Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hunger in East Africa or the madness in which we live

The word for Sunday, 30 July 2011spoken by Dr Adelheid Ruck-Schröder

Twelve million people are starving in the Horn of Africa. A few of them could be saved at the last minute. But even the peanut butter solution ten tons of emergency aid for small children were in no time at the mercy of violent militias. It also leaves us with a bitter taste. The misery in Somalia is older than the emaciated children who stare at us in recent days with blank stares. We know many of us have donated.. That's a good thing. There is an obligation to help needy ado.
But there is also a duty to look long at long term solutions. Who really is the misery of mercy, more than a charitable gift. He looks closely and examining the causes for this gigantic famine. I for one am somewhat naive calm with a donation. And many of us feel that way. But what we see draws us so-called donor countries themselves into the tragedy in the Horn of Africa: With the hunger business is done. That is the bitter truth. GOOD BUSINESS!
For a long time, the price of corn is going up on the stock exchanges because of the speculation. A few individuals located in East Africa get rich on land sales. In the civil war militias and pirates do their power game with the aid shipments. And we ourselves ? We live beyond our means and thus contribute to climate change and drought.
The dying children in Somalia are just part of a much larger problem. It's about the distribution of wealth around the world. That's madness, in which we operate: Our entire economic activity is aimed not just to justice, but leaves the greed run wild. If it is then too bad, we turn with desaster relief, the worst misery.
Anyone who sees through might resign easily. But I do not want that. And many of us do not want that. One thing that helps me is : to find counter-examples. Even in the Bible you can find them. I remember the story of Abraham and Lot. They argued for years over wells and grazing land. Finally, they have negotiated an agreement and divided their land needs. This is a very sober biblical message: People need to be able to find their own, equitable solutions to their conflicts over the spot - without outside interference. The same is true today for East Africa.
What encourages me further is the new  "fair trade" trend.  Also based upon biblical impulses. On the world market, it offers farmers fair prices and we consumers simply have to pay FAIR PRICES. I know that Fair Trade is only a small percentage of the world market. But still. Fair Trade can help each of us to contribute something different to a more just economic order. Anyone can buy fair trade products and contribute to more justice in this world!

Maybe that's the conclusion we must draw here in the rich West in the face of famine in the Horn of Africa: It's not enough, in the event of a disaster to give from our abundance. We must become much more sensitive to the consequences of our economy. 

Original Text 

There is something wrong with our SYSTEM..... GREED KILLS....

Worldwide, approximately 1 billion people are undernourished. Around 30 million people per year – or approximately one person every single second – starve to death.
Every day, up to 43,000 children die of starvation while at the same time the meat and dairy industries use approximately 50 per cent of the world’s corn and roughly 90 per cent of its soybeans to feed farmed animals! It is absurd, scandalous and an inexcusable waste of resources to feed plant foods to animals in order to produce unhealthy meat, eggs and dairy products for wealthy nations. Depending on the animal, it can take up to 16 kilograms of plant foods and 10 to 20 tonnes (10,000 to 20,000 litres!) of water to produce just one kilogram of meat. Although people in Third World countries often go hungry and even starve to death, many of these countries export crops to industrialised nations for use as “livestock” feed. You may be familiar with the famous adage “Rich people’s animals eat the poor man’s bread”. Unfortunately, it’s true. For example, the famine that broke out in Ethiopia in 1984 occurred because crops were exported to Europe to be fed to farmed animals, not because local farmers could not produce more food. Tens of thousands of people died during the famine as European countries continued to import corn from Ethiopia in order to feed chickens, pigs and cows. If that corn had been used to feed Ethiopia’s people, there would have been no famine. In Guatemala, approximately 75 per cent of children under 5 are undernourished. At the same time, the country produces more than 17,000 tonnes of meat for export to the US. Huge amounts of corn and soybeans are used to feed the animals who are slaughtered to produce this meat – crops that as a result cannot be used to feed undernourished children.

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