Frame 0004
Under Siege: Ghouta Residents Struggl...
Eastern Ghouta
By Abdu al-Fadel
08 Dec 2014

Eastern Ghouta, Syria
December 2014

The rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus has been under a strict siege for more than two years. Government forces have banned almost every food item from entering the area.
This video shows local residents’ suffering in trying to provide their daily food.
People complain that bread has become unaffordable. To make sandwiches, they have to replace this staple food with other substances such as leafy vegetables or an apricot confection known as qamareddine, which is available for less than half the price of bread.

Shot List
1. M/S of street and men walking
2. C/S of vegetables and food
3. M/S of vegetables and food
4. C/S of bread with price (650 Syrian pounds per Kg)
5. M/S of child eating
6. M/S of child walking
7. C/S of men paying/purchasing
8. C/S of man cutting and weighing qamareddine (apricot confection)
9. C/S of child eating
10. Various of people packing and delivering qamareddine
11. W/S of streets
12. Various of people selling vegetables

13 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Ahmad
(07:22) The price of bread is high now, around 650 or 700 Syrian pounds [per kilogram], so people decided to buy more vegetables. No one can afford the high prices now. People cannot even find work for 100 pounds, so they cannot pay 700 pounds for bread.
People are forced to go groves to pick mallows, chard and spinach to wrap olives with them for dinner – this is the the food that we can have.

Some people just boil spinach, add some oil to it and eat it without any eggs or meat.
This is all due to the siege the regime is imposing on us. God damn this regime, which is unjust to more than a million people in Eastern Ghouta. People are starving to death. Let have some mercy on us, God damn them! What can I say?

We are buying this [pack of apricot confection] for 200 Syrian pounds. We are wrapping cheese sandwiches for our kids with this.
We demand the nations who have a humanity and ethics to have compassion for kids and women, who are begging – when did our women and children ever beg? This is [our] reality life here, what else can I say (08:59).

14 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abu Mahrous
(09:00) Due to siege the regime is imposing on us, people tend to buy more vegetables now. We used to get rice, lentils and bulgar wheat from the camp, but their prices increased. For example, bulgar wheat is now 1,200 pounds [per kilogram] – bread costs around 700 pounds a kilogram. People are forced to buy chards and qamareddine. Bashar [al-Assad] and his aides and followers think they can besiege Ghouta, but God willing, we will remain strong, Ghouta is the land of wealth. We have enough lands to grow the food we need needs, and God will abandon us. After patience comes ease. God willing, we shall be victorious (10:09).

15 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Adnan Al Yafi

(10:10) People tend to buy more vegetables because one kilogram of bulgar costs 1700 pounds, and the same goes lentils and rice. The prices of basic supplies ingredients we use in our dishes went up and – what is worse – some of them are no longer available due to the siege. Could you imagine the price of the bread is more than 700 pounds [per kilogram], if you were lucky to find bread. But, thanks be to God, we are fine, even if we are using cabbage or chards instead of bread to make sandwiches and we are growing our own plants now to fulfill our daily needs. We have been besieged for three years now and nobody cares about us. But, thanks be to God, we are doing fine, despite the siege and the inflation we are facing. We hope for better days to come. Imagine that the cabbage and other vegetable leaves are primary ingredients for our dishes now to survive (11:50).

16 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abboud Al Arbini
(11:51): Two months ago, the roads were open blocked and it was much easier to deliver of all the products, so their prices were lower than now; sugar, rice, and everything else was cheaper than it is now. Now, as roads are blocked roads, the delivery of these products is harder, so their prices have gone up. Sugar now costs 2500 to 2800 pounds per kilogram, and a kilogram of rice costs 3,000 pounds 2,800 or 2,500 – it is sold for different prices. Now people are eating more qamareddine since it contains sugar, which the body requires. Other than qamareddine, people are eating vegetables such as chards because they are available in Ghouta. People have been unemployed for more than three years, so they need something cheap to eat. Chards or qamareddine are cheap and available in Ghouta (12:56).

(12:57) Flour used to cost 2,500 per kilogram, wheat cost 1000 pounds per kilogram and barley 700 pounds. With priuce hikes, people decided to buy qamareddine since it is cheaper. They are using qamareddine, chard or cabbage instead of bread to make sandwiches. Thanks be to God, we are able to grow these in Ghouta. God is merciful (13:43).

17 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Mohammad al-Qadi
(13:44) Due to the siege that is imposed on us and lack of basic ingredients to make bread, like flour, the price of bread has gone up to 700 pounds [per kilogram]. Who could afford it now? We have been under siege for three years now, unemployed, so we cannot afford to buy expensive food for our families. Most of the people tend to buy more vegetables since we can grow them in Ghouta, despite the siege and the price hike. God is granting us life, not Bashar al-Assad.

Thumb sm
Life in Malawi 3
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Sweet Potato Field
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

Thumb sm
Life in Malawi 1
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Cooking Sweet Potatoes
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

Frame 0004
Food insecurity: Does South Korea hav...
Seoul, South Korea
By maltekol
12 Jul 2013

The World Health Organization warns that overpopulation and a lack of arable land contribute to global food insecurity. So scientists are developing new farming technology to offset potential food shortages. Researchers in South Korea are experimenting with vertical farms; gardens that instead of spreading out, go straight up.
Jason Strother and Malte Kollenberg report from Seoul.

Almost half of South Korea’s 50 millions citizens live here in the capital. And in a country with very limited agricultural land, feeding all of these people presents a challenge. Some observers say the nation faces increasing food insecurity.

Park Hwan-il is food security analyst at the Samsung Economic Research Institute in Seoul.

Int: Park Hwan-il, SERI (English)
"The food self sufficiency rate in Korea is just about 26 percent. Which means three quarters of the food we consume is from the foreign countries. That means the Korean people’s health and nutrition depends on outside factors that we cannot control”

Park says that climate conditions or other instability in the international market makes importing food unpredictable. It’s not only a problem for Korea, but for many other countries too. But some scientists say there is a solution.

Int. from online: Dickson Despommier, Columbia University (English)
“My name is Dickson Despommier: I teach at Columbia Universities Medical School and school of public health. The world would be a much better place, if we had vertical farming.”

Despommier says tower-like hydroponic farms could someday stand alongside skyscrapers as a key food source for billions of city dwellers

Int. from online: Dickson Despommier, Columbia University (English)
“Here’s my vision of what a vertical farm might look like. My gold standard for this is the Apple Store in New York City on 5th Avenue. If you took that building and made it into a five-story building. Now in the building you have multiple floors of course, and inside each floor you have multiple layers of crops.”

Despommier says vertical farms could be a key solution for countries with a growing population or limited arable land. Like South Korea.

30-kilometers south of Seoul in Suwon, the government is trying to make Despommier’s vision a reality. The Rural Development Administration has built the prototype of a vertical farm.Inside this research facility a small team of scientists is working on turning this concept a marketable product.So far, their experiment is only 3-storeys high. But they hope that one day, the technology will expand and be capable of feeding the entire nation.

Agrarian scientist Choi Kyu-hong is still sorting out more basic challenges.

Int: Choi Kyu-hong, RDA (English)
“The plant factory requires a lot of energy, the light energy and the heating and cooling energy. So we provide the heating or cooling energy using geothermal systems. We adopted the solar cell system to provide light source energies, but we are still (only) provide 15 percent of the total energy”

Choi adds his team still faces many challenges:

Int: Choi Kyu-hong, RDA (English)
“We are still (in) the research state, its take some time to make a commercial plant factories. We are firstly trying to find out the optimum wavelength of light”

Choi says the problem is that different plants grow at different speeds, depending on the light’s color and wavelength.

But even though the government hasn’t perfected vertical farming technology yet, some in the private sector are already putting it to use. Inside this Lotte Mart, a supermarket franchise in Seoul, lettuce grows under the lights of this small vertical farm.

Store mangers say produce grown in this facility has extra benefits for customers.

Int: Kim Chang-jo, Lotte Mart
(Korean) “We are the first super market to install a vertical farm. We hope that it will draw attention to environmental concerns. The plants are affordable and no pesticides were used, so its healthier for our customers”

Kim says the vertical farm lettuce costs the same as lettuce grown the old fashioned way. But some analysts say that all the lights and heating systems required to operate a vertical farm is just too expensive to make it a viable solution for food insecurity.

Int: Park Hwan-il, SERI
(English) “Vertical farming costs too much. / Even though the productivity in vertical farming is very high, very good, but it does not have the merit in price or marketing advantage at all”

Back at the Suwon experimental vertical farm, scientists admit they still have a long way to go. The Rural Development Administration’s Lee Hye jin gives a rough time frame.

Int: Lee Hye-jin, RDA
(Korean) “It might take at least five more years of research to make progress on these obstacles. Then vertical farms might be ready for commercial use”

The South Korean scientists say that once all the problems are resolved, vertical farms won't just have to stop at three-stories. The sky is the limit.

Thumb sm
Health in Uganda (20 of 49)
Luweero, Uganda
By Papillon
10 Feb 2013

Luweero, Uganda - March 10, 2013
Involvement in the promotion of better health is central in the development of Uganda as a better nation. This includes clean hospitals and health centers, schools, wells and effective community outreach programs in which people receive free medication, health services and mosquito nets. But even with the strong government efforts in reducing mortality rates, the situation is still serious and dangerous in some areas of Uganda. Children are at especially high risk of vector borne diseases including malaria, as well as water-borne diseases including bacterial diarrhea. Maternal mortality is high in Uganda, and pregnancy is still the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19. The picture shows a one month baby girl with evident signs of malnutrition.

Thumb sm
Health in Uganda (22 of 49)
Luweero, Uganda
By Papillon
10 Feb 2013

Luweero, Uganda - March 10, 2013
Involvement in the promotion of better health is central in the development of Uganda as a better nation. This includes clean hospitals and health centers, schools, wells and effective community outreach programs in which people receive free medication, health services and mosquito nets. But even with the strong government efforts in reducing mortality rates, the situation is still serious and dangerous in some areas of Uganda. Children are at especially high risk of vector borne diseases including malaria, as well as water-borne diseases including bacterial diarrhea. Maternal mortality is high in Uganda, and pregnancy is still the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19. The picture shows twin baby girls recently born, under a malnutrition state.

Thumb sm
Health in Uganda (28 of 49)
Luweero, Uganda
By Papillon
10 Feb 2013

Luweero, Uganda - March 10, 2013
Involvement in the promotion of better health is central in the development of Uganda as a better nation. This includes clean hospitals and health centers, schools, wells and effective community outreach programs in which people receive free medication, health services and mosquito nets. But even with the strong government efforts in reducing mortality rates, the situation is still serious and dangerous in some areas of Uganda. Children are at especially high risk of vector borne diseases including malaria, as well as water-borne diseases including bacterial diarrhea. Maternal mortality is high in Uganda, and pregnancy is still the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19.The picture shows Emmanuel, a two years old child, affected by cerebral malaria, in sever conditions, in Luweero general hospital. Malaria, is devastating many areas of Uganda, like the Luweero region and government is trying to provide every family with several mosquito nets, to avoid serious situations.

Thumb sm
Health in Uganda (30 of 49)
Luweero, Uganda
By Papillon
10 Feb 2013

Luweero, Uganda - March 10, 2013
Involvement in the promotion of better health is central in the development of Uganda as a better nation. This includes clean hospitals and health centers, schools, wells and effective community outreach programs in which people receive free medication, health services and mosquito nets. But even with the strong government efforts in reducing mortality rates, the situation is still serious and dangerous in some areas of Uganda. Children are at especially high risk of vector borne diseases including malaria, as well as water-borne diseases including bacterial diarrhea. Maternal mortality is high in Uganda, and pregnancy is still the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19.The picture shows Emmanuel, a two years old child, affected by cerebral malaria, in sever conditions, in Luweero general hospital. Malaria, is devastating many areas of Uganda, like the Luweero region and government is trying to provide every family with several mosquito nets, to avoid serious situations.

Thumb sm
Health in Uganda (44 of 49)
Luweero, Uganda
By Papillon
10 Feb 2013

Luweero, Uganda - March 10, 2013
Involvement in the promotion of better health is central in the development of Uganda as a better nation. This includes clean hospitals and health centers, schools, wells and effective community outreach programs in which people receive free medication, health services and mosquito nets. But even with the strong government efforts in reducing mortality rates, the situation is still serious and dangerous in some areas of Uganda. Children are at especially high risk of vector borne diseases including malaria, as well as water-borne diseases including bacterial diarrhea. Maternal mortality is high in Uganda, and pregnancy is still the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19.The picture shows a nurse taking care of a recent twin babies born.

Thumb sm
Health in Uganda (45 of 49)
Luweero, Uganda
By Papillon
10 Feb 2013

Luweero, Uganda - March 10, 2013
Involvement in the promotion of better health is central in the development of Uganda as a better nation. This includes clean hospitals and health centers, schools, wells and effective community outreach programs in which people receive free medication, health services and mosquito nets. But even with the strong government efforts in reducing mortality rates, the situation is still serious and dangerous in some areas of Uganda. Children are at especially high risk of vector borne diseases including malaria, as well as water-borne diseases including bacterial diarrhea. Maternal mortality is high in Uganda, and pregnancy is still the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19.The picture shows orphans of HIV/AIDS victims.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

A family member mourns after the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Mourners walk to the cemetery during the funeral for Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Mourners carry the coffin to the cemetery during the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Mourners carry the coffin to the cemetery during the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Mourners share the last moments with the deceased during a funeral for Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Mourners share their last moments with the deceased during the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Family members mourn during the funeral for Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Family members mourn during the funeral for Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Family members mourn during the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Family members mourn during the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

A family member mourns after the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

Thumb sm
Port Gabtoli (1 of 7)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Khandaker Azizur Rahman
06 Apr 2012

Gabtoli is a small domestic port in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Here, raw construction materials for both industrial and residential developments comes from different parts of Bangladesh. Among the raw materials are coal, stones, bricks, sand and metal. Approximately 20,000 workers labor in the port day and night, mostly originating from rural areas of Bangladesh leaving their families behind. They earn less then $4 a day to maintain their family and are literally deprived of health, education and other basic facilities.

Thumb sm
Life in Malawi 15
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
24 Dec 2011

In a dark corner of the indoor market, the rice trader attracts customers by playing local music on his stereo.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

Thumb sm
Life in Malawi 13
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
29 Nov 2011

Maize porridge is the staple food in Malawi, but roast maize from a charcoal barbecue is a popular snack too.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

Thumb sm
Life in Malawi 16
Blantyre, Southern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
26 Nov 2011

Breastfeeding in public is nothing unusual in Zingwangwa, but being photographed during the act might be.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.