Time Magazine recently named the brave people who fight the Ebola virus as their persons of the year. Among the heroes of West Africa is a woman with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
Her name is Adama Kamara and she works with WFP in Sierra Leone, one of the countries hardest hit by the deadly virus. She brings food to hungry families victimized by Ebola. It’s very dangerous work. There is always the risk of the virus spreading to another person.
Adama and her fellow aid workers have to take precautions, such as wearing protective material when distributing food in quarantined areas. There is lots of handwashing. Adama has two children of her own. She is risking a lot to help WFP feed quarantined families or those in Ebola treatment centers.
Hunger is a crisis within the crisis of Ebola. Without food people will not have the strength to resist any disease. However, many impoverished families have their lost their livelihoods because of the disease. Food prices have gone up. Without WFP, people would starve to death in these areas.
Everyone has suffered in some way. Adama has seen this. She knew a mother who lost her life to Ebola. Djaounsede Pardon Madjiangar of WFP writes,
Like most people in Sierra Leone, Adama has seen the impact of Ebola of families. Her closest friend’s sister, a health worker who was treating Ebola patients, became infected with the virus in July and died soon after.”
Adama handles food distributions in Freetown, an area where she grew up. In fact, she used to receive school meals there from WFP!
Her WFP office was once her school. She knows the importance of good nutrition, especially for a child. The school meals helped her and classmates fight hunger. With food at school it gave her a chance to get an education. Food at school improves class attendance and performance. Adama recalls,
I can still remember how much we looked forward to the lunch bell. As soon as it rang, we were all out with our plates to get the food.”
Now Adama is bringing food and some hope to those in need. She is involved with one of the most dangerous humanitarian missions in the world.
WFP is trying to feed over one million people in the Ebola affected countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. They are trying to make sure hunger does not escalate as the fight continues against the Ebola.
These are countries which suffered from hunger and poverty before Ebola arrived. People do not have much to fall back on in the way of resources in time of crisis. They need the help of WFP and other aid agencies.
Funding will be key going forward. WFP relies on voluntary donations from governments and the public. You can learn more about Adama, WFP and the Ebola response at their web site.
Read the full article at Examiner.