Reflections: Feed Minds, Fight Hunger…
“Our lives are to be used and thus to be lived as fully as possible, and truly it seems that we are never so alive as when we concern ourselves with other people.” Harry Chapin
SOME HUNGER STATS
Asia and the Pacific, the world’s most populous region, is home to the largest number of hungry people (578 million).
Sub-Saharan Africa, with 239 million undernourished, has the largest prevalence of undernourishment relative to its population size (30 percent).
The Near East and North Africa has 37 million hungry people.
Latin America and the Caribbean, which in recent years has shown signs of improvement, has 53 million undernourished people.
Have you eaten today? Do you know where your next meal will come from? Around the world, and even in the USA, there are people; children, women and men, who go hungry because of famines, high food prices and insufficient food supplies. While some of us are able to choose our foods and enjoy a satisfying, nutritious meal with our families, many others lack the means to nourish their bodies and minds or fight the persistent hunger they face daily. According to the World Food Programme (WFP) Hunger statistics, 925 million people don’t have enough food and 98 percent of them live in developing countries. On October 16, 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will address World Food Day by bringing attention to the plight of millions around the world who have little or no food. The Voice Blogging Project, an online activist group that encourages bloggers to write on one pressing topic each year, is using this event as an opportunity to invite us all to focus on Food as a blog topic for Blog Action Day 2011. We are all invited to contribute our ideas and voice.
The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity
“The problem is no longer that with every pair of hands that comes into the world there comes a hungry stomach. Rather it is that, attached to those hands are sharp elbows.” Paul A. Samuelson
Global Hunger Report 2011
MORE HUNGER STATS
Asia and the Pacific region is home to over half the world’s population and nearly two thirds of the world’s hungry people; (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
Women make up a little over half of the world’s population, but they account for over 60 percent of the world’s hungry. (Source: Strengthening efforts to eradicate hunger…, ECOSOC, 2007)
65 percent of the world’s hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia. (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
This year, FAO’s World Food Day will focus on “what causes swings in food prices, and do what needs to be done to reduce their impact on the weakest members of global society.” When all is said and done, it boils down to hunger; who suffers the most and how can we help them? If globally, 200 million children under the age of five suffer symptoms of malnutrition, how can we help? What can we do to increase distribution of foods at fair prices? Blog Action Day 2011 in collaboration with FAO is encouraging all bloggers to participate in raising awareness on the subject of food. To participate, go register at Blog Action Day’s website, write a post on Food, and follow the hashtag #BAD11 on Twitter. If each of us gives voice to the topic of hunger on our blogs, our collective effort will bring attention to governments worldwide forcing them to become agents of change on this pressing matter. More below…
“Hunger also changes the world – when eating can’t be a habit, than neither can seeing.” Maxine Hong Kingston
MORE HUNGER STATS
Undernutrition contributes to five million deaths of children under five each year in developing countries. (Source: Under five deaths by cause, UNICEF, 2006)
One out of four children – roughly 146 million – in developing countries is underweight. (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
More than 70 percent of the world’s underweight children (aged five or less) live in just 10 countries, with more than 50 per cent located in South Asia alone; (Source: Progress for Children: A Report Card on Nutrition, UNICEF, 2006)
As I read the statistics on the WFP site, I was saddened and struck by the numbers and impact of hunger worldwide. As the site suggests, the top 4 hunger statistics are: Hunger is the number one health risk; One in seven people go to bed hungry every night; In developing nations, one in four children is undernourished; and the numbers of hungry people globally exceed the populations of the USA, Canada and the European Union. When I think about it, it makes me furious that we see so much food wastage in some countries while others are barely scraping by… Why can’t we share our natural resources and food production better? What can we do to mitigate areas that experience terrible famines? How can we persuade governments to contain food prices?
“It’s really very simple, Governor. When people are hungry they die. So spare me your politics and tell me what you need and how you’re going to get it to these people.” Bob Geldof
MORE HUNGER STATS
10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths; (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
Iron deficiency is the most prevalent form of malnutrition worldwide, affecting an estimated 2 billion people. Eradicating iron deficiency can improve national productivity levels by as much as 20 percent. (Source: World Health Organization, WHO Global Database on Anaemia)
Iodine deficiency is the greatest single cause of mental retardation and brain damage, affecting 1.9 billion people worldwide. It can easily be prevented by adding iodine to salt. (Source: World Nutrition Situation 5th report ,UN Standing Committee on Nutrition2005)
A hungry child has difficulty concentrating in a classroom and, subsequently, their learning is affected. Without adequate global assistance to people/areas in need, many young and growing minds will be impacted; thus limiting the full and equitable contributions we might expect from the next future generation. What are your thoughts? Can you recall ever going hungry? What did you do? Do you contribute to charities that help end hunger? How do you think we can end global hunger? Do share! Thank you.
For More: Women’s Lives & Issues
Positive Motivation Tip: When each man feeds his neighbor as he feeds himself, he marches on the road to end hunger. Follow the road.
- Famine of the Spirit (jodiq.wordpress.com)
- The Learning Network Blog: World Food Day: Addressing Hunger Around the Globe (learning.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Feed Your Head (petchary.wordpress.com)
- How to make an impact on hunger (cnn.com)
- World Food Day is October 16: How will you participate? (wagnerfpa.wordpress.com)