In the words of the director of Worldwatch’s Nourishing the Planet project, Danielle Nierenberg: “Nearly one billion people go to bed hungry each night, a number that is unacceptably high.” According to the Washington-based independent research institute, nearly one billion people worldwide, many of them children, have micronutrient deficiency, a condition that lowers their ability to learn or have a productive life.
Each year, there are 250 million to 500 million children with vitamin A deficiency that causes them to become blind and die within 12 months of losing their sight. Malnutrition contributes to the death of 500 million children under that age of five every year, and in Africa a child dies every six seconds from hunger.
All of this suffering takes place while roughly 1.3 billion tons of food — a third of the total amount produced for human consumption — is lost or wasted each year. Only within the United States, food retailers, food services, and households waste an estimated 40 million tons of food each year. This amount is the equivalent of what is needed to alleviate world hunger for an estimated 1 billion hungry people.
Along with the food crisis, the problem of illiteracy is still a highly pressing issue. Even though the amount of people whom are unable to read has decreased from 1 billion in the 1990’s, there are still over 792 million people who are unable to move out of poverty as a result of their poor education.
– Matthew Jackoski
Photo: Spy Ghana