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Old 10-31-2006, 03:22 PM   #1
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World Hunger

Why are we still allowing this to happen!!! This needs to end, we need to get rid of war and violence, drugs and alcohal and materialistic things and solve this issue!!!!!!

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2615910



Quote:
World made no headway to halve number of hungry: UN

By Robin Pomeroy
Reuters

Oct 30, 2006 — ROME (Reuters) - Ten years after political leaders pledged to halve the number of underfed people in the world, no progress has been made and the number of hungry people is rising again, a United Nations report said on Monday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which hosted a 1996 World Food Summit where nations set the target, said there were still 854 million underfed people, and that one in three people in sub-Saharan Africa lived in chronic hunger.

"I am deeply sorry to report that the situation remains intolerable and unacceptable, and more so because 10 years have passed," FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told a news conference where he presented the report.

At the summit, world leaders pledged to halve the number of underfed people between 1990 and 2015. At the halfway point, the latest figures showed a mere 3 million reduction, not enough to be statistically relevant, FAO said.

Diouf said if the rate of decline seen since 1990 continued, the food summit target would not be achieved before 2150. And the most recent trend pointed to a rise in the number of hungry, he said.

"Far from decreasing, the number of hungry people in the world is currently increasing - at the rate of 4 million a year," he said.

In the first half of the 1990s the number of hungry people dropped globally by 26 million, but rose again in the second half. The negligible cut in the number of hungry people in the developing world in the 1990s compared with cuts of 37 million in the 1970s and 100 million in the 1980s.

PERCENTAGE DOWN

"It is almost natural to dismiss the period since the WFS (World Food Summit) as a 'lost decade'. To do so, however, would be a mistake," Diouf said.

Although the absolute number of hungry people has not fallen, they represent a declining proportion of the growing global population, and the world should meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goal of halving the percentage of hungry people in the total population by 2015, the report forecast.

By 2015, 10.1 percent of the developing world's population will be hungry, compared with 20.3 percent in 1990-92.

But stark differences in development in various regions mean the proportion of the populations of Africa and the Near East who go hungry will not be cut at the same rate and are set to miss the Millennium Development Goal.

By 2015, sub-Saharan Africa will contain 30 percent of the world's hungry, up from 20 percent in 1990, the FAO said.

The report highlighted China as a success story as it reduced its hungry population to 150 million from 194 million in 1990.

Despite the lack of progress so far toward the food summit goal, the FAO said the target could still be met by improving agriculture in the developing world.

"Is the 2015 WFS target still attainable? The answer should be a resounding 'yes'," Diouf said.


Copyright 2006 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:27 PM   #2
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Yes it is inexcusable, someone else was good enough to start a thread but it's lost at the bottom of the page now
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:27 PM   #3
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world hunger is an unnecessary and shameful tragedy, though until feeding everyone on the planet becomes profitable to someone it is unlikely to be solved.

why do we have to get rid of acohol?
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:29 PM   #4
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Well if you like alcohal fine. But it's one of the worst controlling substances ever created. How can we live our lives know a child like the one above in the picture has nothing. Now I defenitly dont want anything for Christmas.
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:53 PM   #5
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The saddest part is that there is more than enough food on the planet to feed everyone. The hardest part is actually getting it to the people that need it the most. Food donated through "food drops" sometimes rots away because people don't have a way to get to the food. I think this is the most important thing I learned when we studied this in rural Africa. There are so many people with the best intentions - we met hundreds of Tanzanians who by our standards would be considered poor, but they were all willing to help - but problem they all told us was they don't know how to reach people that need help. In the large cities, there are shanty towns and ghettos, but the majority of the populations still live in rural areas that often aren't accessible by vehicle because roads are so bad. I'm not an economist or politician, so I really have no clue how to overcome the obstacles that continue to encourage world hunger. It's so depressing to see that even when more people care and more people give, the problem only grows...
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:57 PM   #6
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^This is very true, I have heard and read about this. It makes me even more sad because people who are trying desperately to help a situation just aren't able to do what they set out to do. I also agree the world produces enough food to feed all who inhabit our planet. WHY can't we get the proper nourishment to those that really are in need? It pains me to even look at photos of the emaciated souls wandering endlessly in search of food, most of them dropping off at such early ages for lack of food and clean water. It just doesn't make sense why there are so many hungry, sick and suffering.
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:36 PM   #7
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I agree.. it's inexcusable and it doesn't make sense.

What always haunts me is Bono's comment about how there are coke machines everywhere. If there Coca-Cola can get their machines everywhere - why can't we get food and HIV/AIDS drugs everywhere?
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Old 11-01-2006, 11:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Yes it is inexcusable, someone else was good enough to start a thread but it's lost at the bottom of the page now
World hunger just isn't as interesting as bitching about Bush, defending Bush, arguing at length over elected officials prior military records, whether gays are equal human beings, whether "Jesus worked with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer..."


It's like that chain email that goes around occasionally; the one where the university professor fills up a jar with golf balls, then small pebbles, then sand, then beer equating to what our priorities should be. I think a large majority of what the world cares about is somewhere between beer and pebbles.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:12 AM   #9
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Self-Interest plus the comment by Nick Nolte's character to Don Cheadle's character in Hotel Rwanda is why the world isn't doing anything.
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Old 11-02-2006, 02:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
The hardest part is actually getting it to the people that need it the most. Food donated through "food drops" sometimes rots away because people don't have a way to get to the food. I think this is the most important thing I learned when we studied this in rural Africa. There are so many people with the best intentions - we met hundreds of Tanzanians who by our standards would be considered poor, but they were all willing to help - but problem they all told us was they don't know how to reach people that need help. In the large cities, there are shanty towns and ghettos, but the majority of the populations still live in rural areas that often aren't accessible by vehicle because roads are so bad.
Yeah, this is a common problem in India as well--I was wondering how widespread it is in Africa. Often in India the impoverishment/malnutrition cycle is further compounded by the fact that farmers have the reverse problem--even in a good year where the monsoon does what it's supposed to and the crops thrive enough to leave them with plenty to sell, they aren't able to get it to market (because there's no road, because the road is only usable seasonally, because in the whole village there's only one truck and it's broken down, etc.). Then on top of that they often have no way of knowing how the agricultural commodities market is going, and therefore when the best time to bring their goods to market would be.

The last time I was in India I helped with a government-funded project to use internet technology to get such commodities information to a group of villages in Tamil Nadu. A lot of villages throughout India have been equipped with public kiosks over the last decade, but unfortunately many of these projects have gone to waste because they weren't appropriately tailored to the everyday needs, literacy levels, and technological knowledge of the villagers. What we did with these particular villages was set up a system where every day, someone at the stock exchange in Mumbai made a voice recording in Tamil summarizing what the crops they grew were selling for, then sent that audio file to the villages' kiosks. That way the farmers could download and listen to it (since most of them are illiterate), then make a decision about what to take to market today with the limited transport they had available. A few of the villages were Telugu-speaking, so a person in an office in Hyderabad was responsible for translating the file for them. The villagers were also taught to make voice recordings of their own if they needed to communicate with one of the agriculture officials accountable to them in Hyderabad or Chennai. They also had access to audio weather information online.

Although this system obviously doesn't address road condition, vehicle upkeep, or crop failure problems, and there have been some issues with getting tech experts into the villages in reasonable time to fix computer problems that developed, in general it's been a success at enabling the farmers to plan their market trips more efficiently and get the best return they can for their products. I wonder if something like this might be helpful with alerting hungry villagers to food relief availability as well, and/or giving officials in urban areas a clearer idea where the worst food shortages are. Of course India is better-placed then most African countries would be to set up something like this, since they have their own internal ITC services market as well as deeper pockets generally. Still, sometimes simply getting clear on who most needs help where is half the problem, and might further help with clarifying where funding for road construction and/or transport provision is most urgently needed. A similar project I heard about in northeastern India, serving extremely remote forest villages with no roads whatsoever, simultaneously provided them transportation assistance in the form of trained work elephants. It's frustrating how piecemeal these kinds of efforts are, but there's no way around that really--every village's situation is different, and there just isn't any one-size-fits all solution for addressing the obstacles they face; you need translators, social scientists, and tech experts involved not just food relief providers, and they all need to be trained to interact directly with villagers and work with them to identify where specifically they are having problems...which is often not where someone in an office in New York or Delhi or Dar es Salaam might initially presume.

Of course structural adjustment fallout, debt burden and all that doesn't help the picture either, and epidemic diseases like AIDS further reduce the ability of villagers to help themselves...
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

Yeah, this is a common problem in India as well--I was wondering how widespread it is in Africa.
I couldn't really say, since I've only been to one part of one country, but I know that there, this was the number one issue. Every place we went to to study development came back to the same problem - there's no basic infrastructure, no way to effectively distribute in either direction. Most of the places we visited actually receive money from the government (Catholic and Lutheran social services), but even then it means nothing because the people that need help live 50 miles from Town A and don't even own a bicycle. We met one guy that suffered with AIDS for TEN years before he got help. Food, aid, meds were available from the govt and social services the entire time, but he had no way to get them. When the church found him, they gave him a bike, so after ten years he can start taking the medications that were free all along. This place we went to to see him was only like 20 miles away and it took us hours to get there by vehicle.
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Yes it is inexcusable, someone else was good enough to start a thread but it's lost at the bottom of the page now
YOu know I was thinking about this. I think the reason that a noble minded thread like this tends to move down the page pretty quickly is not merely because we are all shallow, self-absorbed people who would rather discuss trivial issues than pressing problems that "really matter."

I think it's because there is nothing to debate. We all agree that world hunger is a terrible thing and we all want to see it end. What more is there to say beyond that? The threads that stay locked at the top of the page and earn multiple pages are rooted (usually) in disagreement. You have two very different points of view going back and forth. But you're not going to have many people arguing that "world hunger is actually a good thing" or "Jesus said the poor will always be with us so in order to make sure His word is true we must not help the starving ." Get someone saying something like that, and I guarantee you this thread will get lots and lots of posts.

Even less extreme disagreement, like "we shouldn't give money to African charities because the money never gets to the people who need it anyway" would probably provoke some real discussion.

I'm not saying this to disparage this important issue nor to suggest that these types of non-controversial topics shouldn't be posted--they should, if only to remind us of some of the pressing problems of our world--but just to say that we needn't flagellate ourselves for not posting multiple pages on the topic. Heck, if it weren't for the opponents of gay marriage the gay marriage threads would probably die out on page one too--because everyone would agree that it's a good thing.
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:49 PM   #13
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^Couldn't have said it better.
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:56 PM   #14
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Excellent post, maycocksean. Your perspective is right on, I'd say.
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