A Hunger for Change

1.1 billion people in the world live on less than $1 a day (World Bank). Using this measure, global poverty is decreasing; as of 2004 “only” about 1 in 5 people world-wide lived in poverty (but almost half of the world’s population lives below $2 per day). 850 million people, right now, are going hungry.

Unfortunately, the world just can’t afford to feed these people. After all, it would cost over $24 billion per year for 10 years to end hunger (Food and Agriculture, UN, World Food Summit: five years later, in June 2002).

Oh – but wait – let’s put that $24b in perspective.

Worldwide, there are over 15 billion cigarettes sold – about $2.25b – per DAY. Plus, smoking adds huge costs to healthcare ($76b per year in the US), drops productivity, and increases waste (World Health Tobacco Atlas)

In 2002, the US spent $22b on potato chips and salty snacks (World Watch Magazine, March/April 2005).

And the “first world” throws out far more than $25b/year. For example, the UK alone uses 8,000 tons of wrapping paper each Christmas (Guardian).

So if you’re keen to make a New Year’s resolution – consider this: While 1.1 billion live on $1/day, many of us spend over $100/day. If all of us in this category were to put just 5¢ per day into a fund, hunger could end in under 10 years.

It’s not a financial problem – it’s problem of will. Again – emotional intelligence needed here!! Maybe it’s time for us to be hungry for change.

leaf in the river

One Reply to “A Hunger for Change”

  1. PS. No dis intended to potato-chip-makers – I like ’em too.
    Seriously — it’s not about privation, it’s about sharing abundance. We CAN make this change.

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