Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Do You Still Complain?

Many of us dont realize how lucky we are by having the daily basic comforts and food.We complain about many things without even thinking that what we have is already a treasure for many other people.Have you ever thought what a gift is to be healthy, have a clean water to drink and water for self hygiene, a shelter to put your head under it and clothes to wear? This is what every person should have.These are basic needs, but for some people it is already a luxury to have them. Instead of complaining for things that are not a problem at all, we should value what we have and try to help others who are in need.Can we sleep with a clear conscience knowing that somewhere there are children dying of famine and lack of basic needs?
You may think "What I can do by myself,I am not in position to change it." Wrong! You are able to do something, if we unite, if we work together we can change many things and make the world better place to live in. Dont be indifferent! Indifference make the society rotten.
Feel gratitude for what you have and dont complain. Do something to help others.

Here are some information that I suppose everybody should know and think it over.

Hunger and Famine

What is hunger?

People usually think of hunger as the feeling they get if they skip breakfast or eat a small salad for lunch. But for millions of children and their families around the world, hunger is a day-in-day-out state that results from surviving on two small meals a day or less for weeks and sometime months.

Sometimes a meal is only a potato, some milk or cooked corn meal. Once a month it may be an ounce of meat. Often the only water for drinking is dirty, and makes people, especially children, sick. People may be hungry because of emergencies, like the recent famine that affected Ethiopia. For children living in the drought-stricken costal areas of Northern Mozambique, meals -for weeks on end - can consist of just a mango or starchy "porridge" made from bitterroot vegetables. These meals hold little nutritional value.

But people are often hungry because of longer-term political or economic situations. In Ethiopia and Angola, where conflict has undermined the country’s capacity for growing and distributing food, children often go without eating nutritious meals for months at a time, surviving only on grain, or in pastoral areas, only on milk.

What is famine?

Famine occurs when large numbers of people are dying from acute malnutrition – wasting away. Famine conditions occur when there is a drastic and widespread shortage of food. The cause of famine is usually the combination of a climactic shock, such as a drought, combined with civil unrest, political conflict, or poor governance.

How does hunger affect children and families?

Without adequate calories and a diverse diet consisting of grains, fruits, vegetables and proteins that provide the appropriate vitamins and nutrients, families become malnourished, with children and women being the most vulnerable. Children especially need an adequate diet for growth and development. Acute malnutrition results in significant weight loss or even death.

Chronic, or long-term, malnutrition, even at mild levels, can increase susceptibility to diseases like diarrhea, malaria, and measles. Chronic malnutrition contributes to the deaths of 6.5 million children per year around the world. Chronic malnutrition of children under two often results in stunting -- reduced height and permanently diminished physical and mental capacity. Stunting negatively impacts the health and productivity of current and future generations.

World Hunger Facts 2008

World Hunger Education Service

World hunger refers to the second definition, aggregated to the world level. The related technical term (in this case operationalized in medicine) is malnutrition.

Malnutrition is a general term that indicates a lack of some or all nutritional elements necessary for human health .

There are two basic types of malnutrition. The first and most important is protein-energy malnutrition--the lack of enough protein (from meat and other sources) and food that provides energy (measured in calories) which all of the basic food groups provide. This is the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed. The second type of malnutrition, also very important, is micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) deficiency. This is not the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed, though it is certainly very important.

Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is the most lethal form of malnutrition/hunger. It is basically a lack of calories and protein. Food is converted into energy by humans, and the energy contained in food is measured by calories. Protein is necessary for key body functions including provision of essential amino acids and development and maintenance of muscles.

No one really knows how many people are malnourished. The statistic most frequently cited is that of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which measures 'undernutrition'. The most recent estimate (2006) of the FAO says that 854 million people worldwide are undernourished. This is 12.6 percent of the estimated world population of 6.6 billion. Most of the undernourished--820 million--are in developing countries. The FAO estimate is based on statistical aggregates. It looks at a country's income level and income distribution and uses this information to estimate how many people receive such a low level of income that they are malnourished. It is not an estimate based on seeing to what extent actual people are malnourished and projecting from there (as would be done by survey sampling). [It has been argued that the FAO approach is not sufficient to give accurate estimates of malnutrition (Poverty and Undernutrition p. 298 by Peter Svedberg).] In July 2008, FAO said that an additional 50 million people became undernourished in 2007 due to higher food prices.

Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition. Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year--five million deaths. Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) (Black 2003, Bryce 2005). Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body's ability to convert food into usable nutrients.

According to the most recent estimate that Hunger Notes could find, malnutrition, as measured by stunting, affects 32.5 percent of children in developing countries--one of three (de Onis 2000). Geographically, more than 70 percent of malnourished children live in Asia, 26 percent in Africa and 4 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean. In many cases, their plight began even before birth with a malnourished mother. Under-nutrition among pregnant women in developing countries leads to 1 out of 6 infants born with low birth weight. This is not only a risk factor for neonatal deaths, but also causes learning disabilities, mental, retardation, poor health, blindness and premature death.

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day (FAO 2002, p.9). The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.

Poverty is the principal cause of hunger. The causes of poverty include poor people's lack of resources, an extremely unequal income distribution in the world and within specific countries, conflict, and hunger itself. As of 2008 (2004 statistics), the World Bank has estimated that there were an estimated 982 million poor people in developing countries who live on $1 a day or less (World Bank, Understanding Poverty, Chen 2004). This compares to the FAO estimate of 850 million undernourished people. Extreme poverty remains an alarming problem in the world’s developing regions, despite the advances made in the 1990s till now, which reduced "dollar a day" poverty from (an estimated) 1.23 billion people to 982 million in 2004, a reduction of 20 percent over the period. Progress in poverty reduction has been concentrated in Asia, and especially, East Asia, with the major improvement occurring in China. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people in extreme poverty has increased.

Conflict as a cause of hunger and poverty. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that as of December 2006, there were at least 22.7 million displaced, including 9.9 million refugees and 12.8 million internally displaced persons (UNHCR 2007). (Refugees flee to another country while internally displaced people move to another area of their own country.) Most people become refugees or are internally displaced as a result of conflict, though there are also natural causes such as drought, earthquakes, and flooding. In the early stages of refugee emergencies, malnutrition runs rampant, exponentially increasing the risk of disease and death (World Health Organization 2003). But, important and (relatively) visible though it is, conflict is less important as poverty as a cause of hunger. (Using the statistics above 798 million people suffer from chronic hunger while 22.7 million people are displaced.)


Anonymous said...

Oh my god... I don't even know what to say...
I want to bring people with this problem back to America and give them the life they deserve...
I'm speachless.....

Anonymous said...

If only more people will open their eyes and see this crisis and take seriously. i Hope people see how extremly lucky we are.

Anonymous said...

wow... let us hold hand and do more then just pray, my heart goes out to these people(my brothers & sisters, it is deeply affecting and truely sad... what are we to do...lets go to these places, open our hearts and give COME ON

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

i am doing a social action project on this topic to make a change, if you want to hep by canned spritew soda and send the tabs to the company for a refresh project thank you

Anonymous said...

If we as Americans could reduce our meat intake by 2% we would free enough land to adequately feed the 20 million who will starve this year. Solving world hunger.

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