Here are some interesting facts from the Sept 2009 issue of The Rotarian, showing where we are in the struggle to alleviate starvation around the world:
- Nearly One in Seven people around the world – about 963 million – do not have enough food to maintain healthy, active lives.
- About 25,000 people die every day from hunger related causes.
- More than 60% of hunger stricken people are women.
- Every 6 seconds, a child dies from hunger
- Seven Countries: India, China, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia, represent 65% of the world’s starving people.
- Malnutrition contributes to more than half of the 9.7 million annual deaths of children under 5 years.
But the news isn’t all bad:
- Scientists predict that global food production will outpace population growth by 2030
- Between 1970 and 1997, the number of hungry people worldwide dropped from 959 million to 791 million. (but between 2007 and 2008 ,the number of undernourished people in the world increased by 115 million, due to the skyrocketing cost of food and oil).
So, clearly humankind’s efforts to alleviate this scourge from our planet have been working, yet we still have a long way to go.
It should be noted that we do not have a global food shortage… researchers say there is enough food in the world to feed every human. The issue is not so much that we don’t have the food… its more that we don’t have the will. Profits are more important than children dying, so food is destroyed instead of being shared with those in need.
Also, it should be noted that it would take about 5-10% of the world’s annual military budget to eliminated extreme poverty around the world.
So as the world comes more together, as we become a tighter knit world, we will spend less and less on war, and more on more on peace and making the world a better place. It won’t be long until we have eradicated extreme poverty and starvation from our planet for good.
*Source – Facts of the Matter: Hunger. Jason Grotto. September 2009, The Rotarian.