Action AgAinst Hunger

ACF International Network 2007 Annual Report

AcF internAtionAL netWorK

Comprised of five independent, non-profit organizations with headquarters in London, Madrid, Montréal, New York, and Paris, the ACF International Network (ACF-IN) saves the lives of malnourished children while providing families with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger. ACF-IN bridges emergency relief with longer-term development, intervening in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster, and chronic food insecurity. Our 6,000+ field staff—seasoned professionals and technical experts in nutrition, water and sanitation, public health, and food security—carry out life-saving programs in some 40 countries. These programs reach nearly 5 million people a year, restoring dignity, self-sufficiency, and independence to vulnerable populations around the world.

Action AgAinst Hunger core PrinciPLes
The ACF International Charter affirms six core principles that all staff members worldwide pledge to uphold in carrying out their work. Since our first forays into the field of global hunger, almost 30 years ago, Action Against Hunger / Accion Contra el Hambre / Action Contre la Faim (ACF) has occupied a singular place among international organizations. Whether responding to natural disasters, entrenched poverty, or seasonal hunger, our teams have been at the forefront of humanitarian action for nearly three decades, fostering principled, community-centered solutions for millions of people around the world. With each year’s new challenges, ACF teams refine our programs and develop context-specific strategies, and 2007 was no exception. From the expanding crisis in Darfur, to Hurricane Felix in Central America, Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, and a massive earthquake in Peru, our teams adapted existing programs or launched new efforts as the situation dictated. Frequently, those teams went into areas where other organizations hesitated to go because of unstable political conditions. Despite growing insecurity in Darfur, ACF’s presence guaranteed life-saving services for tens of thousands of families, including vital nutrition programs, distributions of hygiene kits, and improved access to clean water and sanitation facilities. In response to the various natural disasters, Action Against Hunger conducted rapid assessments and responded with immediate assistance. As these crises transitioned into post-emergency phases, ACF remained to help restore contaminated fields, repair water points and sanitation facilities, and restock productive assets like seeds, tools, and fishing nets. ACF’s broad solutions aim at enhancing livelihoods and incomegenerating opportunities, boosting food production, and restoring health and independence to distressed communities—vital services whose life-saving value can’t be overstated. For communities recovering from natural disasters, displaced populations living in camps, or communities faced with cycles of drought and hunger, selfsufficiency is the most powerful tool for rebuilding livelihoods, and Action Against Hunger’s teams provide people with the tools and knowhow to work their way back to normalcy.

action against hunger action against hunger

indePendence neutrALity non-discriminAtion
acF-usa Chairman: raymond Debbane Executive Director: nan Dale acF-France President: Denis Metzger Executive Director: François Danel acF-spain President: José Luis Leal Maldonado Executive Director: olivier Longué acF-uK Chairman: Paul Wilson Executive Director: Jean-Michel grand acF-canada President: Diane Bussandri Executive Director: Frédéric Boisrond Reflects the leadership of each ACF headquarters as of December 31, 2008
on tHe coVer

Free And direct Access to Victims ProFessionALism trAnsPArency

AcF internAtionAL netWorK


On behalf of the Boards of Directors at each of the ACF headquarters, I am proud to present this report highlighting some of our key accomplishments in 2007.

Burton K. HAimes

To view our financial information, please visit

cover photos: ACF-Afghanistan, courtesy I.I. Eshragi/Agence VU; ACF-Sri Lanka, courtesy J. Lapegue cover photos: ACF-Afghanistan, courtesy Eshragi/Agence VU; ACF-Sri Lanka, courtesy J. Lapegue

Our comprehensive approach to global hunger delivers a range of community-centered solutions to populations in crisis, like this young girl’s community in Afghanistan.

Chairman, International Chairmen’s Council ACF International Network



action against hunger



our comprehensive solutions to global hunger are needs-based, context-specific, and customized through direct community participation. While the programs we run may vary from one country to the next, they all share this defining set of characteristics: comPreHensiVe: Action Against Hunger integrates activities in nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, health, and advocacy. To tackle the underlying causes of hunger, we address the social, organizational, technical, and resource concerns essential to a community’s well-being. LAsting soLutions: Action Against Hunger works to ensure our programs can be sustained without us. By integrating our programs with local and national systems we transform effective, short-term interventions into sustainable, long-term solutions. community-centered: A community-centered approach is key to building local capacity for the management and maintenance of our programs. Through training, workshops, technical support, and mentoring, Action Against Hunger builds local capacity and cultivates community know-how for the long-run. indePendent & imPArtiAL: As a nongovernmental humanitarian agency, ACF is apolitical. But when it comes to human suffering, we are not neutral: We do our utmost to deliver effective assistance whenever and wherever it’s most needed. FuLL AccountABiLity & trAnsPArency: Action Against Hunger directly implements and oversees all of its programs, requiring full access to communities targeted for assistance. Committed to transparency and full disclosure, ACF ensures key financial information is publicly available and that its programs undergo external evaluation to assess their impact.

Today, over 850 million people still suffer from hunger and more than one billion people lack access to clean drinking water. Through an integrated approach incorporating Nutrition & Health, Food Security, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, and Advocacy, Action Against Hunger responds efficiently and effectively to help vulnerable populations around the world. nutrition And HeALtH: Nutrition programs aim at assessing, preventing and treating acute malnutrition among the most vulnerable populations, especially young children and pregnant or lactating women. Health programs consist of fighting diseases linked with malnutrition.

Food security: Action Against Hunger’s food security programs include both emergency programs – such as emergency food distributions – as well as longterm programs. These programs aim at boosting agricultural and/ or economic activity providing populations with sufficient access to food of a satisfactory quality and improving self-sufficiency. WAter, sAnitAtion And Hygiene: These programs aim at guaranteeing access to drinking water and good sanitary conditions (by providing wells, water distribution networks, latrines, hygiene education sessions, etc). In 2007 about two million people benefitted from these ACF programs.

AdVocAcy: Action Against Hunger raises awareness about hunger and seeks to alert and influence the international community when fundamental rights such as access to water or food are violated. Action Against Hunger’s advocacy efforts aim at affecting institutional and cultural changes to help create a world without hunger.

AcF internAtionAL netWorK

ACF’s programs provide immediate assistance and long-term relief to malnourished children and their families.

Our food security programs offer a broad range of solutions for generating income and food production.

ACF ensures effective assistance by working directly with communities to customize lasting solutions to hunger.


ACF-Nepal, courtesy S. Remael.

(From left): ACF-Zimbabwe, courtesy J. Lapegue; ACF-Afghanistan, courtesy I. Eshragi/Agence VU; ACF-Malawi, courtesy J.E. Atwood/Agence VU


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HAiti guAtemALA


etHioPiA guineA HondurAs nicArAguA sierrA Leone LiBeriA coLomBiA iVory coAst KenyA indonesiA democrAtic rePuBLic oF tHe congo (drc) Burundi ugAndA PHiLiPPines somALiA




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This map reflects the reach of the ACF International Network as of December 31, 2007. For the most up-to-date look at our current programs, please visit

The breadth of Action Against Hunger’s international expertise goes beyond the scope of our current programs. We have worked in many other countries, including Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cameroon, North Korea, mozambique, macedonia, rwanda, Tanzania, Western Sahara, and Zambia.
(From left): ACF-Guatemala, courtesy B. Grignet/Agence VU; ACF-Philippines, courtesy J. Lapegue; ACF-Burundi, courtesy E. Simiand; ACF-Nepal, courtesy S. Remael; ACF-DR Congo, courtesy J. Lapegue

sudAn sudan has been wracked by multiple conflicts since independence. The longest of these was the 21-year civil war between north and south, which left two million people dead, four million displaced, and most of the south’s infrastructure destroyed. With one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world, sudan struggled to rebuild after the signing of the historic 2005 peace agreement. Yet significant steps towards regional stability were threatened by ongoing conflict in sudan’s troubled western region of Darfur. since 1985, acF has worked with distressed communities in both the north and south of sudan, as well as Darfur. These interventions continued in 2007, and included ongoing maintenance of nutritional feeding centers and community-based treatment of malnutrition, and distribution of food, as well as measures to rebuild infrastructure and address causes of chronic hunger, such as psychosocial support, construction and rehabilitation of granaries, support for irrigation systems, construction of latrines, and rehabilitation of water tanks, wells, and manual pumps. ugAndA in uganda’s troubled north, rebels in the Lord’s resistance army continued to terrorize the countryside, abducting children and displacing some 2.5 million people—80 percent of the population—into sprawling camps. in 2007, some of the displaced returned to their ancestral lands for the first time in two decades, but even this hopeful development created new humanitarian challenges. Despite the improvement in the political situation, most northerners continued to live in refugee camps and depend on humanitarian aid assistance. acF has worked in uganda since 1980 and played a pivotal role in reducing malnutrition, providing safe drinking water, and ensuring food security for the displaced. Throughout 2007, staff continued to maintain therapeutic feeding centers and monitor the nutritional situation in the camps, as well as provide training in health and hygiene to camp residents. acF staff also worked to rehabilitate water points outside the camps. AFgHAnistAn seven years of drought and desertification have had serious consequences in afghanistan, plunging the population into a state of extreme food insecurity. on top of 25 years of conflict, the afghani population is struggling to rebuild a country in desperate need of international assistance, investment in infrastructure, and drastic improvements in security, agricultural production, and clean water access. Throughout 2007, acF’s teams continued to run the humanitarian programs that, since 1995, have helped afghans strengthen local livelihoods and improve methods for coping with changing conditions. The staff was thus uniquely qualified to act in the face of the continuing drought. in november, they organized a massive distribution of vegetables and grains in the central afghanistan province of Day Kundi, providing lifesaving assistance to the population as winter closed in. etHioPiA Building on a 20-year track record in ethiopia, action against hunger continued to work with food insecure communities in regions affected by climate change and poor agricultural cycles. The deteriorating state of water points in the country’s southeast exacerbated outbreaks of water-borne diseases to epidemic proportions. in the town of Kebri Déhar, in the ogaden region, for example, local authorities alerted acF staff to a growing epidemic of diarrhea in January of 2007. Through a rapid evaluation, acF found that Kebri Dehar’s population of 36,000 could draw potable water from only two of the town’s 21 fresh water wells. acF’s response addressed the immediate problem as well as the underlying causes of this recurring epidemic: the staff set up an emergency center to treat the ill and then began work on a water treatment center to improve the quality of water available to the town. sri LAnKA operating since 1997, action against hunger’s sri Lanka program has worked with populations affected by the civil war as well as communities devastated by the 2004 tsunami. another tragedy took place on august 4, 2006, when 17 acF staff members were shot to death at the organization’s offices in Muttur during fighting between rebels and government forces. acF has struggled ever since to ensure a proper investigation into this heinous crime—one of the more shocking atrocities committed against humanitarian field staff to date. Following a four-month hiatus, sri Lankan operations continued so that the organization could monitor legal proceedings and the search for the perpetrators. to date, no one has been arrested for these murders, and action against hunger has suspended its sri Lankan operations. coLomBiA since 1998, action against hunger’s colombia program has helped displaced families and vulnerable communities meet basic needs in the face of rampant violence that has blighted this country for decades. although colombia is rich in natural resources, some 64 percent of the population lives in poverty and needs external assistance. Throughout 2007, action against hunger staff continued to deliver programs in nutrition, food security, and water and sanitation. in July, the colombia staff shifted into high gear after the strongest seasonal rainfall in eleven years caused massive flooding in the region of La Mojana. immediately after the flooding, acF distributed food items including 440 tons of rice, 110 tons of sugar, 110 tons of cooking oil, and 110 tons of vegetables to 13 municipalities, meeting the basic food needs of 55,000 people. By the end of the year, and following further flooding, acF staff were working to provide additional help to people who had lost their harvests and reserve food supplies in the disaster. AngoLA after more than 30 years of bloody conflict, the 2002 peace agreement established an opening for recovery, development, and the gradual return of displaced angolans to their former communities. however, five years later, instead of gradual progress, the country’s living conditions have deteriorated even further; some 70% of the population now lives in poverty. action against hunger has worked in

action against hunger AcF internAtionAL netWorK

ACF’s therapeutic programs target children under five as the most vulnerable to malnutrition.

We work directly with local populations to identify existing coping mechanisms and develop appropriate solutions

ACF’s 30 years of humanitarian action ensures expertise in a wide range of countries and cultural contexts.

(From left) ACF-Guatemala, courtesy B. Grignet; ACF-D.R.Congo, courtesy Burger/Phanie; ACF-Cambodia, ACF-DR Congo, courtesy Burger/Phanie courtesy J. Lapegue

(From left): ACF-Afghanistan, courtesy J. Lapegue; ACF-Guatemala, courtesy B. Grignet/Agence VU; ACF-Sri Lanka, courtesy J. Lapegue


the country since 1995, assisting with agricultural development and access to clean water, and building the capacity of angolan health authorities to address nutrition and hiV prevention. in 2007, the team continued to assist with angola’s rehabilitation, working with local communities to provide nutrition training to health workers, distribute seeds and tools and establish seed banks, provide training in sustainable agricultural practices, construction and maintenance of latrines, and self management of water points, construct and rehabilitate wells, and support training for municipal water brigades. tHe democrAtic rePuBLic oF congo For the past three years, the D.r. congo has been in transition from a brutal civil war to peace. The elections of 2006 brought stability to the country’s political landscape, although 40 years of corrupt regimes and two civil wars have taken their toll on civil society. The country’s sheer size partly explains the slow progress in improving living standards—communities in dire need are spread over thousands of miles. humanitarian crises still occur with regularity, exposing pockets of acute malnutrition, lack of basic health care, and widespread food insecurity. acF has actively delivered solutions in the D.r. congo since 1996. in 2007, acF teams, working in 15 active bases, took advantage of growing political stability to facilitate displaced individuals’ return to their homes, and to help them recover nutritional and economic self-sufficiency. acF also worked with government agencies, including the Ministry of health and its national nutrition Program (Pronanut) to train health workers and to improve food policy and nutritional surveillance throughout the country. niger niger remains one of the poorest countries in the world, although its status was upgraded from the last to the third to last country on the unDP’s human Development index in 2007. With its populace and economy susceptible to climatic shocks, niger faces regular climate-induced food crises and cyclical hunger. in 2005, malfunctioning markets linking niger with its neighbors nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso, combined with drought to bring about a spike in food prices that contributed to a major food crisis. While the situation stabilized in 2006 and 2007, it did not necessarily improve. Malnutrition is still critically prevalent, mainly due to traditional care-giving practices, limited health and education services, and vulnerable livelihood systems. action against hunger’s presence remains crucial to improve the treatment and prevention of malnutrition. components of our intervention include capacity building for local ministry of health structures, strengthening of agro-pastoral production, introduction of innovative agricultural techniques, encouraging beneficiaries to diversify their livelihoods, and ensuring safe and sufficient water for local populations.

action against hunger

Poverty, deprivation, and hunger are all too common, but ACF’s programs help restore dignity, health, and selfsufficiency.

Our 6,000+ staff are seasoned professionals and technical experts in water and sanitation, food security, public health, and nutrition.

Our emergency interventions ensure access to clean water, a first line of defense in mitigating a natural disaster.

KenyA Kenya’s northern regions are regularly threatened by both flooding and drought in cycles of increasing intensity and frequency that impede the population’s ability to recover from shocks and shorten periods of stability. action against hunger has carried out humanitarian programs in Kenya since 2002, and continues to expand its geographic coverage, the breadth of its nutritional programs, and the development of its water, sanitation, and hygiene activities in response to these ongoing crises. 2007 brought both a mid-year drought, followed by a very short and intense rainy season

that caused floods and irreversible crop losses, as well as increasing instability and violence in the wake of disputed national elections. Working in its established program in Mandera, and opening a new program in nairobi, acF organized emergency programs to distribute food, water, and essential non-food items such as soap and cooking pots, while also providing nutritional surveillance, support, and health education for the displaced.

AcF internAtionAL netWorK


(From left): ACF-Mongolia, courtesy(From left) ACF-Guatemala, courtesy courtesy J.E. ACF-D.R.Congo, courtesy Burger/Phanie; ACF-Cambodia, courtesy J. Lapegue C. Doury/Agence VU; ACF-Malawi, B. Grignet; Atwood/Agence VU; ACF-Cambodia, courtesy J. Lapegue

ACF-Kenya, courtesy J. Lapegue


edited by samuel Hauenstein swan & Bapu Vaitla, with a foreword by dr. stephen devereux; published by Pluto Press.

Photos of hungry children and successful development projects may be visually arresting, sharp illustrations of action against hunger’s humanitarian work, but they do not capture the painstaking research that goes into the planning and design of each intervention. This research is rooted in detailed field data that tells us about a population’s nutritional and health status and guides decisions about where to send our staff and what sort of help to provide. unfortunately, when data is collected in the turmoil of humanitarian crises by different agencies that use varying methodologies, the results can be inconsistent at best and unreliable at worst. and this, in turn, limits our ability to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. to improve the quality of data collected by the humanitarian aid community, usaiD and ciDa launched the standardized Monitoring and assessment of relief and transitions (sMart) initiative in 2002. activities of this interagency initiative include standardizing surveys, building databases, and providing technical assistance. action against hunger’s involvement has helped to ensure that available information on mortality, nutritional status, and food security is reliable, consistent, and informed by our considerable field-based expertise. The initiative has five components. The first—and the one that action against hunger has been most involved with—creates a standardized survey manual and analytical software for use in field surveys of population status. action against hunger field-tested Version 1 of this tool in chad, Mali, niger, and nigeria, and our staff helped to write the accompanying survey manuals, both of which were released for general use in March 2007. other components of sMart include an international database on complex emergencies, comprehensive training and technical support for workers in the field, and an operational research group. action against hunger is proud to participate in this ambitious project to improve effectiveness of the entire humanitarian community. reliable, consistent data on the status of populations in crisis allows us to better understand the needs of each population and respond with coherent, appropriate strategies. While sMart meetings may not grab headlines or create compelling photo opportunities, the project is nonetheless transforming humanitarian action.

action against hunger

In 2007, Action Against Hunger’s research and advocacy department, Hunger Watch, released the justice of eating, a report examining the impact of various forces on malnutrition. Combining thorough analysis with personal testimonies from struggling families, this report assesses the underlying causes of hunger in several African countries. A powerful indictment of local institutions, national governments, international agencies, and the socioeconomic forces complicit in the persistence of world hunger, the report argues that an end to malnutrition is fully possible with sufficient political will. Through case studies and personal narratives, the justice of eating presents an insightful examination of the factors leading to nutritional crises in contexts ranging from the violence and conflict of Darfur, to the market instability of Niger, to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in malawi and Zambia, to the drought-prone coffee lands of ethiopia. The report concludes with a powerful and provocative argument that affirms a universal right to food.

AcF internAtionAL netWorK

ACF works to save the lives of malnourished children while ensuring access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger.

ACF organizes and trains community water committees to manage the water systems we rehabilitate and install.

In addressing hunger, clean water is as essential as food, but only by cultivating local expertise can we ensure its sustainability.

(From left) ACF-Guatemala, courtesy B. Grignet; ACF-D.R.Congo, courtesy Burger/Phanie; ACF-Cambodia, ACF-Ethiopia, courtesy P. Bussian courtesy J. Lapegue

(From left): ACF-DR Congo, courtesy Burger/Phanie; ACF-Philippines, courtesy J. Lapegue; ACF-Cambodia, courtesy J. Lapegue


increAsing Funds to exPAnd our gLoBAL eFFectiVeness over the past five years, the combined financial resources of the five acF international networkheadquarters has nearly doubled from $71 million to more than $142 million. This steady growth has allowed acF to implement strategies that prevent & treat acute malnutrition and help restore communities to self-sufficiency, while still having the capacity to respond rapidly and effectively to nutritional crises whenever and wherever they occur. The chart below presents a five year history of the growth in the acF international network’s aggregate, annual operating budget. While the revenues received in any given year include dollars (in some cases both us and canadian), euros, and pounds, the totals have been converted into a single currency for the purposes of comparison. The conversion rates used in this table reflect the historical average rates of exchange for the year in question (e.g., in 2003 the usD/euro rate was 1.11, whereas in 2007 it was 1.36).

PrAise For Action AgAinst Hunger
President neLson mAndeLA “action against hunger is in war-torn countries that many fear to tread. They are technical people…that forgo the comforts of modern life to assist local populations and refugees at the most fundamental level in the most dangerous locales. They provide nutrition, healthcare, sanitation, and food sustainability. They train populations to be self-sufficient. although these dedicated men and women want to eliminate the need for their services, humanity is not willing and forces them to witness the most heinous actions.” ArcHBisHoP desmond tutu “action against hunger—the title speaks for itself. This is a remarkable organization with a staff of energetic, enthusiastic and deeply committed people who are determined to make a difference to the lives of thousands of people. There are millions who do not have access to clean water, food, health services or education. They are condemned to a grinding life of poverty with no choices. action against hunger is changing this. Their training programmes are improving the quality of life and health and, above all, bringing hope to thousands in underdeveloped countries. i commend them for their outstanding work and welcome the opportunity to express my support.” susAn sArAndon “action against hunger reaches the most vulnerable and neglected populations through programs in nutrition, water, sanitation, food security, and basic health care. What makes them unique is that not only do they address emergency needs and save lives but they also help people regain their autonomy.”







(top): ACF-Guatemala, courtesy B. Grignet/Agence VU; (Bottom): ACF-Ethiopia, courtesy P. Bussian

AcF internAtionAL netWorK ALLocAtion oF reVenues mAintAining A PrimAry commitment to direct FieLd serVices in 2007, as in previous years, more than 80% of all funds directly supported our field programs in nutrition & health, water & sanitation, and food security. The balance covered the general management and administration costs of the five headquarter offices, along with expenses related to fundraising, press relations, and public outreach.
6.55% 10.89%


(From left) ACF-Guatemala, courtesy B. Grignet; ACF-D.R.Congo, courtesy Burger/Phanie; ACF-Cambodia, courtesy J. ACF-DR Congo, courtesy Burger/Phanie Lapegue








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