Tuesday, February 27, 2007

When the Village Fails, Children Suffer

news you may not know

Is It

Soup Yet?

A recent report card issued by the U. N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) is awash with red. Red, as in the color of large "F's" representing significant failure. Surprisingly, the country that UNICEF singled out is an economic powerhouse.

India has been all the rage of late. The masters of "insourcing" all the high-tech services the rest of the world outsources, their economy has been brisk. Average GDP has exceeded 8 percent for several years running, the government is paying increased attention to technological infrastructure and opportunities abound for upwardly mobile Indians.

So, why are so many Indian children going hungry?

UNICEF reports an astonishing 46% of the children under the age of three are malnourished. This is a mere 1% improvement in this area in the past 7 years. India even falls behind Sub-Saharan Africa in this regard. In Ethiopia, for example, fewer than 40% of the children are malnourished.

India is not alone in its dilemma. The United States, though fabulously wealthy, still has ground to cover between the farm and the dinner table. Statistics for 2005 indicate over 10 million households experience hunger consistently. Additionally, over 35 million people live in houses where the availability of food is uncertain.

What's to be done? Well, the first step is simple. Take a look around. Is your neighbor hungry? If so, get out the skillet or throw some charcoal in the barbeque pit.

Then, take a wider look around - it's a new day and a new world. The village has gone global...

To read more, see this from Food Research and Action Center and this from Bread for the World.


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