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Mississauga, Canada, World Vision Canada, . , 36 p.This activity and resources guide was produced for use with people aged 14-18 years old, although in many cases it can be adapted for use with adults and younger adolescents. Canadians need a better understanding of the developing world, the root causes of poverty, and the principles of lasting development. This guide will help teachers, educators, students, and youth group leaders in Canada go beyond the typical media images of hunger and poverty to see more clearly their connections to global issues of poverty, environmental degradation, and human justice. It is hoped that participating in the guide's activities will impart in participants a sense of global community, shared responsibility, and awareness of opportunities to act. Interactive, participatory exercises are one of the best ways to build empathy and awareness. Accordingly, this guide has a variety of challenging, participatory activities which can be adapted to particular settings.
New York, New York, Population Council, 1993. 37 p. (Research Division Working Papers No. 53)This review aims to expose the diversity of existing views on the consequences of rapid population growth for food production and to summarize the opposing views on the state of natural resources. A deteriorating environment is viewed as inevitable and the developing world improves its standard of living and population increases. Population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050. Food consumption varies by quantity, quality, and country. The developed world has a diet rich enough in calories and animal products to impair health, while Africans have the poorest diets and Latin Americans the best in the developing world. The developing world's 4.1 billion population in 1990 consumes an average of 4000 gross and 2500 net calories of food crops per capita every day. Production needs in 1990 are 0.7 billion hectares of harvested land with an average crop yield of 2.2 tons of grain per hectare (tge/ha), or its equivalent in nongrain crops. Net imports are 5% of the food supply in the developing world. The needs for 2050 and a population of 8.7 billion can be estimated based on the following scenarios: 1) no change in diets, 2) a 50% increase in gross per capita intake to 6000 calories per day, or 3) a 150% increase as represented in diets in developed countries. Production needs for option one would be an increase from 2.2 tge/ha to 4.7 tge/ha in 2050. Option two would require 14 tge/ha, which is an impossibility considering the current US cereal production is 4.2 tge/ha. Harvested land would need to increase by 50% by 2050 and yields would have to increase to 3.1 tge/ha for option one, 5.2 tge/ha for option two, and 9.3 tge/ha for option three. Global weather conditions are likely to change due to greenhouse emissions and global warming, which will both positively and negatively affect agriculture. The question remains as to how to apply new technology for growth in agriculture for increased production and acceptable environmental costs. Progress is unlikely to be uniform, and the poor will suffer the most. Three hunger scenarios are possible: poor countries with no reserves of land or water and reliance on food aid, ample resources and unequal distribution and ineffective policies, and political instability and civil strife.
Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University, Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Program, 1990 Jun. x, 87 p. (HR-90-1)The Hunger Profile differentiates among food shortages, poverty, and deprivation. Food shortage is further reflected in the amounts needed to fulfill nutritional requirements of an entire country's population, to maintain current levels of food consumption, and to prevent starvation or famine. Views are also expressed in terms of a global food shortage food-short countries, food-poor households, and food-deprived individuals. 2% of the world are affected by food shortage and 9-20% are affected by food poverty. 16% of the world's infants are food deprived. 31% of children are underweight/age. 4% are iodine deficient, 13% are deficient in iron, and 15% suffer from vitamin A deficiency. The authors present their views on the state of hunger in 1990, hunger as a weapon of war, food aid and hunger, refugees and hunger, breast-feeding trends, and reducing hunger by 50%. The text of the Bellagio Declaration on Overcoming Hunger in the 1990s is included. Hunger was being used in 1990 as a weapon in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines in Asia; in Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Mauritania in Africa; in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala in Latin America; and in Armenia and Romania in Eastern Europe. 15% of imports to low-income, food-deficit countries and 44% of imports in developing in developing countries come in the form of food aid. Food aid has decreased 16% since 1985-86. Most food aid comes from the US (57%), the European Economic Community and member countries (20%), and Canada (10%). There is a longterm need to shift from direct food aid to programs that increase access to food for the most vulnerable populations. There has been an increase in cereal food aid since 1973-74; aid is dependent on cereal prices. There must be a balance between longterm and shortterm aid. Food aid is distributed as emergencies (20%), project food aid for maternal and child health programs (25%), and program aid. 5% is directed to target groups. Refugees are a growing population vulnerable to hunger. The most basic rations are given to refugees on an inconsistent basis due to inadequate and hoarded supplies and logistics. Refugee populations are reported by host country for 1989. Breast feeding is declining in general. Commitment, organization, and evaluation are necessary to halve hunger in the 1990s.
FOCUS. 1993; 3(2):43, 47-50.Rebuttal is made to a theory that developed countries should not provide famine relief to countries whose population size has exceeded their carrying capacity and that developing countries must also accept contraceptives and encourage vasectomies to receive development aid. This view is based on assumptions and arguments that more than 10 years of research, analysis, and informed debate have made anachronistic. 20% of the world's population who live in developed countries consume 80% of the Earth's resources. At present levels of consumption and waste, the 57 million people born in developed countries in the 1990s. Japan has few natural resources and limited agricultural capacity and, thus, has already exceed its carrying capacity. Still it has one of the world's highest standards of living and a high degree of ecological stability. Japan has displaced its resources and environment costs to less wealthy and less powerful countries. Japan's demand for tropical woods, for example, is responsible for rapid deforestation in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. It exports its industrial pollution to developing countries, largely by relocating pollution intensive heavy and chemical industries to other Asian countries. Population growth is not the leading reason for the famines in the Sahel. Global climactic change, conflict between the superpowers in the Horn of Africa, and export agriculture (e.g. during the 1984-1985 famine, Ethiopia exported green beans to England) contributed greatly to these famines. To reduce fertility rates, society must work to raise living standards, cultivate equality, and people's control over their lives, and improve women's status. Sri Lanka, China, and the Indian state of Kerala are examples of how political commitment to social welfare, including a commitment to increasing women's status, contributed to sizable reductions in population growth despite only moderate levels of per capita income.
In: To cure all hunger. Food policy and food security in Sudan, edited by Simon Maxwell. London, England, Intermediate Technology Publications, 1991. 114-47.The association of food security with income levels, and the relationship of food security to economic variables and policies, particularly those that affect income distribution and growth are examined. The results are based on a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) multiplier analysis. Food-security issues were explored by using the simplest demand-based multiplier analysis based on the only available but out-of-date SAM. The 1978-79 SAM data base for Sudan was modified to include a disaggregation of sorghum into modern and traditional dura for the source of the SAM. There was no easy way in which the urban and rural income groups shown in the SAM could be associated with food insecurity. It was estimated that 40% of the population in Sudan is poor and food-insecure. Food insecurity could be linked to income levels through the data provided by the Household Income and Expenditure Survey for the years 1978-80. Another result from the multiplier analysis was the impact of activity injections on household income. Equivalent injections into the economy through additional investment or additional net exports or other sources of exogenous final demand had much more powerful income multiplier effects in the traditional agricultural sectors, particularly livestock and forestry, than in the industrial and nontraded sectors. Additionally, the highest absolute values of the income multipliers for the traditional agricultural and the labor-intensive non traded activities were for rural households with less than S-9000/year income measured in 1986-87 prices, covering most of the food-insecure groups in the rural areas. The results provide an independent quantification of some of the major structural relationships affecting growth, income distribution, and food security in Sudan within the constraints of the data and the assumptions of the multiplier model.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. 1992 Oct 21; 9-10, 12.Discussion of world food supply identifies the reasons for shortages, based on the opinions of various food experts, as maldistribution of wealth and income, population growth, limits to production, shortage of usable land, global warming, air pollution, and civil war. In 1992, farmers produced enough food to feed the world's 5.3 billion population, but starvation and hunger occur because people cannot afford to buy enough or because of armed conflict. To meet the growing demands of expected population increases, productivity must increase by 3 times within 50 years to feed 9-12 billion people. Although Dennis Avery from the Hudson Institute is optimistic, the Population Crisis Committee's International Human Suffering Index shows Mozambique as suffering the most with a population growth of 2.7% while Denmark with zero growth suffers the least. 786 million still go hungry today. The agronomists' solution is to lesson the political conditions that lead to conflicts, to make agriculture sustainable, to enhance farm productivity with modern techniques, and encourage economic development. The political challenges are exemplified in the case of Tenneco West's investment in mechanized agriculture in northern Sudan which doubled agricultural productivity but civil war disrupted activities. Famine in Africa is due to war, i.e., Somalia in the present context. 11% of the earth's land surface is cultivated (3.7 billion acres). Lester Brown of the Worldwatch Institute pessimistically points out that the farmland base stopped growing in 1980, air pollution can reduce crop yields by 10%, and part of the world's food output is not sustainable. Avery states that a billion acres of African wetlands and another billion of savanna could be changed over to agriculture, that African farmers could triple corn production using high yield varieties, but Africa will have a "slow, desperately difficult struggle." Dr. Harwood at Michigan State says that global warming might increase yields as well as contribute to flooding. Dennis Leopold from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University suggests that a balance must be reached between the farmer and the community, and large farms may not be the best. World trade is low compared with production and consumption, yet countries like Indonesia clear 1.5 million acres of jungle for crop production regardless of the environmental degradation.
In: Environmental management and economic development, edited by Gunter Schramm and Jeremy J. Warford. Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989. 117-38.The UN Development Programme/World Bank assessment of the Ethiopian energy sector in 1983 recognized the large gap between supply and demand of firewood and the need for a massive afforestation effort to reduce the imbalance. For the great majority of rural settlements, the use of modern petroleum fuels is fiscally inconceivable. There are 5 stages of ecological transition in Ethiopian smallholder systems until almost all tree cover is removed, and a high proportion of the cow dung produced is sold for cash in urban markets. Soil erosion is dramatic and nutrient-rich topsoil is much depleted. There is a total collapse in the production of organic matter. Peasants abandon their land in search of food, and starvation is prevalent. Evidence in the direction of the terminal state is seen in the fact that firewood in Addis Ababa has increased at the rate of 9%/year during the past decade. The 1981-82 Ethiopian livestock census estimated the total cattle population at 24.6 million. Dung production was estimated at roughly 23.2 million tons. A survey of fuels found that in some towns in Eritrea and Tigrai up to 90% of total household cooking is done with dung transported from the rural hinterland. In the present marketplace, dung returns more money when sold as fuel than it does when used as a fertilizer to produce additional grain. Nevertheless, rural afforestation produces a fuel of higher quality for less than 1/4 of the cost of the dung. In economic terms, in rural areas afforestation is justified in order to replace dung with wood as fuel. Dung could then be used as fertilizer. There is a 35-70% economic rate of return based on the costs of planting trees and the net productive increment in grain production from the retention of dung as a fertilizer. Afforestation programs provide an attractive medium to longterm rural development strategy with important benefits of added energy supplies, increased agricultural output, and environmental protection.
EARTHWATCH. 1992 Jul-Aug; 6-9.For the past several decades ecologists and economists have been engaged in a debate. Ecologists have a philosophy that is based on the belief that the carrying capacity of the Earth refers to the integrity of ecological systems. Economists have a philosophy that is based on the belief that the carrying capacity of the Earth refers to human welfare. There has been some progress in the debate. Economists are now starting to realize that ecology must be factored into economic models. This is especially true when economics are dependent on something ecological. Food production is a classic example. If the ecology is damaged to a certain degree, then it cannot grow food and food prices rise in that area. Ecologists are now starting to realize that economic markets are good places to make changes in the ecology. Tax credits and government subsidies of money or land are examples of economic forces that can be harnessed to protect the ecology. Population is a factor of great importance, but consumption is equally as important. Every year Bangladesh adds twice as many people to its population as the US, yet each American consumes 20 times more energy than each person from Bangladesh. So while the population growth rate in developing countries does legitimately threaten the ecology, so does the high consumption levels in developed countries. To the credit of the economists, technology and innovation has to date managed to solve all the major problems humanity has created. But, to the credit of the ecologists, there are several very serious problems, E.G., deforestation, decertification, drought, famine, global warming, and ozone depletion that do not appear to have imminent solutions. As ecological conditions worsen, economists and ecologists will continue to work more closely if for no other reason than necessity.
HEALTH POLICY AND PLANNING. 1988 Dec; 3(4):325-8.Because Bangladesh has suffered poverty, frequent natural disasters, and rapid population growth, there has been a gradual decline in nutrient intake per individual. Traditional dietary practices have undergone significant changes since 1937, which has contributed to the decline. In 1937, rice was the chief component of the diet at the village level, with protein supplied by lentils, peas, Bengal, green, black and cow gram, and kheshari. But, the daily nutrient intake of poor people was better than that of today. Massive starvation during the famine in 1943 caused a change in dietary practices. People began to eat green leaves, roots, tubers, and many unfamiliar foods because of the scarcity of cereal foods and the sharp increase in the price of rice. In 1970, a cyclone and a flood destroyed crops and people lived on food aid, eating grain, fish protein and milk powder. The war of independence in 1971 caused widespread destitution and 2 million people died. In the refugee camps in India, children ate unfamiliar foods and gradually accustomed themselves to using wheat as their staple diet. In 1974 and 1977, crop failure and another flood caused more changes in dietary pattern. Although nutrition education programs have begun, they have not been of benefit to the rural population. The pattern of nutrient intake has revealed weight faltering in females and levels are below the FAO recommendations for daily energy allowances. Nutrition survey reports from 1975 and 1982 show a gradual deterioration in nutritional status based on weight and height changes for poor children in rural areas. The decline is most evident in the 5-14 year age group, with an accompanying increase in nutrition-related morbidity. Food production, availability, and economic constraints are the most important factors associated with the reduction in nutrient intake. Population density has also played a role in the reduction.
WORLD DEVELOPMENT. 1988 Sep; 16(9):1,099-112.This paper reviews the evidence on household strategies for coping with famine in Africa and identifies some distinctive patterns in these strategies which can be used to examine household objectives at times of crises, the management of resources to meet these objectives and limits to the effectiveness of coping strategies. In particular it examines the role of asset management and trade-offs between maintaining current food consumption levels and protecting the future income generating capacity of the household. Case studies are presented on northern Nigeria, two provinces in Sudan, and northeastern Ethiopia. (EXCERPT)