Elizabeth Schulte writes about people being killed in a world of plenty:
EVERY MINUTE of every day, 13 children die around the world of hunger and malnutrition. That’s the finding of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). Its latest report shows that 18,000 children die each day–or 750 each hour–of malnutrition and its related diseases.
According to WFP, 850 million people are hungry or malnourished around the world on any given day. That is one in six of the world’s population–or more than the combined population of the U.S., Russia, Japan, Germany, Britain and France. Half of the world’s hungry are children.
In the world’s wealthiest country, the United States, nearly 16 million people are living in deep or severe poverty, according to an analysis of 2005 census figures by the McClatchy Newspapers. That’s more than the total population of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.
What’s so striking about this study is how many people had fallen into even deeper poverty than before. Today, 43 percent of the 37 million poor people in the U.S. have plunged into deep poverty–the highest rate since at least 1975.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government plans to spend at least $650 billion this year on the military.
If this starve-the-poor-to-feed-Corporate-America policy continues, the future is a grim one for working America.
I find it odd to call the United States wealthy.
Why judge a nation by how we treat its highest citizens? Since the rich usually control the government, doesn’t their well-being most often correlate with the amount of corruption?
I say, judge a nation by how it treats its lowest citizens – the poor, the sick, the wrongfully imprisoned. From this perspective, I do NOT see the socially unequal United States, with its high rising poverty rates, as wealthy.
I am not a religous person, but still I agree with the Christian message that says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me.” (Matthew 24:40)
The AP reports that the UN says 18,000 children die daily from hunger:
It is “a terrible indictment of the world in 2007″ that 18,000 children die every day because of hunger and malnutrition, and 850 million people go to bed every night with empty stomachs, the head of the UN food agency said on Friday.
James Morris called for students and young people, faith-based groups, the business community and governments to join forces in a global movement to alleviate and eliminate hunger – especially among children.
“Addressing the hunger issue is the most powerful way to break the poverty cycle,” he said in an interview. “We all simply have to do more.”
Almost anyone would work any terrible job for the lowest of pay, if it meant avoiding the agony of hunger. That anyone goes hungry says something about the lack of fair opportunity in the world. Nonetheless, our society denies proper food to children, so extremely that 18,000 children die every day from hunger. Even more sickeningly, the world has more than enough food to feed everyone.
The people of this world need to organize non-governmentally and change the socioeconomic system so that no child goes hungry, and so that every child has access to the necessities including food, clothes, shelter, healthcare and education.
What do you think?
Let me share some of staggering facts:
One out of every eight children under the age of twelve in the U.S. goes to bed hungry every night.
Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger
For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years.
Poverty is the main cause of hunger. 70 percent of the world’s poor are female. 
25% of American children under age six live in poverty. One in eight children under age twelve goes to bed hungry every night. American children have just a 50-50 chance of escaping poverty. 
30,500 children die from preventable diseases each day. Malnutrition is linked with over half. 
The UN says a $40 billion increase in current aid would provide food, clean water, sanitation, health services, and education to everyone on the planet. 
Middle-income nations like Israel and Egypt receive most U.S. aid. Just 40% goes to poor nations. 
The U.S. spends over $1 billion a day on defense. 1.2 billion people worldwide live on under $1 a day. 
About 850 million people worldwide are undernourished .
16,000 children die every day from hunger . That’s about one child every 5 seconds.
In the United States in 2004, 13.5 million households (or 11.9% of all U.S. households) were food insecure; 13.9 million United States children under age 18 lived in food-insecure households (19.0% of all children). 
 State of Food Insecurity in the World 2005. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
 (Source: Nord, M., Andrews, M., Carlson, S. (October 2005) Household Food Security in the United States, 2004. Washington, D.C.: Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.)
Safe drinking water, sanitation and good hygiene are fundamental to health, survival, growth and development. However, these basic necessities are still a luxury for many of the world’s poor people.
Over 1.1 billion of our fellow citizens do not use drinking water from improved sources, while 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.
Safe drinking water and basic sanitation are so obviously essential to health that they risk being taken for granted.
Every year, unsafe water, coupled with a lack of basic sanitation, kills at least 1.6 million children under the age of five years — more than eight times the number of people who died in the Asian tsunami of 2004.
2.6 billion people, more than 40% of the world population, do not use a toilet, but defecate in the open or in unsanitary places.
This short video quickly displays facts about hunger and poverty. At only one minute and fifteen seconds long, this enlightening video is a must-watch:
The below is a bulletin I recieved on MySpace from A Crazy Idea:
The numbers are staggering. Today 37 million Americans live in a state of poverty, hunger and hardship. That’s more than last year, More than ever before. But one by one, working together, we can reverse the trend. For the fourth consecutive year, the poverty rate and the number of Americans living in poverty both rose from the prior years. Since 2000, the number of poor Americans has grown by more than 6 million. The official poverty rate in 2004 (the most current year for which figures are available) was 12.7 percent, up from 12.5 percent in 2003. Total Americans below the official poverty thresholds numbered 37 million, a figure 1.1 million higher than the 35.9 million in poverty in 2003. The U.S. Census Bureau defines poor families as those with cash incomes of less than $15,067 a year for a family of three or $19,307 for a family of four. (U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004) On average, more than one out of every three Americans – 37 percent of all people in the United States – are officially classified as living in poverty at least 2 months out of the year. (U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004)
The number of Americans living in severe poverty – with incomes below half of the poverty line – remained the same at 15.6 million. (U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004)
A single parent of two young children working full-time in a minimum wage job for a year would make $10,712 before taxes – a wage $4,355 below the poverty threshold set by the federal government. (U.S. Department of Labor; U.S. Census Bureau.) About 40 percent of poor single-parent, working mothers who paid for child care paid at least half of their income for child care; an additional 25 percent of these families paid between 40 and 50 percent of their incomes for child care. (Child Trends, 2001.)
More than two-thirds of all poor families with children included one or more individuals who worked in 2003. Whats more, family members in working-poor families with children typically worked combined totals of 46 weeks per year.
We can end this now! As Americans we have a duty to stand up for those citizens who are suffering in our own country. Learn more on how you can change your own country and change the world. Get involved! Some tips on where to start: Write a letter to your local newspaper, alerting the editors to the information you’ve learned about poverty in America, and what is being done to eliminate it. Submit an article to the newsletter published by your church, synagogue, mosque or house of worship about poverty in your community, and about successful initiatives that are bringing long-term results. Follow local politics, and tell your local elected officials that you support policies aimed at permanent solutions to poverty in your community and your nation. Question candidates on their plans to address poverty in your state and nation, vote your conscience — and hold politicians to their promises if elected.
In a world of plenty, huge numbers of people go hungry. Hunger is more than just the result of food production and meeting demands. The causes of hunger are related to the causes of poverty. One of the major causes of hunger is poverty itself.
There are other related causes (also often related to the causes of poverty in various ways) including the following:
For those with an interest in hunger, poverty, and the social science thereof, I’ve compiled a list of books and reading materials. You can easily buy any of these books from Amazon instantly, so I recommend you get one, two, or a few. Here’s the list:
And, that’s it for now, but I’ll post more as I read them or they are recommended to me. If you want to add any other books to the list please do by using the comment function. (Hit comment below the post.)
Remember, collective ignorance and neglect allows hunger, poverty, and social injustice. The spread of knowledge and rational discussion are the most quintessential part of the solution, and books epitomize the spread of knowledge.
As of 2006, hunger continues to be a worldwide problem. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “850 million people worldwide were undernourished in 1999 to 2005, the most recent years for which figures are available” and the number of hungry people has recently been increasing. An orange awareness ribbon is used to raise awareness of hunger in the world.
There is a wide range of opinions as to why this problem is so persistent. Organizations such as Food First raise the issue of food sovereignty and claim that every country on earth (with the possible minor exceptions of some city-states) has sufficient agricultural capacity to feed its own people, but that the “free trade” economic order associated with such institutions as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank prevent this from happening. At the other end of the spectrum, the World Bank itself claims to be part of the solution to hunger, claiming that the best way for countries to succeed in breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger is to build export-led economies that will give them the financial means to buy foodstuffs on the world market.
Amartya Sen won his 1998 Nobel Prize in part for his work demonstrating that hunger in modern times was not typically the product of a lack of food; rather, hunger usually arose from problems in food distribution networks or from governmental policies in the developing world.