KC Concepcion visits Uganda

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KC Concepcion visits Uganda Empty KC Concepcion visits Uganda

Post by vhelski on Tue 01 Feb 2011, 7:42 am

KC Concepcion visits Uganda
January 30, 2011, 5:55pm

MANILA, Philippines – Actress and television host Kristina Cassandra “KC” Concepcion has described her recent five-day field mission to visit the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) operations in Uganda’s impoverished Karamoja region, as well as in the grain basket district of Kapchorwa in the east of the country, as "an eye-opener and life-changing experience."

“I saw a country of extremes,” KC said following her return to Manila last week. “In Karamoja, I met a half-blind grandmother with six children in her care cooking wild vegetables as the family’s only meal for the day."

Besides poverty, Karamoja is also troubled by insecurity, environmental erosion and severe natural disasters which are partly caused by climate change. As a result, the region suffers chronic food shortages and malnutrition.

"In Kapchorwa, on the other hand, I found women whose quality of life has improved significantly since they’ve been able to sell their surplus food to WFP,” added KC, daughter of megastar Sharon Cuneta and well-known actor Gabby Concepcion.

This is due to to the fact that in Kapchorwa and other surplus-producing parts of Uganda, WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme supports households that can meet their food and nutrition needs but require increased incomes to become fully food-secure.

As the Philippines’ National Ambassador Against Hunger, KC was allowed to visit remote areas of Uganda where WFP is working towards lasting solutions to hunger, while providing assistance to the most vulnerable, hungry communities.

In addition to interacting with different WFP programme beneficiaries – from women farmers to babies in therapeutic feeding centres – she was also able to see how people live.

KC visited a traditional Karimojong homestead, sat with the people and listened to their stories before heading out to meet with mothers of malnourished children at a WFP-supported hospital.

In addition, she talked with people trained by WFP to make fuel efficient cooking stoves so that they can cut fewer trees and limit damage to the local environment in the search for fire wood.

In Kapchorwa, KC participated in the corn harvest, loading produce onto donkeys and stacking the food into the granary of a farmer who sells to WFP. She also visited a site where WFP is constructing a warehouse to help smallholder farmers more easily dry, clean, store and bag their maize.

According to the WFP, after more than two decades of conflict, peace has returned to northern Uganda.

As a result, more than 80 percent of people who had been displaced by conflict have now returned to their original homes and farms. While Uganda produces enough food to feed its population, access to sufficient nutritious food remains a challenge countrywide.


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