Your support of Lutheran World Relief contributes to the larger work of creating sustainable solutions to poverty around the world. This blog series on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks to answer two questions: What are the sustainable development goals? And how does your support of Lutheran World Relief contribute to them?
What are the Global Goals?
This past September, 193 governments agreed upon the Sustainable Development Goals, an ambitious agenda also known as the Global Goals. The Global Goals are essentially a 17-point plan to end poverty, combat climate change and fight injustice and inequality. These goals replace and build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were agreed upon in 2001 and expired at the end of the 2015.The Global Goals constitute the next 15-year framework that will guide country plans, priorities and investments to reduce poverty and promote development. They will influence the definition of development, how it is funded and how it is measured.
Some of the big differences between the new Global Goals and the previous set of MDGs include the scope and focus of the goals, as well as the number of goals (only eight goals were agreed upon in 2001). The Global Goals include broad, all-encompassing priorities like “ending poverty in all its forms everywhere” (goal #1), as well as more nuanced objectives, like “promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” (goal #16).
With so many big, bold, aspirational goals, you may wonder: where do we start in actually carrying out this work? The good news is we already have. With your support, LWR is already taking on the work in many of the Global Goals.
In this blog series, we will explore a few of the Global Goals you are directly supporting through LWR. And we’ll begin with Goal #2.
Goal #2: Zero Hunger is big, bold and gets straight to the point. This goal sets the priority of ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.
For LWR, Global Goal #2 is right in our “wheelhouse,” focused on sustainable and climate-smart ways of promoting food security and inclusive agricultural growth among small-scale farmers. We are driven by local needs and by working with local partners, we aim to assist underserved rural communities, with particular emphasis on improving livelihoods for small-scale farmers and on ensuring sustainability by strengthening the capacity of local organizations.
Let’s take a look at how LWR is already doing the work of ending hunger.
How Your Support Helps
In the past year alone, your gifts have supported 61 LWR agriculture projects, including 21 in Africa, 16 in the Asia and the Middle East, and 24 in Latin America. Through these projects, farmers have:
- learned improved agricultural techniques through access to technical assistance, trainings, and learning opportunities, such as demonstration plots and farmer field schools where they observe new crops and methods first hand
- gained access to credit through their cooperatives and other local finance institutions, helping to purchase quality seeds, fertilizer and other tools to improve the quality and yield of their crops
- diversified their crops, both to improve overall household food security and to improve cash crops (such as the planting of fruit trees to provide shade for coffee plants)
And here’s the truly exciting part: through these 61 projects, you’ve reached more than 200,000 farmers with activities to improve agriculture in their communities.
Here are just a few examples of how that support has changed lives.
Miguel Angel and his wife (pictured below) are traditional farmers in the highlands of Peru. Much of the traditional farming knowledge and practices were lost after a population exodus in the region. Miguel is now planting new potato varieties as part of a project with LWR for improved food security and increased ability to sell crops in the marketplace.
Rice farmer Mariam Abdallah (pictured below) was able to improve the quality and increase the volume of her rice crop through better farming practices she learned from LWR. She attends workshops for theoretical training and receives practical training through demonstration plots. LWR works with community groups in Tanzania to increase their knowledge, skills, and capacities to preserve and manage their natural resources in ways that improve their crop production – and as a result, their food security.
Your support is enabling LWR to tackle the challenge of ending hunger in a sustainable way – the kind of change demanded by the Global Goals. For more information on the work LWR is doing to combat hunger around the world, visit programs.lwr.org/agriculture.