According to the German news magazine SPIEGEL ONLINE, Bush is going to topic hunger as his central commitment for the upcoming G8 conference.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 2006 statistics, there are 820 million chronically hungry people in developing countries.
212 million live in India
206.2 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa
524 million live in Asia and the Pacific
52.4 million live in Latin America and the Caribbean
37.6 million live in the Near East and North Africa
Source: World Food Programme
According to the World Food Programme’s Annual Report 2007 (caution, pdf), 86.1 million people are reported to have received benefits from the WFP in 2007 (-1.9% yoy) of which 71.6 million had been children or women. this means that the WFP is reaching at the moment only 10.5% of those in need. Have a look at the Hunger Map for detailed information on how hunger is spread among the worlds’ countries.
The Copenhagen Concensus has listed malnutrition as their highest priority, i.e. Micronutrient supplements for children (vitamin A and zinc), and despite all the criticism this project has received, the overall question of priority and selection of topics is still nagging: Which issue is the first and most important one to address, or on a more metaphysical way: Why is there the need to specifically address one item and not all of them?
I wish there would be more ways to contribute to these ongoing developments. It’s not just “Do your part”, for as team work and integrative combination of single factors have proven to be more effective than the single part. Where are the integrative measures everyone of us can join? The team work groups doing something?
There are two ways I can think of at the moment: One-time effectiveness via devoting on’s life to a certain mission, or a part of one’s life to this mission, such as volunteers doing with their respectful work in developing countries. And there should be ways the normal life can be integrated into the process of combined efforts to solve. E.g. by creating market situations for businesses to compete against each other, by making daily routine jobs in the industry in a way, that they include support for others, help for others. Dedicated work time for something else? One-year working as a librarian abroad, as integrated part of your normal librarian career? I think this are just some spin-offs that could be possible.
I just hope for the right people taking some spin-offs into account as long as we have some kind of stable gas prices to bring people around to make things possible.