Food is a basic human right, yet hundreds of millions of people in the world still go hungry everyday. The aims of World Food Day is to increase public awareness of the world food problem and increase solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
Somewhere in the world, a child dies of hunger every five seconds! In desperation, the hungry will consume foods not normally considered edible. For example, the poverty-stricken Haitians would eat mud pies!
The theme of the 2011 World Food Day is "Food Prices, From Crisis to Stability." According to the World Bank, in 2010-2011 rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty. Rapid price swings make the life of farmers very difficult. Farmers end up producing too much or too little because the prices are not stable. According to the FAO report, "Farmers are hurt too because they badly need to know the price their crops are going to fetch at harvest time, months away. If high prices are likely they plant more. If low prices are forecast they plant less and cut costs."
We have to reduce price swings by boosting domestic food production. For example, the Government of the Phillipines is seeking to achieve self-sufficiency by 2013. By cutting import, they will not be subject to price swings and they will not suffer from the negative effects of price swings!
FAO has helped distribute seeds and fertilizers to poor farmers in some 90 of the countries hit by the price volatility.
Rice is the staple food for about half the world's population. It provides more than one fifth of the world's dietary energy supply. But, like all staples, rice is not rich in essential nutrients. When staple food prices rises, families are less able to supplement their diets with nutrient rich vegetables, dairy and meat. For example, Guatemela has high rates of chronic malnutrition. When very young children don't get the nutrients they need, they may suffer permanent physical stunting and learning difficulties. They are also more likely to die of basic childhood diseases. (savethe children.org)
Globally, people throw away food the equivalent of 7 million blue whales! Just over 1 percent of the US budget goes to foreign aid. Less than half of that allows the U.S. to extend lifesaving hunger, health, and poverty reduction programsto tens of millions of poor children and families.
This fall the U.S. House of Representatives advanced a bill that would slash foreign aid by 31 percent!
SO PLEASE TAKE ONE ACTION WHICH CAN HELP HUNGRY CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AROUND THE WORLD
TELL CONGRESS NOT TO SLASH THE FOREIGN AID BUDGET