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Berry and Kors Launch Watch Hunger StopThe LA Times has reported that Halle Berry has teamed up with Michael Kors to help stop world hunger. The duo has announced their new campaign entitled, Watch Hunger Stop. The program will provide meals to children in Africa, Syria, and possibly Central America. The money will be raised through the sale of Kors’ $295 runway watch. The program has a high-efficiency rate as each watch can provide 100 meals for children as part of the U.N. World Food Programme.

The announcement of the campaign comes during Berry’s pregnancy- an additional beneficial aspect of the program. The actress states that she hopes to be able to travel to these countries during her pregnancy to speak with women about prenatal care. This helps raise awareness for women who may not have been exposed to such education. Increased knowledge of prenatal care as well as increased food in the region could greatly improve children’s quality of life, as well as potentially work to lower infant mortality rates. The lowering of infant mortality rates is incredibly important as mothers who have confidence their children will survive to have fewer children.

Berry has told the press that she would like to use her celebrity status for the benefit of people around the world. She would like to use this opportunity to speak to women around the world who struggle to feed and tend to their children. Berry seems well versed in the knowledge that hunger is a dangerous predictor of quality of life, and seems motivated to work towards the elimination of world hunger, something we could all strive to achieve.

Caitlin Zusy

Source: LA Times

Colon Misses Out on Panama's Economic Growth
The Panama Canal is framed by Panama’s two largest cities. At one end is Panama City, a vibrant, bustling metropolitan center that is currently experiencing some of Latin America’s greatest growth. At the Canal’s other end, just forty miles away, lies the city of Colon, where potable water, electricity, structurally sound buildings, and meaningful work are all in short supply for the city’s 220,000 residents.

Panama has had an average economic growth of nine percent every year for the last five years. This is due in large part to foreign investment and development in Panama City, where Central America’s first subway is currently under construction. The tallest building in Latin America, a 70-story Trump hotel and condominium, is not out of place among newly constructed skyscrapers, malls, and restaurants.

But Colon has not enjoyed the same booming industrial and commercial development. The city has the largest duty-free trade zone in the Western hemisphere, which has long been a point of contention between residents and developers. Recent development within the zone has benefited businesses there, but not the city at large. The duty-free zone caused social unrest last year when Panama’s president passed a law allowing sale of land in and near the zone. Residents feared this would displace them from their homes and hurt their incomes. Several were killed in the protests.

The economic inequality between Colon and Panama City stems in part from racial segregation and discrimination. Racism is a long-standing problem in many Latin American countries, and Panama is no exception. Those with light skin are often viewed more favorably than those with dark skin in terms of wealth, attractiveness, and ability.

Colon is predominantly black, while Panama City has a larger percentage of European descendants. Many believe that racial discrimination has played a role in Colon’s economic depression.

The stark disparity between Panama City and Colon is an example of the unequal economic growth occurring all over the world. In many places, wealth remains concentrated where it is already abundant, while the poor remain poor, and grow poorer. Correcting this imbalance will require a multifaceted, in-depth, strategic approach that the world’s poor are unable to implement themselves. Therefore, those who have the means to do so are responsible for working to make humane living conditions and economic security realities for every person on the planet.

Kat Henrichs

Source: NY Times
Photo: AP