Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Big Question

Paul Vallely wrote this piece “The Big Question: Why is so much of the world still hungry, and what can we do about it?” and which was featured in UK’s The Independent today. Excerpts:

“Why are we asking this now? Because the number of people who go to bed hungry every night somewhere in our world has reached 1 billion – one in six of the Earth's population, according to a new report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. The international goal of slashing in half the number of hungry people by 2015 now seems far from attainable.

But it need not be so. Undernourishment fell across the world throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. But then in 1995 things went into reverse. Today there are more hungry children, women and men than at any time since 1970. Last year 46 million extra people fell below the UN poverty benchmark of having less than $1.25 to live on every day.

Yet the world produces enough grain to provide each one of its inhabitants with 2,500 calories a day. What is missing is the political will to ensure its fair distribution. The predictions are that between 200,000 and 400,000 more children could die every year if the poor nations' food crisis goes unaddressed.
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A world which found trillions to bail out the banks ought to be able to scrape together the resources to do something to prevent that. If we do not, our children will one day look back with incredulity and ask us why we did nothing.”
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Isn’t this tragic? In Malaysia, we eat 24/7 – it’s true, eating seems to be our national pastime. Food is abundant. Food is cheap. But the scenario in many other countries is bleak and spartan. And we don’t even need to go far to bear witness to this. Just take a look at this video clip – it portrayed a dire everyday situation in a neighboring country, a true story:

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This film made it to the 56th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2006, where filmmakers from around the world joined a Short Film Competition. This film titled “Chicken Ala Carte” topped the competition by being adjudged the Most Popular Short Film.

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