Our Human Responsibility – Practical Solutions to World Hunger
By Paul Turner, Director of Food for Life (Originally published January 1999. Updated March 2012)
The World Food Programme (WFP) reports:
- “There are 1.02 billion undernourished people in the world today. That means one in nearly six people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to the health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Among the key causes of hunger are natural disasters, conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure, and over-exploitation of the environment. Recently, financial and economic crises have pushed more people into hunger.
- As well as the obvious sort of hunger resulting from an empty stomach, there is also the hidden hunger of micronutrient deficiencies which make people susceptible to infectious diseases, impair physical and mental development, reduce their labour productivity and increase the risk of premature death.
- Hunger does not only weigh on the individual. It also imposes a crushing economic burden on the developing world. Economists estimate that every child whose physical and mental development is stunted by hunger and malnutrition stands to lose 5-10 percent in lifetime earnings.
- Among the Millennium Development Goals which the United Nations has set for the 21st century, halving the proportion of hungry people in the world is top of the list. Whereas good progress was made in reducing chronic hunger in the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, hunger has been slowly but steadily rising for the past decade.
The right to good nutrition
Hunger in a world of plenty
Greed not scarcity
A worldwide mission to feed and educate
1. Feeding programs
“…here they have a reputation like the one Mother Teresa has in Calcutta: it’s not hard finding someone to swear they are saints.”
These volunteers showed tolerance and compassion above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrating true equanimity and a deep understanding of their human responsibility. The jewel of India’s spiritual wisdom, the Bhagavad-gita describes equanimity as a natural expression of one’s spiritual wisdom. The Sanskrit term Sama darshinah is used, which translates as “equal vision”, and the Gita describes it as that which separates the truly wise person from the fool.
Food for Life believes that food, so central to the survival of every culture on earth, holds the key to real peace and prosperity. What better way to express that understanding than by educating people on the value of spiritual equality and the selfless sharing of karma-free pure food?