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‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a...
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Article 6 of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child specifies:
The obligation of the state to recognise the inherent rights of the life of a child and ensure his survival and development.
And article 24 states that:
Children have the right to the best state of health possible. They benefit from medical services and rehabilitation. The state focuses on the prevention and reduction of infant mortality, it fights against traditional practices that endanger the health of the child. This is done in international cooperation.
Therefore, once again, we can immediately understand on reading these articles that the countries that are signatories to this Convention (Dating back to 1989!) do not always respect it! Even though we are talking about the life of the weakest among others: children.
What is hunger?
‘Not having enough to eat’, it’s so simple to describe, yet so terrible to live through and indeed one could even die, because long-term hunger inevitably leads to death.
The world has always had famines; in the second half of the 20th century, we particularly remember the famines of Bengal (1943), China (1958-1961), Biafra (1967-1970), the Sahel (1973-1974), Ethiopia (1984-1985) and North Korea (1995-1998).
In the 21st century, we can already refer to Darfur in 2004 and the unacceptable continued increase in the number of people in the world who cannot eat when they go hungry.
How many people are suffering from hunger?
International Organisations estimate that in our day, a billion human beings do not have enough to eat. Worry and rebellion could even increase if people become aware of the forecasts, which anticipate that this figure could double in the next decades.
How many children are dying of hunger?
The figures vary according to experts and organisations, but a consensus is emerging with regard to estimates that in 2007, between 12,000 and 20,000 children died every day of hunger and/or illnesses related to malnutrition.
In fact this is a scandal that does not even make newspaper headlines, and it is as if man were unable to change things, which is totally false because true international mobilisation (Anticipated by article 24) would help to feed and save all children.
What are the reasons for hunger?
They can be many, they can occur after a random climatic event such as prolonged drought, a natural disaster (Tornado, earthquake, tidal wave, etc.), but often man is responsible.
Wars are amongst the main causes of famine but in recent history, news was ‘invented’ with financial speculation on basic foodstuffs such as rice, wheat, maize, soya, oil, cocoa or even milk, which often made these staple foods inaccessible to the poorest (Most of the time already living in overpopulated areas).
Bio-fuels are another reason for proven or potential famine, because immense areas of agricultural land have been and shall be converted to produce them, something that the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler, described as a ‘crime against humanity’.
How do we fight against hunger?
Let us cite the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adopted by the UN member countries in September 2000, a list of 8 goals which every person should aspire to achieve, which include the reduction of extreme poverty and hunger.
Concretely, the real objective was to halve the number of human beings suffering from hunger between now and 2015. The disappearance of agricultural land, speculation on basic foodstuffs and the greed of rich countries shall be major difficulties which need to be overcome in order to achieve it.
In short, the lack of global awareness of consideration of each human being as someone having equal rights to all others will result in thousands of children and adults continuing to die of hunger every day.
We can and should contribute to this change which can save others, all of us should...
To see the cartoon on hunger, click here
To do the quiz, click here
For the game, click here
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