Right now, more than 820 million people around the world are hungry. Balki is one of those people.

At two and a half-years-old, Balki is severely malnourished. She weighs a fraction of what she should; her upper arm is a scant 100 millimeters around and she’s too weak to walk. At the local clinic, Ashta holds her baby as she cries out, “Wayo, wayo!” It means, “I’m hurting, I’m in pain.”

“I’ve been to the hospital with her so many times I’ve lost count. I make cold millet porridge, millet polenta and warm millet porridge. I’d love to give her some black eyed peas and biscuits with vitamins that will help her grow.” shares Ashta, Balki’s mother. Ashta continues to fight for her child if it means going to the hospital every day. “People think I’m crazy - I’m not.” she says through tears. “I just want my child to grow up and be healthy.”

Worldwide, hunger and malnutrition kill more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. 

UN HTLE 2008

In the Sahel region of West Africa, where Balki and her mother Ashta live, it has either rained too much or not enough, leaving communities without enough food to eat.

In Southern Africa, they are experiencing a hunger crisis expected to impact 41 million people in the coming months – the highest number in more than 10 years. The region experienced an unusual contrast of severe drought and flooding. Western and central parts of the region experienced the driest season in over 35 years, coupled with an unprecedented event of back-to-back cyclones.

Following extreme flooding in Balki’s village, CARE was there to help, feeding families like Ashta’s with emergency food aid and providing medical care for malnourished people, especially children. We are still there, helping communities recover and improve their resilience to cope with future emergencies.

Poor nutrition causes 45% of deaths in children under 5: 3.1 million children a year; In developing countries, this can rise to 1 in 3. 


Your gift today could be the difference for a child like Balki.

$40 can provide drought-resistant seeds which can help farmers combat the dry seasons and still produce enough food for their families.

$150 can provide a community with a stocked fish farm which provides a reliable source of protein throughout the year.

$555 can provide an entire community with a community garden where families can grow fresh vegetables so they can grow to be healthy and strong.

You can help children like Balki have enough to eat.