Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated each year on 18 July to honour the legacy of one of the greatest campaigners of our time. The day is a global call to action for every individual to use their power to change the world. Madiba is recognised as a symbol of global solidarity and a fierce advocate for social justice. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the call for justice has never been stronger.
“Freedom is meaningless if people cannot put food in their stomachs.” – Nelson Mandela
In some countries, hunger is quickly becoming a more deadly threat than the pandemic, with an additional 419 million people at risk of being pushed into extreme poverty. Cuts to aid, restrictions on movement, and lockdowns are all seriously impacting food prices.
In northern Nigeria, over 7 million people are currently considered food insecure. In Mali and Senegal, more than 2 million people and 1.5 million people respectively are at risk of hunger. And in countries like Niger, nearly two-thirds of people have insufficient food. Meanwhile, the DRC and East Africa are also experiencing conflict, insecurity, and pests.
South Africa is one of the worst hit African countries, with over 300,000 cases of coronavirus identified and 3-7 million people estimated to have lost their jobs. As of May 2020, 34% of South Africa’s population are experiencing hunger, and food riots have been reported.
In response to the increasingly alarming situation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is supporting the Each 1 Feed 1 initiative, which will be distributing food across South Africa to support families in need for a minimum of three months.
If you live in South Africa, you can donate food parcels to Each 1 Feed 1 collection boxes in participating grocery stores. If you live elsewhere in the world, visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s website to find out how you can support the campaign.