As we are past the second month of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia we feel more and more that action is having a rippling effect on the rest of the world.
Both Ukraine and Russia, are big producers of grain, and the cost of what normally is affordable food is now going up everywhere in the world.
Unfortunately, the ones that are suffering the most are the poor. The ones that already find it hard to feed their children find themselves in an even harder position, again.
According to the United Nations and echoed by USAID, at least 45 underdeveloped countries are dependent on grain, oil, tea, fruit, and fertilizer from Russia and Ukraine. Ninety-five or 95% of US fertilizer come from the same location.
Due to the war and the sanctions made on Russia the rise in the prices of the most basic of products is having a devastating effect on the poor countries in the world. Those countries have already struggled through the effects of Covid on top of their national problems and now things have quickly become incredibly worse.
Star of Hope is constantly in contact with our partners in the countries where we work, and we can tell you that unequivocally the war is influencing all of them negatively. One example is Argentina where over the last couple of months the extreme poverty percentage has gone up from 37,7% (officially) affecting the end of January around 17 million people, and today poverty has been measured at over 50%. One of the provinces most affected is where we work, in Chaco amongst the natives Toba the extreme poverty percentage lands at over 80% and rising.
A lot of the food we give out is directly affected by price increases like pasta, bread, oatmeal, and everything made from flour. And as the fuel prices also have risen this is now influencing the local produce as farmers are having to raise the prices of their products to make ends meet.
Today we are giving out more than 8000 meals of food in Kenya. Haiti and Ghana are experiencing inflation never seen before or experienced. We are giving out 700 bags of food a month to the Toba natives in Argentina.
The marginalized place we work does not share the same cost increase as in the United States where the U.S. Department of Agriculture via their economic research service says:
“Food price increases are expected compared to observations in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, the food “at home” prices are also predicted to increase, between 5.0 and 6.0 percent. Food “away-from-home” prices are predicted to increase between 5.5 and 6.5 percent. Price increases for food away from home are expected to exceed historical averages and the inflation rate in 2021”.
However, here in America, you and I depending on where we live, have seen an official inflation rate of 7.9% already in 2022. Put that together with the 15% - 30% increase in food prices quoted by the U.S Bureau of Statistics. Then throw in some “shrinkflation”, also known as the grocery, shrink ray, deflation, or package downsizing. I am paying closer to 30% more than just a year ago for so many items. I wonder if you feel the same.
All this is important, what is more, important for you to know is when we feed our 20,000 kids in thirteen countries, there are countries where the costs have soared 300% in just 2 or 3 years.
Imagine for a moment that you are in charge, of footing the bill, to feed our kids and your total salary will not cover the food. That feeling that inability is what we are talking about.
We are now reaching out to you as we need more help not only to help the victims of the war but also to help all our projects with food baskets and school lunches to help the children and their families.
As a Lunch Buddy where just 1 dollar gives 4 children food for a day, you can make a huge difference to a family by donating every month.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Be a blessing to a child!
Isabella Zelaya (edited)