Hunger in Luxembourg
The combination of national wealth and low poverty rates have led to Luxembourg’s lack of hunger within its population base. As Trading Economics reports, only five percent of Luxembourg’s population was undernourished in 2011.

The country’s high standard of living limits hunger in Luxembourg, specifically its low poverty rates. As the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports, Luxembourg maintains one of the lowest rates of poverty. This can be credited in part to the country’s wealth; a 2016 Business Insider report ranked Luxembourg second worldwide in GDP per capita, at close to $102,000.

Furthermore, not only has Luxembourg limited hunger within its own borders but is taking measures to end hunger worldwide. Luxembourg strengthened its aid to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) since 2006, when the country funded school meals for approximately 100,000 students in the Sahel region of Africa.

In 2009, a report by ActionAid ranked Luxembourg first among developed nations in its contribution to ending world hunger. Since then, from 2012 to 2016 Luxembourg has donated approximately $9 million to $13 million to WFP, affecting mainly countries within the Middle East and Africa.

Most recently, Luxembourg signed an agreement with the WFP confirming its commitment to ending world hunger through continued funding. WFP executive director Ertharin Cousin said, “With this support from Luxembourg, WFP is providing life-saving food assistance to families in Africa and elsewhere around the world.”

Ideally, Luxembourg will aim to decrease the percentage of its own population facing undernourishment to zero. The nation clearly appears to have strong aims of limiting hunger in Luxembourg as well as worldwide, efforts that deserve serious recognition.

Gigi DeLorenzo

Photo: Flickr

Although a small country, Luxembourg has become more independent with its resources in recent years. One of the most successful aspects of the nation is its education system. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development program (OECD), the quality of education in Luxembourg surpasses many other nations.

According to reports made in 2011, 77% of people in Luxembourg have at least an upper secondary education. This is equivalent to a high school education. The number exceeds the OECD average of only 75%. The younger generation is excelling even further, with 83% of 25-34 year-olds having completed a high school education.

Teachers are well-paid. Teachers in Luxembourg earn the highest out of all the countries that are a part of the OECD. Their starting salary is an average of 73,700 euros. More experienced teachers earn an average of 128,200 euros. Compared to the United States’ teachers’ starting salary of 43,324 dollars and maximum salary of 66,054 dollars, the salaries in Luxembourg are considerably higher. Teachers in Luxembourg are also young; half of primary and secondary school teachers are under the age of 40.

Education in Luxembourg is trilingual. The languages that are mandatory are Luxembourgish, German and French. Students first learn Luxembourgish and then in primary schools, they learn German as a second language. When students advance to secondary education, they learn French. English is also an option as well if students choose to learn it. As a result, students in Luxembourg learn more languages than other students around the world.

Before the University of Luxembourg was founded in 2003, there were no four-year universities in the country. Students who wanted to go to a university had to travel abroad to do so. Although the University of Luxembourg is fairly small, 55% of students are international and the university offers multilingual courses.

The educational system in Luxembourg is one of the most successful in the world, and for good reason. With well-paid teachers and multiple languages incorporated into the curriculum, there is a high standard for success.

Emma Majewski

Photo: Flickr

Foreign Assistance
There are several governments that give a significant portion of their gross national income (GNI) to foreign assistance. It is important to recognize, commend and encourage these countries to keep doing this. Below is a list of five governments that are committed to foreign assistance.

1) Norway
Norway gives 1.07 percent of its GNI to foreign assistance annually. Norway surpasses the UN target of developed countries giving 0.7 percent of its GNI to foreign aid. The Norwegian government promotes private donations by giving tax deductions to its citizens who donate. Norway gives most of its aid to Afghanistan, Tanzania and Palestinian Territories, which are some of the poorest countries in the world. Norway provides free university education to any student irrespective of nationality or permanent residence, including citizens of developing countries.

2) Sweden
Sweden gives 1.02 percent of its GNI to foreign assistance annually. Sweden also gives more than the UN development goals. The Swedish government gives tax deductions to citizens who donate. Similar to Norway, Sweden gives the most assistance to Tanzania, Afghanistan and Mozambique. Sweden also supports democratization processes in Eastern Europe and the Baltic Area.

3) Luxembourg
Luxembourg gives 1.0 percent of its GNI to foreign assistance annually. This is more than the UN development goals as well. Luxembourg gives most of its foreign aid to Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal, which are some of the poorest countries in the world. Luxembourg gives large sums of money to humanitarian assistance, specifically.

4) Denmark
Denmark gives 0.85 percent of its GNI to foreign assistance annually. Denmark has also surpassed the UN development goals. Denmark gives most of its assistance to Sudan, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Afghanistan. Denmark was the seventh largest donor to Syria in 2013.

5) Netherlands
The Netherlands gives 0.67 percent of its GNI to foreign assistance annually. This has decreased more recently. The Netherlands used to give more than 0.7 percent of its GNI to foreign aid. Even so, the Netherlands gives most of its foreign assistance to Sudan, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. About 81 percent of the Netherlands’ foreign aid goes to countries classified as fragile. This is significantly more than most countries.

In comparison, the United States gives 0.2 percent of its GNI to foreign aid. Perhaps the United States could take more steps to meet the UN development goal of giving 0.7 percent to foreign aid. The United States could look to these European countries as models for foreign assistance.

Ella Cady

Sources: Global Humanitarian Assistance 1, Global Humanitarian Assistance 2, The Guardian, LOC 1, LOC 2, OECD
Photo: Paradise on Earth