the world’s most serious problem

29 04 2008

The “We Will Stand” concert that I wrote about yesterday was sponsored by World Vision International.  That group works to feed people around the world who don’t have the resources to provide for themselves.  They also provide medicine and education opportunities which often aren’t available in third-world countries.

Listen to what the president of World Vision International said recently:

Malnutrition remains the world’s most serious problem and the single biggest contributor to child mortality. … The world has the capability to solve the problem of child hunger and malnutrition. The solution does not require any new invention, but it does require focused attention on evidence-based interventions. Immunisation, health screening and care, education, adequate nutrition, clean water and sanitation are critical for ensuring the health and growth of young children. Delivery of these services depends on the development of the community as a whole. ~ Dean Hirsch

He also pointed out that close to 10 million children under five needlessly die each year, and that malnutrition contributes to about half of those deaths.  And many of the children in those poverty situations who do survive are still impaired and stunted in their development due to insufficient nutrition.

The current state of the U.S. economy is hurting these organizations, because food and gas prices continue to rise, so these groups aren’t able to provide as much help as before with the same amount of money.  I realize many of us are feeling the crunch of rapid inflation, and there isn’t as much money left over at the end of the month, so it’s easy to justify not giving to those in need.  But we need to consider how much we take for granted when we talk about not making enough money.  There are millions of people in the world who don’t have running water (for drinking, bathing, or bathroom plumbing), and many people don’t have enough food to eat.  Think about that.  It’s easy to gripe at how much gas costs and how expensive cable is and that our cell phones cost so much per month, yet most people in third-world countries make less than a dollar a day and that’s not enough to feed their family.  By donating even just $20 or $30 per month, we can make a huge impact.

I urge you to consider how you could help those in need, whether it’s through World Vision or a local group.  We have an abundance in America, and we should give of our abundance to help those who don’t have enough.  In many countries, the people don’t have the option to get an education or to switch jobs so they can make more money.

I can’t imagine how it would feel to not have enough money to feed my family, while living without things like electricity, air conditioning, TV, phones, vehicles, etc.  Imagine working hard every day, growing crops and/or fishing, hoping you can make enough food and that there aren’t any disasters.  There are more people living like that around the world than there are total people in the United States.  So we should really be thankful for our abundance, but we also should not forget those whose situation is less fortunate.

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3 responses

3 05 2008
Beppo

After writing this, I heard that in Bangladesh, a 2 kilogram bag of rice costs a poor family half their daily income. Most of us cannot relate to that. I figure that for most of us, our monthly budget is getting squeezed by higher gas prices and increased food costs, but this recent wave of massive inflation on world food prices is affecting the poor in third-world nations much more than we realize. We who have been given much should do what we can to help those who don’t have much.

Remember the Free Rice game I wrote about recently. It costs you nothing but some time to donate food to those in need. So I encourage you to participate in it and to tell your friends about it. No matter how “poor” we are financially, we can afford to donate rice to the hungry with this program.

15 05 2008
Jason

Beppo,

Thank you very much for writing about these issues. What you have said is correct. Perhaps someday you will join one of our teams and witness firsthand what you have written about. The world needs more people like you who will become spiritually conscious and “do something” for the suffering in our world.

I hope you will continue to pray about our ministry in Africa. We need prayer now more than ever. What we face going back this year will be the worst we have ever seen I am sure.

God bless you and thanks again.

Jason Rapert

19 05 2008
Beppo’s Blog » Blog Archive » how much food do we waste?

[…] I recently wrote on the world’s most serious problem, that there are hundreds of millions of people who don’t have enough food to eat.  I don’t think most of us in America can even grasp the concept of not having enough food.  Even in my poorest days during college, I could eat, even if it had to be ramen noodles sometimes. […]

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