As snow pummels the Northeast, temperatures plunge, and the threat and reality of coastal flooding in my area is a major concern, I’m rushing to cook a lot of food in case we lose power and have to forfeit a hot meal. But then, reality sets in when I realize this will not kill me, in fact, may even be good for me in the long run. It makes me realize how lucky I am when food is a daily concern for almost a billion of the global population that goes to bed hungry each night. Although we produce enough food for the planet, 800 million people still suffer from hunger. Irony of ironies, 1/3 of food is lost or wasted.
In the Central African Republic (CAR) 2.5 million people or half the population faces hunger. One in six men, women, and children face extreme food security and 33 percent don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Low-cost food lacking recommended nutritional requirements is the daily regimen for many. Conflict, insecurity, poor harvests, and civilian and farmer displacement have created this vicious cycle. (See: “Half the Population of CAR Faces Hunger, UN Warns.”)
In the Horn of Africa, El Nino is causing a severe drought subjecting farmers to crop failure and hunger for the population at large. The refugee population suffers from hunger, cold, and disease. In Madaya, Syria, five people starved since 11 January. (See: “Overnight Aid Deliveries Reach Four Syrian Towns while Situation in East ‘Extremely Grave’.”) And, these reports from the United Nations are just from the past week!
No matter what the weather predicts for the next couple of days, I know that I’m blessed and will remember those less fortunate and that homeless man on the street corner.
By, Susan Sacirbey