When picking up a daily newspaper or watching the evening news it's not hard to see that there are numerous issues to be concerned about. The US is edging nearer to launching unilateral air strikes in Syria in an already horrific civil war. Iraq and Pakistan are exploding once more into a sectarian fireball. There is the ongoing oppression of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. Then there is Somalia, Afghanistan, Central African Republic… the list goes on.
These issues are important, most definitely and I follow them closely. But what doesn’t make the headlines is a far bigger tragedy in numbers. But it doesn’t sell newspapers. It’s a story most of us would rather gloss over momentarily or skip entirely with a “Yes, yes the usual, I get it," or, "It’s their own fault,” mentality.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. We’ve done Live Aid. We’ve done Live 8. We wore the “Let’s Make Poverty History” wrist bands. We attended the Big IF in Hyde Park. Where to from here?
A recent report by UNICEF offered a glimmer of hope showing that the annual number of under-five deaths fell from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.
Good news? Sure.
More than 3 million children still die every year because they can't get enough food to eat.
by the year 2028, 35 million children will die due to malnutrition and preventable diseases.
Currently we have 870 million people suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition.
That’s the same population size as the US and EU combined.
***There are 7 billion people in the world. We have enough food for 9 billion.***
I could continue providing numbers but I'm not going to. I could remind you that after I click my fingers that another child has just died from hunger etc etc...but we've all seen the commercials.
The food system is highly complex. It's not a fair system. Like most commodities the global price of food fluctuates vastly due to food embargoes and numerous other political and economic factors.
We know the numbers. The question is what are we going to do about it? Why should we even do anything about it?
This is why I believe we should act:
If we COULD do something about it (which we can) then SHOULDN'T we?
We need to decide who we are in relation to this unpallatable crisis. Is the current situation a statement of who we are and who we collectively choose to be? Is this something that we can just blindly accept? If we don't like it then we can change it. We have a choice. I believe it's our obligation as human beings to look after each other, eradicate hunger and consign it to the history books once and for all.
Hunger is the world's biggest solvable man-made problem.
There are a number of incredible organizations that are doing amazing work around the world in helping to alleviate the plight of hunger. To get involved and to learn more please click here.