Since 1999, Kasumisou Foundation has provided care and support to fragile families and children impacted by extreme poverty and HIV/ AIDS in and around Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital city. In 2000 we began an attempt to create a formalized effort to provide homeless , destitute women and mothers afflicted by mid-to-late stages of AIDS with basic housing, monthly food support and provide assistance for the school expenses for school age dependent children.
Now, in 2016, we continue to focus on providing the destitute women, mothers and children in our program with modest housing, school expenses, basic medicines, transportation to and from medical appointments, counseling encouragement and food support. We have been supporting our families on just $140 per month on average.
The title of this project update is “ The Price of Rice” and we would like to discuss its impact on our program.
These days, in the US we hear a lot about droughts in various parts of the US and the anticipation of El Nino rains to break the prolonged drought cycle . In the developed world, this drought has been a serious matter, with areas such as California imposing severe water rationing. For others, in the developing world , such as SE Asia and parts of South America, the drought situation may likely soon develop into a food emergency.
Impact of a “ super drought”
The flipside of the El Nino rains that recently came to the Western US has been the impact of a "super" La Nina in the southern hemisphere . It is causing a “super drought” in South East Asia, and severe drought conditions in Cambodia, such as have not been seen in nearly 10 years. More importantly, the coming rainy season is projected to have such a lack of rain as to be unable to irrigate the next rice just as global rice stocks stand a ultra low levels not seen in a decade. According to a May 9,2016 article in Barron's "drought, floods ,and historically low global inventories have rice market experts worried" that the price of rice could double if rice harvests ( rains) fail. World rice prices have already started to rise already beginning local impact.
Imagine how your own finances would be impacted if your food costs doubled over the course of a few weeks or months. Such stress is unthinkable for the families in our program and consequently, we anticipate that our current funding costs to support our families may rise significantly.
A failure of the rice crop creates dire conditions for the general population, including severe hunger, and even starvation for families and children who, already living on the edge of survival, will be unable to afford to buy nt adequate food .
Additionally, a hunger driven forced migration , could bring thousands of desperate peasant farmers to the cities in search of work. There is a likelihood that may there more children trafficked and other impacts as desperate families experience the impact of sexually transmitted diseases (HIV/AIDS) caused by prostitution and trafficking and creating an even greater need for the services of programs like ours and forcing our operating costs ever higher. It is a dreadful cycle that we gone through before and one which takes families and communities year for recovery.
On average and at any given time, our program now serves approximately 35 to 40 AIDS afflicted women and their approximately 70 dependent children. We also continue to serve some AIDS orphans who are the children of women who died while in the care of our Family Support Program (FSP). All of this is possibly only because of the kind generosity of our donors.
Import Notice: Make your donation even more effective on the June 15 Bonus Match Day
June 15 is a GlobalGiving Match Day, where your contribution can receive a match of 50%. Your continued generosity can help us to continue to serve the fragile families in our programs during the challenging months ahead.
Barbara & Mark Rosasco