Humanitarian Relief by the Sri Sathya Sai International Organization (SSSIO)
Hundreds of thousands of people are affected all over the world, every year by natural calamities. Nature strikes at the heart of humanity in an often unexpected way leaving behind a swath of destruction of lives, property and civilization. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, famine, tornados and wildfires have caused ravages that are a call for humanity to respond with cooperation, largesse, compassion, generosity and relentless efforts to bring peace and normalcy amidst chaos and destruction.
What are the Goals and Principles of Humanitarian Relief Followed by the SSSIO
The principles of Sri Sathya Sai Ideal Humanitarian Relief have been inspired by the discourses and projects of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The SSSIO has been responding to several natural disasters globally by following these principles. In each instance, humanitarian relief delivered by the SSSIO has been characterized by:
- Timely - Delivery of aid beginning with immediate assessment, planning and execution (such as immediate on-site visits, mobilization of resources, and timely delivery of aid).
- Sustained - Delivery of aid which is sustained for long periods to empower victims and enable a safe return to normal lives (such as engaging local communities to rebuild disrupted lives and providing resources and guidance longer than the immediate impact of the natural calamity).
- Compassionate - Delivery of aid, which is compassionate and tailored to individual needs (such as loving, state-of-the-art medical care, food supplies, disease prevention, and education).
- Preventive - Delivery of aid that is envisioned and planned to ameliorate the impact of future natural disasters (such as building homes, shelters, and permanent water supplies).
Current Food Insecurity Crisis in Africa
The world is presently embroiled in a global pandemic whose impact has extended beyond human lives and health, to crises in economies and food securities. The African continent has been hit the hardest in both its economy and food security. Many of these countries are faced with swarms of locust destroying hundreds of acres of agrarian land, regional conflicts, and droughts. In addition, COVID-19 and the consequential health crises, travel, transportation and trade restrictions, and increased border controls have resulted in severe disruption in the production and delivery of food.
As a result, half of Africa is facing severe food insecurity and the number of people in the world who are undernourished is expected to double in 2020. As food becomes scarce, the sparse diet people get to eat changes in composition to a predominance of carbohydrates and yet have a significant depth of hunger (defined by caloric shortages of 400 Kcal or more from daily requirements of 2500 Kcal for an average adult). Increased and chronic depth of hunger can lead to death, disease, and economic ruin, thus creating an endless cycle of deteriorating lives.
The SSSIO’s Humanitarian Response to the Food Insecurity in Africa
In response to the current and impending food shortages in Africa driven by the pandemic, the SSSIO has assessed the dietary requirements, then purchased food items, packaged, transported, distributed, and delivered about 100 tons of food to Africa in large shipping containers.
As of the end of August 2020, several 20-ft long shipping containers of food have been sent to South Africa, Congo, Togo, Gabon & Benin. The SSSIO will also be sending food to Ivory Coast and Senegal. Each container holds 19-20 tons of food which is sufficient for about 1,300 families for a month.
SSSIO members around the world are grateful for the opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters in Africa and offer relief and hope.