In times of disaster relief sweet potato has been a superfood with a long history as a lifesaver. It's been categorized as a "food security" and "famine relief" crop.
As you go through our site you will learn how important sweet potatoes are for a healthy life. In the Global Impact, and History and Origin sections you can learn how they are valued by the world's people, especially those in developing nations and several hit by the December 2004 tsunami.
The Japanese consumed the crop when typhoons demolished their rice fields. Sweet potato kept millions from starvation in famine-plagued China in the early 1960s. In the 1990's in Uganda, where a virus ravaged cassava crops, rural communities depended on the sweet potato for nourishment. (source International Potato Center - CIP)
In the semi-arid plains of eastern Africa, sweet potato has been called cilera abana, "protector of the children." Thousands of villagers have depended on it as food to fight hunger.
In December 2004 a tsunami changed our world forever.
This tsunami, the worst natural disaster in our time, hit Indonesia and a host of other countries in Asia and Africa. About 200,000 people lost their lives. Thousands more lost their loved ones, homes, and everything they owned.
In August 2005 Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Gulf Coast in the States of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Again, many people lost their lives during, and in the days following, the hurricane. Thousands more lost their families and friends, their homes, and their work.
Less than five years later in 2010 ...
these same coastal states were hit by the worst oil spill disaster, caused by a deep-sea drilling platform explosion, in U.S. history
earthquake ever. Thousands lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands were impacted by the meltdowns of nuclear energy plants.
across Caribbean nations like Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas, as well as many states along, or close to, the east coast leaving vast destruction in her wake.
All of these disasters have impacted millions of people around the world. We all have lost a sense of our innocence, our security, our selves.
Organizations including the following have been working hard to bring much-appreciated relief to the victims of these disasters, and to others in need:
American Red Cross
World Vision Disaster Relief & Humanitarian Aid