Wednesday, February 03, 2016

El Hambre (Hunger)

Ethiopia is an old country with a rich culture. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world.  It is estimated that 20 million people (out of a population of 94 million) live under the US$1.25 (per day) poverty line set by the World Bank.   In simple terms, they are not getting enough to eat. 

India is said to be the country with the largest number of hungry people, roughly 363 million. 

China is not far behind, with 157 million.

There are also lots of hungry people in Cambodia, 3 million.

All together, it is estimated that 1,000 million people in the world live under the poverty line. 

There are, of course, many reasons for the hunger: natural disasters, soil erosion, lack of land, lack of fertilizer, lack of seeds, poor farming technique, laziness, corruption, exploitation, colonialism, land grab, greed, …

Books such as Martin Caparros’ “El Hambre (Hunger)” observe that the world actually produces enough food for every single person on earth to eat.  There is really no need for anyone to go hungry, to starve, to die hungry.  Why do we allow this to happen?

It is easy to pretend that these are just numbers that do not concern us.  But they are actually real human beings that are just like us.  The more we see their faces, the more we hear from them, and the more we get to know them, the harder it is to not care.  How can we allow this to happen?  How can we live and sleep in comfort, knowing that these people are hungry, starving and dying from hunger, and we are doing nothing?

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