Over our recorded history ‘Great Famines’ have killed in excess of 300,000,000 people. Until recent years, the trend has been for famine to kill fewer people. However, that is changing and this year as many as 36,000,000 people will die from hunger.
World Health Organisation Report – 15thJuly 2019
- An estimated 820 million people (one-in nine of the world’s population) did not have enough to eat in 2018, up from 811 million in the previous year, which is the third year of increase in a row.
- The pace of progress in halving the number of children who are stunted and in reducing the number of babies born with low birth weight is too slow – (one-in four of the world’s children suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition)
- The chances of being food insecure are higher for women than men in every continent, with the largest gap in Latin America – (Sixty percent of the world’s hungry are women and girls)
- Hunger is increasing in many countries where economic growth is lagging, particularly in middle-income countries and those that rely heavily on international primary commodity trade.
- Income inequality is rising in many of the countries where hunger is on the rise, making it even more difficult for the poor, vulnerable or marginalized to cope with economic slowdowns and downturns.
According to the World Food Programme – 2018 Global Report on Food Crises;
- An estimated 124 million people in 51 countries are currently facing Crisis food insecurity or worse (Last year’s report identified 108 million people in Crisis food security or worse across 48 countries.)
- A comparison of the 45 countries included in both editions of the report reveals an increase of 11 million people – an 11 percent rise – in the number of food-insecure people across the world who require urgent humanitarian action.
Mercy Corps comments;
- People suffering from chronic hunger are plagued with recurring illnesses, developmental disabilities and low productivity. They are often forced to use all their limited physical and financial resources just to put food on the table.
- In many places, male-dominated social structures limit the resources women have like job opportunities, financial services, and education, making them more vulnerable to poverty and hunger. This, in turn, impacts their children. A mother who suffers from hunger and malnourishment has an increased risk of complications during childbirth or delivering an underweight baby, which can mean irreversible physical and mental stunting right from childbirth.
- Fifty percent of the world’s poorest families don’t buy their food — they grow it.These families depend on their land and livestock for both food and income, leaving them vulnerable to natural disasters that can quickly strip them of their livelihoods.
- Drought — as a result of climate changeand increasingly unpredictable rainfall — has become one of the most common causes of food shortages in the world. It consistently causes crop failures, kills entire herds of livestock, and dries up farmland in poor communities that have no other means to survive.
However, it is not only Africa, Asia and Latin America that are experiencing a rise in the numbers going hungry.
The Independent newspaper on 28thNovember 2017 noted;
- Eight million people in Britain – the world’s sixth largest economy – are living in food poverty, according to the United Nations (UN).
- An estimated 870,000 children in England may be going to bed hungry each night because their parents are unable to provide the meals they need.
- More than 60 per cent of paediatricians believe food insecurity contributed to the ill health among children they treat, according to a 2017 survey by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health.
Meanwhile, according to the Government’s waste advisory body, Wrap;
- 100 million tons of food is wasted each year across the EU.
- More than 400 million meals’ worth of edible food was sent to landfill in 2016.
And,Carina Millstone, executive director of Feedback, an environmental organisation that campaigns to end food waste;
- One third of food grown globally is never eaten – representing a waste of land, water and resources of staggering proportions.
What does this mean?
We are witnesses, today, to what was foretold over 2,000 years ago;
Mark 13: 8-There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
Luke 21: 11 – These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” Then he said to them: There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
James 5: 1 – 5– Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.
The World Counts – 6thDecember 2018
What else does the Bible tell us?– The Future
What does that mean for you?– Good News