Please read attentively my former posting on :
“UN AGENCIES URGE ACTION BY G8 LEADERS TO SUPPORT WORLD’S HUNGRY” (UNNews of July 7, 2009)
Let me select some interesting paragraphs of this excellent paper and add to them my personal views or questions.
(1) “According to FAO, the most recent increase in hunger is not the consequence of poor global harvests but is caused by the world economic crisis that has resulted in lower incomes and increased unemployment. This has reduced access to food by the poor, it said”.
MY COMMENT : If the incomes are lower and the unemployment higher, why don’t we take the initiative of long-term investment in construction of small family (kitchen) gardens to offer the hungry families a chance to produce their own fresh food and take the road to sustainable development. This can be achieved in the rural areas and in the cities as well (e.g. with allotments).
(2) “Meanwhile, the head of the World Food Programme (<”http://www.wfp.org/”>WFP) is urging G8 leaders to boost long-term agricultural production while continuing to support immediate hunger assistance“.
MY COMMENT : Excellent ! Boosting long-term agricultural production is the well-known long-term goal of the FAO. Never change a winning team ! As for the “immediate hunger assistance“, don’t give the man a fish, but teach him how to fish (don’t give him fresh food, but teach him how to grow it in his own kitchen garden).
(3) “We learned a lesson last year when rising food prices caused an epidemic of hunger leading to food riots in more than 30 countries. Without food people revolt, migrate or die. None of these are acceptable options,” ………………..said Executive Director Josette Sheeran.
MY COMMENT : Lessons learned are the best ones ! If rising food prices caused an epidemic of hunger and food riots, why is it not possible to avoid hunger and riots by creating kitchen gardens in the developing countries? Spending money on small family gardens, out of which people can eat fresh food already 3-4 months after installation, would be a long-term investment with immediate and long-lasting results.
(4) “We cannot afford to lose a generation to malnutrition, starvation and despair,” said Ms. Sheeran. “Addressing immediate hunger needs is a critical long-term investment in healthy, stable societies.”
MY COMMENT : If “Addressing immediate hunger needs a critical long-term investment”, the question remains which are the best ways and means to achieve healthy and stable societies.
I believe that the answer may be to set up in some countries a large-scale demonstration program to show that people are able to produce themselves, in their own kitchen or family gardens, their daily fresh food, which will most certainly improve their health condition. Imagine that besides the small gardens for every family, we could also create school gardens for every school and hospital gardens for every hospital or maternity. The overwhelming success of such demonstration programs in developing countries would for sure convince most of the donors to invest in this breakdown of the vicious circle.
Wouldn’t that be the start of a new era in which we could significantly reduce food aid (mostly DRY FOOD or CANNED FOOD). Instead of repeating continuously the need for more financial resources for transporting at regular intervals tons of food without changing a thing at the real causes of malnutrition, we will bring new hope for a better life to the hungry of this world by “giving” them a chance to set up their own little garden, be it a container garden in the most hostile conditions.
Together with the world’s hungry, and in particular their children, I cross my fingers today, but what about the international food aid organizations, foundations and many other groups combating hunger, malnutrition and poverty ? There has been enough talking, let action start tomorrow !
PS : My personal initiative “Seeds for Food” is heading for a breathtaking success. More info on www.seedsforfood.org
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