Of course, if we admitted that the U.S. is refusing to stop speculators from driving up the cost of food, it might make people angry and we can’t have that:
Aid agency Save the Children has launched a report and survey examining what the world’s hungriest children are eating and the tough choices parents are making amid rising food prices.
“The issue with stunting is that if it happens in the first two years of your life, it’s very, very difficult to repair and reverse that. It tends to be irreparable in most of these situations. If we can focus efforts on that 1,000-day window from conception until the second birthday, we will have a transformational impact.”
– Brendan Cox, the director of policy and advocacy for Save the Children
The report entitled A life free from hunger says 300 children are dying of malnutrition each hour, totaling 2.6 million every year.
It also looks at the lost potential of 170 million children who are physically and mentally stunted and therefore set to earn 20 per cent less than their healthier counterparts.
A year of record food prices has forced millions of parents in the developing world to cut back on food for their children, says the agency.
The survey was conducted with families in India, Bangladesh, Peru, Pakistan and Nigeria.
One-in-six parents said their children were abandoning school to help out by working for food.
“The emphasis in the developed world has been on too much food, going by the debates on the European Union’s common agricultural policy. Not so long ago we were worrying about wine lakes, cereal mountains and milk lakes, and they were just an artefact of a very distorted system.”
– Richard Tiffin, the director of the Centre for Food Security at the University of Reading
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the report is that there are numerous viable solutions to this crisis that are not being exercised because of failed public policy and chronic under-investment.