Thought-provoking articles that deal with hunger and the issues involved in meeting the hunger challenge.
How much would it cost to prevent a famine? We don’t know exactly, but one answer is surely this: Much less than it would cost to save lives after famine hits. The relief group Oxfam estimates that emergency relief in famines costs seven times as much as preventing the disaster to begin with.
When the world’s population was several million fewer than the total number of Indians in the world today, Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus predicted that unchecked population growth would lead to famine, starvation and high rates of death. As countries release their updated population numbers—the United States did so in December, India did so last month, and China’s numbers should be coming out this month—it’s interesting to look back at his forecast, even though technological advances like vaccines, the pill, antibiotics and tractors in the intervening two centuries have so far prevented it from coming true.
Good morning. It is a privilege for me to address this distinguished gathering. Serving under Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon as a UN Messenger of Peace for Hunger and Poverty has been one of the greatest honors of my life.In my first field visit for the World Food Programme six years ago, I went to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. At that time, 5 million people in Malawi were facing starvation. I can only fit one of them into this speech. She was the first infant I met in this job.
In writing Diet for a Small Planet, I learned one simple truth: Hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food but a scarcity of democracy. But that realization was only the beginning, for then I had to ask: What does a democracy look like that enables citizens to have a real voice in securing life’s essentials? Does it exist anywhere? Is it possible or a pipe dream? With hunger on the rise here in the United States—one in 10 of us is now turning to food stamps—these questions take on new urgency.
Feeling hungry? Maybe that’s because of all the news, from around the world, about food today — how much people produce, how much more they need, how much it’s going to cost, how much of an effect it will have on climate change, and vice versa. (..) There’s actually encouraging news on the food front from south Sudan, where citizens are voting now to become an independent nation. While much of Africa is under intense pressure to provide food for its people, the U.N. World Food Programme says south Sudan could become a food exporter and end its chronic food dependency within a decade. But immediately after the vote, this area is likely to need more food aid, according to the U.N.