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Concern Worldwide raises £1.8 million to help women and children break free from hunger

Matron Emielliene Mapouka (39) with six-month-old Rosalia and mum Hortense Mbolidere. Photo: Chris de Bode/Panos for Concern, CAR
Matron Emielliene Mapouka (39) with six-month-old Rosalia and her mum Hortense Mbolidere at Bekadili Health Clinic, which Concern supports by providing staff training, stocks of medicines, emergency therapeutic and supplementary food, and equipment. Photo: Chris de Bode/Panos for Concern, CAR

Concern Worldwide (UK) today announced that its Free from Hunger appeal has raised over £1.8 million to help women and children in some of the world’s poorest countries get the food they need to survive.

The international development charity’s 2019 appeal raised £1.84 million, including £858,961 of match funding from the UK government as part of its Aid Match scheme.

These funds have gone towards Concern’s work to improve the health and nutrition of pregnant women, new mothers and children under five in the Central African Republic (CAR), which has one of the highest rates of child mortality. Poor nutrition has led to the country being ranked as the world’s hungriest, while ongoing conflict has severely limited access to food and weakened the healthcare system. With families already poorly equipped to cope, Covid-19 is a crisis on top of a crisis; medical supplies and equipment are severely lacking.

The appeal ran between September and December 2019 and was supported by partners Mumsnet, Daily Mirror and Belfast Live, London Bridge City Management and NI4Kids. The money raised is increasing access to quality health and nutrition services in two areas -Bossembélé and Yaloké.

Danny Harvey, Executive Director of Concern (UK), said: “We are so grateful to the public for their generous donations. Without their support, and the support of UK aid, projects like this – that truly save lives – would not exist. This initiative will bring with it positive, sustainable change in the region. We must continue to work together with the public to keep the momentum going.”

Elise Ponson, Concern’s Country Director in the Central African Republic, said: “Since 2012, conflict in CAR has left communities highly vulnerable and made lifesaving food and medicine for children and mothers hard to come by. Thanks to this funding, we are able to ensure that more people - from community level to those working in health facilities - are empowered and able to strengthen the health and nutrition system in this region.”

The project in the Central African Republic is combatting acute malnutrition in approximately 12,500 children under five, new mothers and pregnant women. Concern is:

  • Training staff and community volunteers to spread messages about health and hygiene, identify signs of malnutrition and increase referrals
  • Improving education to increase levels of breastfeeding
  • Providing essential medicines and nutritional supplements
  • Improving the infrastructure and capacity of health centres in the region.

About UK Aid Match:

UK Aid Match brings charities, British people and the UK government together to change the lives of some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. UK Aid Match invites applications from charities working to achieve sustained poverty reduction and to achieve the Global Goals.

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