In recent years, many actions were all directed to the same goal: a fairer world in which inequities would not exist. Some of these actions have already succeeded:
Microfinance to tackle poverty
SOS Faim was the first Belgian NGO and one of the first in Europe to support microfinance. Today, we still focus on microfinance because it represents an effective way of enabling the Southern farmers, who do not have access to the traditional banking system, an opportunity to develop a sustainable economic activity.
In 2013, SOS Faim supported 11 microfinance institutions (IMF) or networks of IMFs which had more than 185,000 outstanding loans at the end of the year and which provided services at about 600,000 southern farmers, including 56% women.
Banks on the decline
At the beginning of 2012, SOS Faim launched its public campaign “on ne joue pas avec la nourriture” to denounce financial speculation on agricultural raw materials.
8,000 petitions were signed and nearly 5,000 citizens sent letters to their banks asking them to stop playing with food. Moreover, 55 organisations from the Belgian civil society supported this campaign. We have noticed some progress in some financial institutions. For instance, Belfius has permanently removed a fund in question.
SOS Faim supported one of the major cooperatives of coffee producers in Peru to boost its own production after suffering from several attacks from the “Shining Path”. In this way, they provided opportunities on the international market to 1,500 partners, especially concerning green products.
Besides, the creation of CREDIFLORA was also supported by SOS Faim. It is a savings and credit cooperative that provides financial services to producers, with the aim of renewing coffee plantations or diversifying the sources of income for families (small breeding, market gardening, fruit crops).
More and better Belgian support to farming and farmers
In 2008, SOS Faim carried out a campaign called “l’agriculteur africain est rayé de la carte”. The aim was to draw attention to the disappearance of millions of small farms in the southern countries due to a lack of support. As a result of this campaign, Belgium committed to support family farming. For this purpose, it will dedicate 10% of its development cooperation budget in 2010 and 15% in 2015. Our partners and all family farmers will see their efforts supported!
Recognition from African farmers’ organisations to come
In the 1980s, the Senegalese Federation of NGOs (FONGS) took contact with SOS Faim to get support for its animators’ training. It was the FONGS’s first actions but now, after a 30-year partnership, it has an impact in Senegal. When big donors offer investments to the Senegalese government, the FONGS takes part in the negotiations. It has financing tools for sustainable agriculture and it represents more than 2 millions of farmers through 3,000 organisations and 31 Member Associations. Moreover, it has a prominent role in promoting family farming in Senegal.