HUNGRY PEOPLE

I must mention two things before I share facts with you.

The first is that I must give credit to my friend Manny who sent me the link where I got this information. Manny has a blog called Kairos Now and you can read a great series he has just completed.  You can get to his web site by looking at my blogroll and clicking on Kairos Now.  Manny told me that his goal in the series “is to cause people to consider the high cost we must pay to protect children from horrors of this evil world.”  I highly recommend it.

The link to the hunger information that Manny shared with me will follow.

Second, there will be no picture of starving people on this post. Unless you have been hungry yourself, no picture can communicate what it’s like. I don’t neglect the picture because a starving person is difficult to look at. We are either hardened or softened by the pictures. Anyone who is softened already needs no picture, just the facts.  Anyone who is hardened by pictures of poor people needs to read the Biblical story of Lazarus (Luke 16:19…)

Here are some of the facts:

We’ll start with American children since they are closest to home.

  • 20% or more of the child population in 40 states and D.C. lived in insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2010.
  • In 2010, 16.4 million or approximately 22 percent of children in the U.S. lived in poverty.

Think of that last fact.  Nearly 1/4th of American children live in poverty.  I know that our definition of poverty is nothing like the definition in many other places in the world.

To see other facts about hungry children in America, go to:

http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/child-hunger-facts.aspx

Manny shared some other facts with me.

 

  • Asia and the Pacific region is home to over half the world’s population and nearly two thirds of the world’s hungry people.

(Source: FAO news release, 2010)

 

  • Women make up a little over half of the world’s population, but they account for over 60 percent of the world’s hungry.

(Source:  Strengthening efforts to eradicate hunger…, ECOSOC, 2007)

·

  • 65 percent of the world’s hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.

(Source: FAO news release, 2010)

·

  • Under nutrition contributes to five million deaths of children under five each year in developing countries.

(Source: Under five deaths by cause, UNICEF, 2006)

·

  • One out of four children – roughly 146 million – in developing countries is underweight

(Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)

 

  • More than 70 percent of the world’s underweight children (aged five or less) live in just 10 countries, with more than 50 per cent located in South Asia alone;

(Source: Progress for Children: A Report Card on Nutrition, UNICEF, 2006)

·

  • 10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths;

(Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)

·

  • Iron deficiency is the most prevalent form of malnutrition worldwide, affecting an estimated 2 billion people. Eradicating iron deficiency can improve national productivity levels by as much as 20 percent.

(Source:  World Health Organization, WHO Global Database on Anemia)

·

  • Iodine deficiency is the greatest single cause of mental retardation and brain damage, affecting 1.9 billion people worldwide. It can easily be prevented by adding iodine to salt.

(Source:  World Nutrition Situation 5th report, UN Standing Committee on Nutrition2005)

These are just some of the facts.

Many use these facts for their own gain.  I would call these people evil.

But the facts are the facts and they aren’t pretty.

So why are so many people interested in hunger?  I think it’s because of the economic situation worldwide.  More importantly, I think it’s because of the spiritual situation worldwide. These days even the wealthiest fear hunger.

What does the Bible say about the issue?

On a personal level, Jesus told us not to worry about what we are to eat. (Matt. 6:31, 32)

On a humanitarian level, Jesus talked about those who are “blessed of my Father:”

“For I was hungry and you gave me meat: I was thirsty and you gave me drink…” (Matt. 25: 34, 35)

I appreciate that Manny took the time to look up the facts for me.  It means he also cares about the subject.  It is a difficult subject, but it is one we must consider.

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