Sunday, April 27, 2008

War on Hunger (a)

I haven't had a chance to read alot of this guy's stuff yet, having only come across it today, but he has a really good piece, with facts and numbers, on hunger and famine through history, and today.

A short example from his essay "War on Hunga" :

During the 20th century, an estimated 70 million people died from famines across the world, of them an estimated 30 million died during the famine of 1958-61 in China. The other most notable famines of the century included the 1942-1945 disaster in Bengal, famines in China in 1928 and 1942, and a sequence of famines in the Soviet Union, including the Holodomor, Stalin's famine inflicted on Ukraine in 1932-33. A few of the great famines of the late 20th century were: the Biafran famine in the 1960s, the disaster in Cambodia in the 1970s, the Ethiopian famine of 1983-85 and the North Korean famine of the 1990s.

Take note please that starvation leads naturally to desperation. Every generation in medieval Europe suffered famine. The poor ate cats, dogs and the droppings of birds; some starving mothers ate their children and as late as in the 20th century, periods of extreme hunger drove Soviet citizens to cannibalism.

A dreadful scenario indeed, but are we there yet? Well, not exactly but we sure are headed in that direction. It is time to sit up and take note.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 25,000 people died of starvation every day in 2003, and as of 2001 to 2003, about 800 million people were chronically undernourished. That was when the current global food shortage had yet not begun to hit the world.

There is no doubt any more that we are bang in the midst of the first global food crisis since World War II which the World Food Program says already threatens 20 million of the poorest children.

The rest is definitely worth reading.

And here is the rest of it.


Phil said...

With the continued increase of global population and ensuing environmental breakdown and loss of sustainability, one can reasonably expect that Soylent Green will become a staple in the average diet.

Trouble said...

If Governments would put as much effort into world hunger as they do on wars, then I at least think we would see a change for the good. Those numbers are outrageous. (very sad).