Mitigating hunger

By Maria Althea Teves, abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak

Posted at Jul 30 2009 03:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2009 03:01 AM

To curb hunger rates, the Arroyo administration initiated several programs that are either stand-alone or multi-agency efforts. They include the following:

?The Accelerated Hunger-Mitigation Program (AHMP) employs a two-pronged strategy to address hunger: by increasing food supply and by implementing poverty alleviation programs. For instance, the Department of Agriculture’s micro-financing program lends farmers and family members P3,000-P5,000 pesos at concessional rates to put up small business or develop their livestock and crops. Seeds were also distributed to local government units.

•?The food-for-school program (FSP) allows the Department of Education to give away a kilo of rice for every pre-school to first grade student in public schools. Studies indicate that one reason why children drop out is because they are too hungry to study. Social Welfare Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera said that the FSP resulted in higher attendance of grade one pupils.

•?Farm-to-market roads were built and maintained to make it easier for farmers to transport their crops. Farmers are trained to market their goods, to be able to package their products better.

•?As part of its “Katas ng VAT” program, the Arroyo administration gave away some P2 billion when hunger levels were at its peak in 2008.

•The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P) grants up to P1,400 cash a month to poor families to improve health and education of children 0-14 years old, provided they comply with the conditions set by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). As of March 2009, 4P has helped 367,988 households from 43 provinces. The cash grants amounted to at least P1.6 billion.