Nearly 50% of all deaths of children under the age of five are from malnutrition, according to new research published in the Lancet. A world hunger summit was just held in London and the updated mortality figures were presented there.
‘Our findings strengthen the evidence that good nutrition is a fundamental driver of a wide range of development goals, and while the impetus for improving nutrition today is stronger than ever, the costs of inaction are enormous,’ said lead researcher Professor Robert Black, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (Source: The Guardian)
While this news may be shocking and very saddening to people living in wealthier countries, the problems we have in our daily lives often pale in comparison very much to situations like hunger and starvation. A great day for someone living in such conditions would simply be having one decent meal.
If foreign aid totaling $9.6 billion could be amassed this year, the extra food it could purchase and supply could save one million children from dying. People who are chronically hungry and starving are not able to work and are therefore resigned to poverty. Children who are constantly hungry are not able to perform in school, even if there are schools available.
Meanwhile in some developed countries like the United States, huge amounts of food are thrown away every year. Similarly, there are many health problems associated with the practice of overeating, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and premature death. Well over $100 billion dollars is spent just on junk food in the United States. Much of this food is unhealthy and contributes to some of the health problems mentioned above.
Is it conceivable that there could be some very large shifts in awareness and some portion of the money in developed countries could be shared with those that are starving, instead of spent on unhealthy foods? With crowd-sourcing and social media it seems nearly anything is possible these days, so there may be hope yet for some of these massive social problems.
If one person can raise $50,000 for a movie project in California, it seems reasonable to suggest much larger amounts could be generated for more important projects, like hunger alleviation and saving lives.