening practices. Reel Like works extensively with community projects, co-op’s, charities, partner NPO’s, and schools to address food insecurity, malnutrition and water scarcity. Reel Life is aligned to Reel Gardening and utilises the Reel Gardening technology in all projects.
    Reel Gardening is a patented biodegradable organic seed tape that holds seeds at the correct distance apart and anchors them at the correct depth in the soil for improved germination. This technology has been tested by the University of Pretoria as saving 80 percent water in the germination stage. Together with this substantial water saving, Reel Gardening and Reel Life strive to make food growing as simple and accessible as possible; capacitating anyone, regardless of skill, education or gardening know-how to successfully grow their own food. Reel Life and Reel Gardening have always been committed to social development and the production and supply of a product that positively impacts a large number of people by meeting a critical social need: food security. Reel Gardening and Reel Life are actively making a difference in the fields of: social entrepreneurship, sustainability, food security and water conservation.

    Reel Life seeks to appoint a Food Security Projects Intern, based in Randburg, Johannesburg.

    The Intern will assist with building Reel Life's vision.

    The Intern will be required to assist with the daily tasks of the nonprofit company, Monitoring and Evaluation of existing school and community projects  as well as completing a detailed report of a large social project set to commence September 2014. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to discover the day to day workings of the relationship between a far-reaching nonprofit company and a functional social enterprise, at the forefront of social entrepreneurship in South Africa.

    • Excellent written and verbal English;
    • Knowledge of two additional South African languages;
    • Excellent computer literacy, including but not limited to Microsoft;
    • Community training and dialogue facilitation skills;
    • Confidence in public speaking;
    • Valid driver's licence (own transport not required);
    • Knowledge of agriculture or home gardening favourable but not essential;
    • Above all, have a passion and an alignment of driving principals that will ensure you fit seamlessly into our team and our vision.
    Reel Life is offering a month to month renewable internship for a maximum of three months, with permanent employment possibly offered thereafter (dependant on fit and performance).

    R1 500 per month, for three days work per week as an honorarium (for a maximum of three months) to assist with travel expenses.

    To apply, submit a CV, including references and a single page motivational letter to

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Candidates will be contacted via email.

    Reel Life reserves the right not to make an appointment.

    For more about Reel Life, refer to

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to


    Need to upgrade your NGO's technology capacity and infrastructure? Need software and hardware at significantly discounted prices? Refer to the SANGOTeCH online technology donation and discount portal at
  • Namibia Hard-Hit by Drought

    The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) says that desert-hardy Namibians, overwhelmed by the worst drought to hit their country in 30 years, are surviving off wild fruits with no harvest in sight until March 2014.
    IFRC’s Hanna Butler, who recently visited Kunene, one of the worst hit regions in northern Namibia, points out that, "A lot of the people I met had nothing in their food stores, absolutely nothing."
    Butler warns that the crisis is set to worsen since Namibia only has one harvest a year and the next is not due until March 2014.

    To read the article titled, “Red Cross appeals for worst drought in 30 years in nation - Angola also hit,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Call for Wild Foods to Improve Food Security

    The Centre for International Research on Forests (CIFOR) says that malnutrition could be greatly reduced and food security improved by ensuring improved access to nutrient-rich forest-derived foods like berries, bushmeat, roots, insects and nuts for the world's poorest populations.

    CIFOR’s nutritionist and researcher, Bronwen Powell, points out that, "I believe forest foods are particularly important for reducing malnutrition when it comes to micronutrients such as vitamin A and iron."

    In the same vein, Monica Ayieko, a family and consumer economist and an edible insect researcher at Maseno University, argues that the westernisation of diets has made people to associate wild foods with poverty, adding that, “It is a pity because so many children die as a result of nutrient deficiency, yet these are abundant in wild foods."

    To read the article titled, “Wild foods could improve nutrition and food security,” click here.

    All Africa
  • UNICEF Urges Mothers to Breastfeed

    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that child malnutrition would decrease by 25 percent if babies were fed only breast milk in the first six months.

    Speaking at the launch of Save the Children’s report, ‘A life free of hunger: Tackling Child Nutrition’, UNICEF nutrition specialist, Chantell Witten, said that about 70 percent of babies are being fed solids at two months old.

    Witten stated that South Africa has the lowest proportion of breast feeding mothers in the world. She further states that most mothers feed their babies with formula milk because they are in a rush to return to work after giving birth.

    To read the article titled, “Breastfeeding healthy: Expert,” click here.

    The Citizen
  • NGO Urges the World to Tackle Malnutrition

    Save the Children has warned that half-a-billion children will be stunted over the next 15 years, if child malnutrition is tackled head-on.

    Save the Children’s regional health and HIV advisor, David Sanders, points out that, “The rising of food prices is the main cause of malnutrition.”

    Sanders maintains that the government must prioritise nutrition and outline the clear lines of responsibility.

    To read the article titled, “Children’s malnutrition highlighted,” click here.

    The Citizen
  • Inside Somalia: "We Are the Only Help they Have"

    Interview with Mohamed Somane Abdi, MSF Assistant Project Coordinator, Marere, southern Somalia.

    The drought has affected us badly. Marere used to be a farming area but there has been no harvest now for more than two years. You can see the effects of the drought right here in our hospital, where numbers of patients in our inpatient feeding centre have doubled.

    Last night, 80 under-fives with severe malnutrition stayed in the hospital, while we were treating a further 443 children as outpatients.

    "Hunger and destitution..."

    There are many others who are simply in the hospital because they have nothing to eat and nowhere else to go.

    They are malnourished and destitute, and they come here to be fed and to be treated – free of charge, of course.

    There is a lot of hunger and destitution as a result of the drought.

    The past two weeks have seen increasing numbers of children coming to the hospital in a bad state. Most have travelled very long distances, which has only made their situation worse.

    Some of the severely malnourished children have bodies so swollen you’d think they were about to burst.

    "We didn’t give up..."  

    We rescued one young boy, who was just one year old, from the town of Dinsor, 160 km from the hospital.

    We sent our car to collect the child and his mother, and when he was brought to the hospital he was in an unbelievable state: he had swelled up and most of his skin had cracked as a result of the malnutrition.

    As you can imagine, his mother was not expecting much, but we didn’t give up on him.

    It is now four weeks since we brought him here and his skin is healing, the swelling has subsided and he is healthy and very happy. His mother is over the moon, as any mother would be.

    And this child is not alone; we see so many cases like this every day that I can’t even remember all of their names.

    "The hospital is overflowing with patients..."

    We are also seeing severely malnourished pregnant women in our maternity department. On top of that, we are seeing between 250 and 300 people – not including children – in our outpatient department every day, most of whom are malnourished.

    Unfortunately, many also come to us with secondary illnesses, to which malnutrition has made them particularly susceptible.

    In the hospital, the other departments are also overflowing with patients. In the 30-bed inpatient department, we have 43 patients, 23 of whom are under five. And in our TB department we have another 131 patients.

    "You hear stories of parents having to leave their children..." We also have outreach centres in the area, where we are currently treating 112 children under the age of five.

    In a town 38 km from our hospital, we have another outreach centre where 50 under-fives are receiving treatment.

    One of the many places our teams visit is Jilib, which is 18 km away, where there is a camp with more than 1 400 internally displaced people, most of them women and young children.

    When you speak to the mothers and the few fathers there, you hear stories of parents having to leave their children on the side of the road because they were too malnourished and weak to walk any further.

    "We are the only help they have..."

    We are the only help they have – there are no other groups or organisations helping these people. When we go there we act both as a clinic and a feeding centre.

    Recently MSF handed out plastic sheets for making temporary homes, mosquito nets, because the area is filled with mosquitoes, and soap, to more than 1 201 families.

    Now they have some protection from the heat of the sun and the chills of the night, and can rest in the shade without mosquitoes feeding off them.

    "People come from far away for help..."

    Our hospital here in Marere is a large one, and we do much more than just treating patients. We assist in any other way we can and, because people hear about what we doing, the numbers increase and people come from far away for help.

    MSF is the only help here, and we help everyone, no matter what. If MSF wasn’t here, the situation would be extremely dire.

    It’s possible that no one would be left alive, as all those that could escape would have run away and the rest would simply have perished.

    For more about Médecins Sans Frontières, refer to

  • MSF is Rapidly Scaling Up its Activities in Mogadishu

    This week, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has sent medical teams and four charter planes carrying 55 tons of medical equipment, medicines and therapeutic food to Mogadishu in response to the crisis in Somalia. In the past weeks, an estimated 100 000 people have fled from south and central Somalia to the capital to seek assistance. They are settling in numerous camps in and around Mogadishu, with little or no access to health care.

    MSF has started measles vaccination campaigns in dozens of makeshift camps where thousands of people have gathered after fleeing the exceptional drought and the violence in other parts of the country. Almost 3 000 children were vaccinated so far.

    Around 1 000 children have been screened for malnutrition. More than half of them were indeed malnourished.

    “MSF is extremely worried about the situation of the displaced. The situation is critical.  MSF has begun reinforcing its operations in Mogadishu and is assessing areas around the capital in order to adequately respond to this crisis,” said Dr Unni Karunakara, International President of MSF.

    Through a mobile clinic, MSF staff provides medical care to around 100 patients daily. The teams are also distributing relief items, such as hygiene materials and plastic sheeting for temporary shelter.

    Since years MSF has been providing medical care in the capital, through health facilities in Daynile and Darkheley where more than 370 medical consultations were provided last week. To address the increasing medical needs, MSF will open inpatient therapeutic feeding centres, a measles treatment unit as well as a 50-beds cholera treatment centre in Mogadishu in the coming days.

    MSF has worked continuously in Somalia since 1991 and currently provides free medical care in eight regions. Over 1 400 Somali staff, supported by approximately 100 staff in Nairobi, provide free primary healthcare, surgery, treatment for malnutrition, as well as support to displaced people through health care, water supply and relief items distributions in nine locations in south and central Somalia.

    MSF is also providing medical care to Somali refugees in Kenya (Dagahaley and Ifo camps) and Ethiopia (Liben). In Dagahaley camp, MSF is the sole provider of medical care for the 130 000 people and currently treating 6 400 children for malnutrition. In Ifo, MSF provides medical care to the 25 000 refugees gathered on the outskirts of the camp. In Liben, MSF is providing medical care in the six camps where 119 000 refugees are gathered. Here, more than 10 000 children are enrolled in nutritional programmes.

    For more about Médecins Sans Frontières, refer to

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