How Fridge Twinning is helping to beat the Covid hunger crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of millions worldwide – and devastated the livelihoods of millions more.

Lockdowns and restrictions meant millions lost their income overnight, especially casual labourers who make up the majority of the workforce in poorer countries.

As a result, more than 40 million people are facing extreme hunger today because of economic shocks, especially Covid, according to the Global Network Against Food Crises.

And in many countries, the pandemic has only added to existing hunger crises caused by conflict, drought, flooding and economic problems. Nations such as Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen and South Sudan are particularly badly hit.

That’s why we launched Fridge Twinning – an emergency appeal to help beat the Covid hunger crisis. When you twin your fridge, your donation will be used to help provide food, cash vouchers and livelihoods support in more than 20 countries.

Our partners were having to extend their usual programmes because so many of the communities where they were already working were facing acute food shortages or food prices were beyond people’s reach.

One such country is Yemen where Ahmed and his children live, in the grip of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. More than 16 million people in Yemen are going hungry, with 5 million on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations.

As a day labourer, Ahmed saw his work dry up overnight due to Covid restrictions. The family have no money for food or to pay their growing rent arrears.

’I’ve seen our neighbours going through their rubbish to try to find scraps to eat,’ says Ahmed, ‘and I worried I’d find my children doing the same.’

Our partners in Yemen have recently started providing food to the family, which means the children now have three meals a day, much to Ahmed’s relief.

But Ahmed wants to work to provide for his children himself – which is why our partners are also running long-term recovery projects to create new jobs and livelihood opportunities. This could be growing crops, fishing, rearing animals or a small enterprise such as running a food stall.

In India, Jyoti and her husband could not feed their family when construction sites in Delhi closed down and stopped employing anyone. The couple walked for four days and nights to return to their parents’ village – only to find that their parents had no food either.

Our partners have been working with this community for years and, in response to the pandemic, they have been setting up income-generating projects. Jyoti and her husband are now earning a living through a rainwater-harvesting project – and can feed their children and their parents.

Because of their strong ties with vulnerable communities, our partners can identify exactly who and where the people in greatest need are. And they are determined to stand by these communities until communities can stand on their own again.

You can twin your fridge for a one-off donation of £30. In return, you will receive a set of fridge magnets so you can customise your fridge to show it’s twinned. Find out more here