Clothesline in Winter

Clothesline in Winter

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nearly One Billion go to Bed Hungry

Last week, I got a note from Godfrey Agaba, a young man in the remote Bundibugyo District of Uganda.  “I thank God,” he wrote, “because I am still surviving.”

Surviving? Whatever could be the problem?

Godfrey explained: “But in Uganda we are also somehow okay. I am saying ‘somehow’ because we are being intervene with hunger. This is a serious case in the all district.”

The English is a bit halting.  But the message couldn’t be clearer: We are hungry! There is not enough food for us!

Godfrey is not alone.  The World Bank’s Food Price Index increased by 8% in the four months from December 2011 to March 2012. That would come to a 24% increase for the year, if the pace continues.  For the 1.3 billion humans earning less than $1.25 per day, any increase in costs means more hunger.

Around the world, one out of every seven men, women and children goes to bed hungry every night. And what’s driving the costs of food? The World Bank notes turbulence in world oil markets from Iran nuclear sanctions, conflicts in Sudan and Iraq, strong demand for food imports in Asia, and extreme weather driven by climate change.  This year, the climate chaos showed up in extreme cold in Europe and Russia, extreme heat in Brazil and Argentina, and severe drought in the American Southwest.

In fact, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan estimates that 300,000 people die each year due to the effects of global warming. And many of them die because of hunger.

I don’t know much about hunger, do you?  Well, apparently, the God whom many of us worship does.  Jesus of Nazareth described the great judgment day, when he will evaluate all of humanity.  Those whom he welcomes as his beloved have a number of traits. But the first thing he mentions is this: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.”

If that’s true, God is going hungry one billion times tonight.

You may want to help.  If so, you can directly assist Godfrey’s community here.  Or you can visit either of these reputable relief agencies to donate virtually anywhere in the world: Christian Aid or World Vision International.

But before you do, take two minutes to watch the World Bank’s great multimedia above.  What you learn just might amaze you.  I’ll bet you’ll want to share it with someone. And then, don't forget to make that gift!

Thanks for reading, and may God bless you.

J. Elwood

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