Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hunger - Reasons and Remedies - I

Can Hunger be managed by symbolic fast and hunger conference of FAO

What are the causes of hunger? The first and fore most reason given by the FAO is the non availability of enough food and resources for the poor. I do not agree with it. There are more than enough resources available but they out of reach of the poor. They are concentrated in very few hands globally.

· Half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less than two dollars a day.
· The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.
· Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
· Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
· 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).
Not enough resources?
Is this the real issue?
I do not think that this is issue?

Exploitation –is the single most important cause of Hunger. There are different types of exploitations- Economic System, Political System, Social System
The present system is at the core of the poverty. This system works towards concentration of wealth in few hands. The present financial system has benefitted few individuals at the cost of putting vast majority in pool of hunger. The present financial crisis has wiped out 38 trillion US dollar of wealth from economy. The biggest question now, do we really need a system which is played like casinos. These are called derivatives officially (gambling product which is legally allowed in system). Presently there are more 600 trillion US dollar derivatives contract exists which is 10 times bigger than size of global economy.
This exploitation is basically failure of multilateral institutions UN, IMF and World Bank. They are suppose to promote peace, justice and equality in the world. They remained mute witness of the exploitation are became the instrument of exploitation.
The only solution “Change Has Arrived”, Change the system, only changing color will not work; there is immediate necessity to change the complete system, “In and Out”.
Acute causes of poverty:
Warfare: The material and human destruction caused by warfare is a major development problem. For example, from 1990 to 1993, the period encompassing Desert Storm, per capita GDP in Iraq fell from $3500 to $761. The drop in average income, while a striking representation of the drop in the well-being of the average Iraqi citizen in the aftermath of the war, fails to capture the broader affects of damages to the infrastructure and social services, such as health care and access to clean water.
Colonial Histories: One of the most important barriers to development in poor countries is lack of uniform, basic infrastructure, such as roads and means of communication. Some development scholars have identified colonial history as an important contributor to the current situation. In most countries with a history of colonization, the colonizers developed local economies to facilitate the expropriation of resources for their own economic growth and development.
Centralization of Power: In many developing countries, political power is disproportionately centralized. Instead of having a network of political representatives distributed equally throughout society, in centralized systems of governance one major party, politician, or region is responsible for decision-making throughout the country. This often causes development problems. For example, in these situations politicians make decisions about places that they are unfamiliar with, lacking sufficient knowledge about the context to design effective and appropriate policies and programs.
Corruption: Corruption often accompanies centralization of power, when leaders are not accountable to those they serve. Most directly, corruption inhibits development when leaders help themselves to money that would otherwise be used for development projects. In other cases, leaders reward political support by providing services to their followers.
Social Inequality: One of the more entrenched sources of poverty throughout the world is social inequality that stems from cultural ideas about the relative worth of different genders, races, ethnic groups, and social classes. Ascribed inequality works by placing individuals in different social categories at birth, often based on religious, ethnic, or 'racial' characteristics. In South African history, apartheid laws defined a binary caste system that assigned different rights (or lack thereof) and social spaces to Whites and Blacks, using skin color to automatically determine the opportunities available to individuals in each group.
Debt is an efficient tool. It ensures access to other peoples’ raw materials and infrastructure on the cheapest possible terms. Dozens of countries must compete for shrinking export markets and can export only a limited range of products because of Northern protectionism and their lack of cash to invest in diversification. Market saturation ensues, reducing exporters’ income to a bare minimum while the North enjoys huge savings. The IMF cannot seem to understand that investing in … [a] healthy, well-fed, literate population … is the most intelligent economic choice a country can make.
Many developing nations are in debt and poverty partly due to the policies of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Their programs have been heavily criticized for many years for resulting in poverty. In addition, for developing or third world countries, there has been an increased dependency on the richer nations. This is despite the IMF and World Bank’s claim that they will reduce poverty.
When IMF donors keep the exchange rates in their favour, it often means that the poor nations remain poor, or get even poorer. Even the 1997/98/99 global financial crisis can be partly blamed on structural adjustment and early, overly aggressive deregulation for emerging economies.
This is one of the backbones to today’s so-called “free” trade. In this form, as a result, it is seen by some as unfair and one-way, or extraction list. It also serves to maintain unequal free trade as pointed out by J.W. Smith.

Resources available on Earth for All Human

Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun and takes 23 hours, 56 minutes to spin on its axis one time.

Size: Earth has a diameter of 7,926 miles (12,756 kilometers).The planet Earth is a planet of oceans. The total area of the Earth is approximately 510 million square kilometers and the oceans cover about 71 percent of the Earth's surface, which is about 360 million square kilometers.
There are a total of 5 oceans, and they are the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and the Antarctic Ocean. Out of these five, there are three major oceans, the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Indian Ocean. They account for 90 percent of the area covered by oceans. The Pacific Ocean is the largest of oceans, its area is 181 million square kilometers, which covers nearly a third of the Earth's surface. The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest, covering 94 million square kilometers, and the Indian Ocean is the third largest, covering about 74 million square kilometers.
The oceans' tremendous presence causes it to have a huge effect on the planet and our civilization. It is greatly responsible for the climate of the Earth. It regulates air temperature and supplies moisture for rainfall. The ocean also provides us with food, energy, minerals, and a cheap method of transportation. Without the oceans, the Earth wouldn't be able to sustain life.
Surface: From space, Earth looks like the blue water world it is. About 70 percent of Earth's surface is covered with water, and 97 percent of all that water is in the salty oceans. Only 3 percent of Earth's water is freshwater — the water we drink.Earth is covered with mountains, volcanoes, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Most of the surface material is made of rocks — high in silica, iron, and magnesium.

Forest

Forests cover about a quarter of the world's land surface, excluding Greenland and Antarctica.
· The Amazon Rainforest covers over a billion acres, encompassing areas in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and the Eastern Andean region of Ecuador and Peru.
· More than half of the world's estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical rainforests. One-fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Amazon Basin.
· One hectare (2.47 acres) may contain over 750 types of trees and 1500 species of higher plants.
· At least 80% of the developed world's diet originated in the tropical rainforest. Its bountiful gifts to the world include fruits like avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangos and tomatoes; vegetables including corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash and yams; spices like black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, tumeric, coffee and vanilla and nuts including Brazil nuts and cashews.
· At least 3000 fruits are found in the rainforests; of these only 200 are now in use in the Western World. The Indians of the rainforest use over 2,000.
· Rainforest plants are rich in secondary metabolites, particularly alkaloids. Biochemists believe alkaloids protect plants from disease and insect attacks. Many alkaloids from higher plants have proven to be of medicinal value and benefit.
· Experts agree that by leaving the rainforests intact and harvesting it's many nuts, fruits, oil-producing plants, and medicinal plants, the rainforest has more economic value than if they were cut down to make grazing land for cattle or for timber.
· The latest statistics show that rainforest land converted to cattle operations yields the land owner $60 per acre and if timber is harvested, the land is worth $400 per acre. However, if these renewable and sustainable resources are harvested, the land will yield the land owner $2,400 per acre.
· If managed properly, the rainforest can provide the world's need for these natural resources on a perpetual basis.

Food from the Sea: Oceans cover nearly 75% of the earth's surface.

Although a large percentage of the aquatic plants and animals that eventually become human food are either captured by fishers or produced by mariculturists in the world's oceans, a significant amount also comes from fresh water. The term "seafood" commonly is used to describe aquatic plants and animals consumed by humans, regardless of source. Fisheries and aquaculture produce roughly 140 million tons of plants and animals annually. Included are finfish, mollusks (including octopus and squid), crustaceans , seaweeds, reptiles, and marine mammals: the first four categories make up the bulk of the human food that comes from the waters of the world.
Global production of farmed aquatic animals and plants in 2003 reached 55 million mt with an on-farm value of US$ 67 billion. As per statistics, aquaculture currently accounts for nearly 22% of total world catch including species used to produce fish meal and fish oil. It is continuously growing from 1987 and the production increased by 148%. Fisheries sector provides an overall 17% of the world’s animal protein intake to which the Asian countries contribute around 26%. The world per capita fish consumption is about 12 kg per year, 8 kg for developing countries and 25 kg for developed countries. The per capita fish consumption for India is even less than 8 kg per year. Thus, there is a need to increase per capita fish consumption level by increasing fish production. There is a need to exploit the food from sea as a security against under nutrition and malnutrition as sea has ample scope for continuous supply of protein rich food for socioeconomic upliftment. India has a vast coastline and seas to ensure food security through its fisheries and aquaculture policies and related S&T measures.

This seaweed plantation in Bali, Indonesia illustrates the role of Mari culture (marine aquaculture) in meeting human food demands. Global seaweed production exceeds 10 million metric tons annually.
With respect to finfish, the herring, sardine, and anchovy group is used primarily for the manufacture of fish meal. The cod, hake, and haddock group is commonly sold as fish fillets and fish sticks. Those fishes are also used to make artificial crab, shrimp, and other products that mimic more expensive seafoods.
Production of carp and closely related fresh-water species approaches that of the herring group. The vast majority of the carp produced in the world are products of China's aquaculture activity. China began culturing carp, according to some estimates, as long ago as 4,000 years. Carp continue to be very important in the diets of most people in China. Carp are also produced in significant numbers in parts of Europe, the Middle East, India, and a few other locations.
Clams and oysters dominate the mollusk category, followed by scallops, mussels, and abalone. Total mollusk production exceeds 15 million metric tons annually.

Inequality of World Food Consumption

World Food Consumption Map shows a world map where the countries of the world have been shown using different colors according to the daily food consumption in that part of the world.
The countries with the maximum food intake i.e. 3,500 calories per person are United States of America, Portugal, France, Turkey etc. Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Kazakhstan etc have an annual intake of 3,000 to 3,500 calories per person. The countries with the minimum food intake are Afghanistan, Mongolia, Chad, Ethiopia, Angola etc.With a population of about 6 billion, food consumption has become a fast rising concern. As to statistics by World Bank, population in the world is growing by more than 200,000 people a day and that has an impact on world food consumption.

Report documents extreme levels of global wealth inequality

A report released Tuesday by a United Nations group documents the staggering levels of global inequality in household wealth. The report gives a partial portrait of a world society characterized by extreme concentrations of wealth in the hands of the richest sections of the population, with the position of much of the remainder ranging from general economic insecurity to dire poverty.
According to the report, published by the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) and based on data from 2000, the top one percent of the world’s adult population (about 37 million people) owns 40 percent of the world’s wealth, while the top two percent owns over half and the top 10 percent owns 85 percent. Wealth is defined as physical and financial assets minus liabilities.
In contrast, the bottom half of the world’s adult population—or about 1.85 billion people—owns collectively only one percent of the world’s assets.
This means that the top one percent of the world’s adult population owns 40 times more than the bottom 50 percent, and nearly 3 times more than the bottom 90 percent.
· First ever study of global household assets· 50% of world's adults own just 1% of the wealth
The richest 1% of adults in the world own 40% of the planet's wealth, according to the largest study yet of wealth distribution. The report also finds that those in financial services and the internet sectors predominate among the super rich.
Europe, the US and some Asia Pacific nations account for most of the extremely wealthy. More than a third live in the US. Japan accounts for 27% of the total, the UK for 6% and France for 5%.
The UK is also third in terms of per capita wealth. UK residents are found to have on average $127,000 (£64,000) each in asset, with Japanese and American citizens having, respectively, $181,000 and $144,000. All data relate to the year 2000.
The global study - from the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations - is the first to chart wealth distribution in every country as opposed to just income, for which more comprehensive date is available. It included all the most significant components of household wealth, including financial assets and debts, land, buildings and other tangible property. Together these total $125 trillion globally.
The report found the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total of global assets. Half the world's adult population, however, owned barely 1% of global wealth. Near the bottom of the list was India, with per capita wealth of $1,100, and Indonesia with assets per head of $1,400.

India Rejects Blame for Higher Global Food Prices

Politicians across the Indian political spectrum are condemning President Bush's remark, linking high food prices in the West to a growing middle class in India.
Indian experts, citing data from here and from the United States, say American per capita food consumption is three to five times that of Indians. Ecologist Shiva argues Indians, overall, are eating less, not more, despite a growing middle class here. "Per capita consumption of food has dropped from 177 kilograms per capita per year to 152 in the last decade and a half. Instead of Mr. Bush citing that 350 million middle class, he should be citing the Indian children being denied. One million a year are dying for lack of food," added Shiva.

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