Heart of the Congo
A Documentary Film









Action Against Hunger (AAH) is an international, non-governmental, non-religious organization that was created in Paris in 1979. It was founded by a group of French doctors, scientists, journalists, and writers as Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger), with Professor Alfred Kaestler, Nobel Prize recipient for physics, as the first chairman. While hunger had been partially addressed in general campaigns against poverty and poor public health, AAH was established specifically to combat hunger worldwide.

The organization developed within the framework of an interdependent international network with headquarters in (Paris), the (New York), the (London), and (Madrid). AAH’s International Network has intervened in all of the major humanitarian crises of the ’80s and ’90s, including those in Ethiopia, Sudan, Cambodia, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, Bosnia, Congo, Afghanistan, and the Caucasus.

AAH’s mission is to save lives by combating hunger, malnutrition, physical suffering and the associated distress that endanger the lives of children, women, and men in emergency situations of war, conflict and natural disaster.

AAH’s involvement typically begins with emergency relief in response to a crisis, but relief is always reinforced by longer-term programs enabling victims to regain their autonomy and the means to live independent of external aid. In carrying out its activities, all members of AAH's International Network adhere to a charter of principles that forms the foundation of humanitarian commitment: independence, impartiality, nondiscrimination, free and direct access to victims, professionalism, and transparency.

In the short term, AAH addresses hunger and malnutrition through feeding centers, food and non-food distributions and by providing water in emergency situations. In the long term, AAH provides training in nutrition, food security, water sanitation, and health care to ensure self-sufficiency and help to rebuild communities. The ultimate aim of all AAH programs is to enable vulnerable populations to regain their self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.

A major contribution of AAH in the relief field has been the development, through its Scientific Committee, of the therapeutic milk formula (F100).  This special formula has been adopted worldwide by all relief organizations to treat acute malnutrition.  As a result the global mortality rate of severely malnourished children under the age of five has been reduced from 25% to 5%.

AHH is directly at work in over 40 countries on 5 continents, with teams of fieldworkers consisting of nearly 400 specialists in the fields of nutrition, agriculture, water sanitation, and public health. AAH relies on the skills of over 4000 local (national) staff to develop programs that are well adapted to the needs of its beneficiaries.

For more information about Action Against Hunger – USA contact John Sauer, Communications Manager at (212)967-7800, ext. 103 or jws@aah-usa.org.