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100 posts categorized "Food Prices"
Get ready. Next month Bread for the World and Concern Worldwide will team-up with other partners to celebrate the first 1,000 days of a global movement to make nutrition a key development goal. To update everyone on where our “Sustaining Political Commitments” event sits in “nutrition history,” we’ve put together an interactive timeline (above) that highlights some of the biggest moments since 2008. Use the side arrows to click through the slide-view, or click the "timeline" tab on the top left corner for a more linear perspective. Click on each event for videos, images, links, and a detailed description.
A lot has happened since September 2010, when developing countries founded the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement and donors—led by the United States, Ireland, and the United Nations—launched the 1,000 Days call to action to support it. What started as the recommendations of a scholarly series in a British medical journal has morphed into a global partnership. To date, 35 countries with high rates of maternal and child malnutrition have joined SUN. The movement has grown rapidly as governments and civil society leaders increasingly recognize the irreversible damage that early childhood malnutrition can inflict on whole generations—and conversely, the tremendous return on national investment in preventing this damage.
The 2013 Hunger Report is chock-full of stories on maternal and child nutrition, stunting, the 1,000 Day window, and the SUN movement. It’s all related to our recommendation for a bull’s-eye goal of ending mass hunger and extreme poverty by 2040.
Download the report at www.hungerreport.org to get the full story on Bread for the World’s recommendations regarding nutrition in the first 1,000 days.
Posted by Bread on May 20, 2013 in Africa, Agriculture, Asia, Assets for the Poor, Climate Change, Development Assistance, Economic Development, Food Aid, Food Prices, Foreign Aid Reform, Global Hunger, Good Governance, Hunger Hotspots, Hunger Report, Immigration, Inequality, Latin America, Malnutrition, Maternal and Child Nutrition, Millennium Challenge Account, Millennium Development Goals, Religion and Hunger, Trade, U.S. Hunger, Weblogs | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Good news for data nerds: The OECD has just released its latest disposable income, poverty and inequality numbers for all of its 34 member states. You can access the entire data set here, but don't miss the the fun interacive tools that were released along with it. OECD was kind enought to make them embeddable:
So what are the key stories in this beautifully arranged chart? You may not find them all that surprising:
- Poverty and inequality have grown in OECD countries since the global recession of 2007-2008.
- The United States still has greater-than-average inequality and relative poverty than the typical OECD country.
- The United States has less pre-tax/transfer poverty than most other countries.
- The overall OECD unemployment rate has eased slightly to 8.0%.
- Iceland, Slovenia, Norway and Denmark shared the lowest poverty rate of member countries, while Israel bore the highest at 21%.
This data release is well timed, just before the 39th G-8 summit to be held in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland between June 17-18. As member states gather to focus on shared global development goals like advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance, and promoting greater transparency, the OECD offers a humbling reminder that poverty, hunger, and inequality are on the rise across the developed world. A global committment to solving the poverty problem will require committment from all countries, regardless of income level. This is still everyone's problem.
Posted by Bread on May 16, 2013 in Asia, Assets for the Poor, Development Assistance, Economic Development, Food Prices, Foreign Aid Reform, Global Hunger, Good Governance, Hunger Report, Inequality, Malnutrition, Maternal and Child Nutrition, Millennium Challenge Account, Millennium Development Goals, Trade, U.S. Hunger, Weblogs | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Developed and developing, north and south, rich and poor—these are some of the dichotomous terms we use to categorize a country's quality of life. Does any country, or any person, fit neatly into one category or another?
Increasingly, though, people are finding that development is more a continuum than an all-or-nothing condition, an up or down vote. Every country whether it’s been labeled “developed” or not, falls somewhere along that continuum. The 2013 Hunger Report acknowledged this point in its recommendation for continued universal ownership of goals after the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. All countries face the same threats to their development to varying degrees.
The momentum behind this more inclusive way of looking at development and quality of life has been helped along by new concepts and tools. The old standards such as gross domestic product (GDP) or income per capita offer limited insight. Indices such as the Human Development Index (HDI) and the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) point out the need for a more diverse set of indicators to complete the development picture, expanding it to include less obvious but equally important measurements like access to education, gender equality and greenhouse gas emissions.
Transparency is one of the more recent additions to the expanding development concept. It has only been a major priority of U.S. foreign assistance for a relatively short time. The Millennium Challenge Corporation only made “fighting corruption” an absolute requirement for funding recipients in 2002.
Short clip explains how Transparency International guages corruption and why it matters.
More recently, the push for open government has gained rapid momentum as citizens across the world discover promising new ways to track their leaders’ actions, their use of public resources, their campaign contributors, their vested interests in legislation, and more.
Organizations such as Transparency International and the Sunlight Foundation are leading a growing grassroots movement to open government data to public scrutiny. They’re ranking countries by degree of corruption, tracking political ad spending, and crowdsourcing to fill in missing information gaps. Perhaps most important, they’re collaborating internationally as they never have before. For example, Sunlight recently held its first Transparency Camp International, where members of civil society and government employees from 25 countries (of all income and “development” levels) gathered to join the global open government network and absorb the experiences and solutions of others.
The 2013 Hunger Report, Within Reach: Global Development Goals, links open government and transparency to the end goal: good governance. “Improving governance is essential to progress on development,” it explains. “The corrosive effects of government corruption are just one example of how governance problems undermine progress. Good governance, on the other hand, is an enabling condition and a prerequisite to lasting change. Good governance includes many elements, but the most relevant for reducing poverty have to do with creating space for a strong civil society that can hold governments accountable for making progress; building effective institutions to manage and deliver public services; and respecting the rule of law—for example, by protecting the rights of minorities and ensuring that people have recourse to redress for injustices.”
“Most of the work to put these elements in place must be done by national governments and by civil society in developing countries. What the United States and other countries can do as a partner is set high expectations for levels of accountability and transparency. Additionally, they can provide technical know-how, strengthen global institutions that foster good governance, and support leaders who want to govern well. The United States itself must be an example of good governance and continue to work towards becoming more transparent and accountable.”
For more on the importance of transparency in the fight to end hunger, visit hungerreport.org.
Posted by Bread on May 13, 2013 in Africa, Asia, Assets for the Poor, Climate Change, Development Assistance, Economic Development, Food Prices, Foreign Aid Reform, Global Hunger, Good Governance, Hunger Report, Inequality, Latin America, Millennium Challenge Account, Millennium Development Goals, Trade, U.S. Hunger, Weblogs | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
By Anna Wiersma
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were proposed at the Rio+20 Summit in 2012 as one way to extend the work of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) beyond 2015. The SDGs are intended to compensate for the lack of focus on climate change, biodiversity loss, and other environmental problems missing from the MDG framework. Table 3.1 shows the proposed SDG focus areas alongside the existing MDGs.
The proposed SDG framework includes both opportunities and challenges for anti-poverty efforts. With any expansion of goals comes the risk of losing clarity and ocus. Each of the MDGs has a direct link to the goal of ending poverty. The proposed SDG focus areas do not include important ways of ﬁghting poverty—ways that go beyond simply providing food—such as education, empowering women, improving child and maternal health and nutrition, and ﬁghting HIV/AIDS.
In spite of these concerns, elements of the SDG agenda could well enhance future anti-poverty efforts. Climate change affects poor people disproportionately, and feeding a rapidly rising global population will require more sustainable forms of agriculture.
Expanding the post-2015 development agenda to address the urgent problems posed by climate change and the need for sustainable food production should not come at the cost of losing the focus on key health, education, and equality issues or the overall clear anti-poverty message. Finding a balance that includes both these essential elements of the MDGs and the essentials of the SDG agenda is the challenge, particularly with numerous stakeholders already vying to shape the SDG agenda and the relationship between the SDGs and MDGs. But just as the MDGs brought global attention to the ﬁght against poverty, the SDGs could serve as a platform for the need to act on climate change.
Anna Wiersma is a senior at Valparaiso University in Indiana pursuing a degree in international economics and cultural affairs. She was a summer 2012 intern in Bread for the World’s government relations department.
This exerpt is borrowed from the 2013 Hunger Report, Within Reach: Global Development Goals. Visit hungerreport.org to learn more about the MDGs, sustainable development, and the post-2015 agenda.
Photos from the immigration reform rally last Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (Photos by Derek Schwabe/Bread for the World)
A path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States may be closer to reality than it has been in more than 25 years. This week, a bipartisan group of senators — the so-called “Gang of Eight” — is expected to make public its proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. The proposal is believed to represent an agreement between Congress and the president. It could reach the Senate floor for debate before the Memorial Day recess.
Thousands of advocates descended upon the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday in an effort to jump-start the reform process. They carried flags of Latin American countries together with U.S. flags, as well as signs and banners in English and Spanish with phrases like “The time is now” and “We are all immigrants.” Rally leaders described the event as vital to building public momentum for reform in what they see as a window of political opportunity.
As U.S. policymakers and advocates alike weigh in on the necessary discussion of how to fairly draw the nation’s current undocumented immigrants “out of the shadows,” we cannot neglect the other half of the problem. As we’ve mentioned before, there is no question that undocumented immigrants will continue to come. The more important (though less often addressed) question is why.
The 2013 Hunger Report, Within Reach: Global Development Goals, opens a discussion of “why” with information about the economic situation in many Latin American communities:
Immigration from Latin America is at the center of the debate on immigration policy in the United States—yet very little attention has been paid to the conditions that drive people in Latin America to enter the United States illegally. Migration as a coping strategy is not unique to Latin American immigrants in the United States. Around the world, people have escaped poverty by migrating to places where there is a better chance of earning a living. This includes the rural youth in Uganda mentioned earlier in this chapter, migrating to cities in search of opportunity, and it includes young people from village after village in Guatemala who head to the United States or sometimes to jobs on sugar and coffee plantations in Guatemala or Mexico. The United States is a more popular destination—despite the risk of crossing the desert—because the plantations pay little more than they would be able to earn at home.
While thousands speak out for a better life for immigrants here in the United States, we should remember that the voices we aren’t hearing are those of more than 40 million people in Latin America who struggle to feed their families. Global initiatives such as the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have driven economic progress in many countries, but efforts to end hunger and extreme poverty must come from both sides of the border for an effective response to the “supply” side of undocumented immigration.
Visit the 2013 Hunger Report website to read more about the relationship between hunger and poverty and immigration.
The Obama administration's FY2014 budget request includes several reforms to U.S. emergency food assistance that Bread for the World has long supported. Perhaps most important, it allows greater flexibility in where and how food aid can be purchased and distributed.
This week, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah explained very clearly why the change is needed. Here's part of what he said about his visit to a refugee camp in Kenya at the height of the Somali famine of 2011:
"Armed groups ... attacked our food convoys and targeted food distribution centers. In the hardest hit areas of southern Somalia where these militants ruled, food aid couldn’t save lives.
"But cash transfers could. Through electronic cash transfers and vouchers, we could extend a lifeline to communities our food aid couldn’t reach. Thanks to this flexibility, we were able to help more than 90,000 families in inaccessible and insecure areas buy readily available food in their communities."
Saving lives in emergencies is, of course, the primary goal of food aid. That's reason enough. But look again at the last phrase in Shah's quote: "readily available food in their communities." It's a reference to a second highly persuasive argument for increased flexibility for local and regional purchase of food aid, one that dovetails perfectly with our focus here at Bread on longer-term solutions to hunger. Often, food is available, even as large numbers of children die of malnutrition. The problem is that local food prices skyrocket during droughts and other natural disasters, and families cannot afford to buy food. Supporting community-based solutions to emergencies -- i.e., enabling families to purchase food locally, thus generating income for other local families -- will help communities recover.
Once the acute phase of a hunger crisis is over, communities are left to rebuild their food systems. As an April 11 statement endorsed by Bread and 10 partner organizations explains, the proposed reforms would "Promot[e] sustainable solutions that build local food markets and support small producers to become more productive and resilient in countries that struggle to overcome chronic food insecurity."Shah said that the administration's reforms would enable food assistance to reach an additional 4 million children each year, without increasing the U.S. food aid budget. He was speaking on "The Future of Food Assistance" at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.
For more information, read Bread's statement on the FY2014 budget proposal.Photo: Local food production, such as these crops headed to market in Sudan, plays an important role in transitioning from a crisis that requires food aid to sustainable food security. Photo by Margaret W. Nea for Bread for the World.
Michele Learner is associate editor for Bread for the World Institute.
Precise, complete, and up-to-date data. Everyone working on hunger policy knows how important it is. In fact, access to it would be a dream come true. Instead of wishing after the fact that we could have done more to prevent or at least mitigate hunger crises large and small, chronic malnutrition in the 1,000-day window before a child’s second birthday, and the micronutrient deficiencies that cause conditions such as rickets and intellectual disabilities, we would have the information available in time to “do something.”
We’re getting closer to that dream, thanks to ever-expanding global networks and the rapid progress of real-time communication technologies. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), arguably the most comprehensive and reliable source of international hunger and food security data, has just unveiled a promising new hunger tracking tool — perhaps its first true hunger tracking tool — which uses the new technology to speed up the collection of accurate data. FAO calls it the Voices of the Hungry Project. The name fits, since the goal is to lend a far more sensitive and responsive ear to people living with hunger.
Even at FAO, existing hunger data collection and analysis methods take as long as two or three years to bring accurate data from its source to world attention. By then it is often too late to respond effectively. Most FAO food consumption surveys are administered only every five years, and they don’t always include individual-level responses.
Twitter was all abuzz over FAO's new tool. Bread for the World Institute was talking about it too.
The Voices of the Hungry Project will select representative samples of 1,000 to 5,000 people per country, depending on the national population. Individuals will be asked to answer eight questions to gauge the depth and frequency of any food insecurity they experienced in the previous year. More specifically, the questions measure whether respondents are experiencing mild, moderate, or severe food insecurity on a “Food Insecurity Experience Scale.”
Respondents are asked to indicate whether, in the past 12 months, there was a time when, because of lack of money or other resources:
1. You were worried you would run out of food.
2. You were unable to eat healthy and nutritious food.
3. You ate only a few kinds of foods.
4. You had to skip a meal.
5. You ate less than you thought you should.
6. Your household ran out of food.
7. You were hungry but did not eat.
8. You went without eating for a whole day.
The survey results will be available in days rather than years, allowing FAO to take an almost real-time snapshot of a nation's food security situation.
Chapter 1 of Bread for the World Institute’s 2013 Hunger Report delineates the high costs of delayed data collection. It tells the story of FAO’s struggle to accurately track rising hunger and food insecurity during and after the food price crisis of 2008-2009. The data was not made available until a year or more after the crisis began. Moreover, some of it was later discovered to be significantly inaccurate.
The effectiveness of nutrition programs, the credibility of statements about progress or lack of progress on hunger, and the integrity of broader development initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) depend on reliable data. Measurable, accurate results provide the crucial backing to show whether a proposed solution is likely to work. FAO’s Voices of the Hungry Project will help get the facts about who is hungry out in a faster, more accurate way.
more about the food price crisis of 2008-2009, changing data collection
methods, and the MDGs in chapter one of the 2013 Hunger Report, Within Reach:
Global Development Goals.
Although each of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is important, some include more specifics than others. MDG 3 is to "promote gender equality" -- quite a sweeping task-- but its specific targets and indicators focus mainly on gender parity in education (at all levels -- primary, secondary, and tertiary) and a related indicator, the ratio of literate women to men in the age group 15 to 24. It's clear that education for girls is critically important and leads to improvements both in women's own lives and those of their children. By itself, though, gender parity in education is not enough to achieve gender equality.
Yet gender equality is not only a core development objective, it is also smart economics. Empowered women and men can improve a society's productivity, offer their children greater opportunities, and make institutions more representative. It benefits everyone.
Bread for the World Institute's 2013 Hunger Report, Within Reach: Global Development Goals emphasizes both the intrinsic value and instrumental value of gender equality. Today, we know that removing barriers that prevent women from having the same access as men to education, economic opportunities, and productive inputs can generate broad based productivity gains -- gains all the more important in an increasingly competitive society. Additionally, leveling the playing field so that women and men have equal chances to actively engage socially and politically -- to make decisions and shape policies -- is likely to lead over time to more representative, and more inclusive institutions and policy responses.
Staggering evidence based on the upcoming 2012 Global Food Policy Report of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reveals that almost 55 percent of the reduction in hunger from 1970 to 1995 can be attributed to improvements in women’s status in society. Additionally, it is estimated that global malnutrition could be reduced by 12 percent to 17 percent if gender barriers were eliminated and women farmers were able to match the yields of male farmers.
It is true that the lives of girls and women have changed dramatically over the past 50 years. While the pace of change has been astonishing in some areas, in other areas, progress toward gender equality has been limited — even in developed countries.
What is also becoming increasingly clear is that income growth by itself does not deliver greater gender equality on all fronts. In fact, where gender gaps have closed quickly, it is because of how institutions and markets — both formal and informal—have functioned and evolved, how growth has played out, and how all these factors have interacted through household decisions. For example, how has the global progress in girls' education come about? A combination of factors -- income growth (which loosens budget constraints), markets (which open new employment opportunities for women), and formal institutions (which expand school systems and lower costs) -- came together in a broad range of countries to influence household decisions in favor of educating girls and young women.
So is women's empowerment important? Yes -- in order to achieve the MDGs, we must redouble our commitment to support women and girls in achieving their full potential. We need to prioritize MDG 3 alongside the other seven goals.
Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do-- Johann Wolfgang
A Place at the Table, a new eye-opening documentary on hunger in America is set to launch nationwide this weekend. It will expose the reality of hunger in America through the lives of three people. Barbie, a young Philadelphia mother, fights to make ends meet and break the cycle of poverty. Rosie, an imaginative fifth-grader, tries to distract her mind from hunger pangs as she learns and grows in rural Colorado. And Tremonica, a sunny Mississippi second-grader, struggles with health problems caused by the poor nutritional value of the food that her mother can afford. Their stories reveal the depth of the hunger crisis in America and the factors that drive it.
You can find a theater near you to view the film here, or watch it instantly via itunes here. But before you see it, hear from the directors, Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson on how working on this film forever changed their view of hunger in America and its solutions:
Over the three years it took to make A Place at the Table, we met people who forever changed our understanding of what hunger in the United States looks like, why it exists, and how it can be fixed. Chief among them was Dr. Mariana Chilton, a Philadelphia physician and anti-hunger activist. Dr. Chilton handed out digital cameras to forty mothers in North Philadelphia and asked them to document their struggle to feed their families, then sent their pictures – stark and stunning – out into the world. This simple act had profound implications, giving the women a political identity as the Witnesses to Hunger, and a voice that has since become part of the national dialogue about hunger.
It was through Dr. Chilton that we met Barbie Izquierdo, a spirited single mother who relied on food stamps (SNAP) while searching for work. Her efforts, as well as her activism with the Witnesses to Hunger, led to a job at the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger. What should have been a happy ending, however, was anything but—Barbie’s new income was too high to qualify her for SNAP, but too low to provide adequate healthy food for her own children.
We had expected to find hunger in the inner cities, but were surprised to also find it in idyllic rural towns like Collbran, Colorado, a proud ranching community nestled in a valley of the Rocky Mountains. In the summer of 2010, virtually everyone in town was feeling the impact of food insecurity in some way. The local pastor explained that lately even two-income families were relying on his church’s weekly communal meal and after-school feeding program for kids. Even the town’s sole police officer frequented the church’s food pantry to make it through the month. A local teacher, Leslie Nichols, described how the shame of being a hungry kid still haunted her today; she channeled those difficult feelings into action by distributing bags of food to the families of her hungry students.
In Jonestown, Mississippi, a sultry Delta town of 2,000, we encountered a food desert; despite industrial agriculture all around them, the town’s residents were forced to travel great distances to buy fresh food –a true obstacle for those without access to transportation or sufficient income for gas. Fast food and packaged processed food, the building blocks of an unhealthy diet, were readily available. We couldn’t help but ask ourselves: why does a cheeseburger—whose multiple ingredients must be processed, cooked, packaged, marketed, and advertised—cost less than a fresh peach? The answer is so tightly wrapped up in government farm policy, political horse-trading in Congress, commercial interests, and misguided social planning that unraveling it is more than the media is generally willing to take on, and certainly more than the average voter is able to comprehend without help.
Americans are told we can’t afford to make school meals nutritious or expand the nutrition safety net enough so that everyone can eat. We’re told that charities need to fill the gap. Millions of ordinary Americans are being encouraged to donate cans of food and volunteer their time at food pantries, believing that these efforts will make a significant difference, but a food bank employee quietly confided to us that canned food drives and employee-volunteer days were more valuable for public relations than ending hunger.
Charity is important, but it’s not solving the underlying problem. In fact, it could be making it worse by allowing us to avoid asking the really hard question: Why, in a nation that has the means to feed everyone well and plentifully, are 49 million people not getting enough to eat?
Over the next two years we dared to imagine a system in which food banks become obsolete. If federal agricultural subsidies went toward fruits and vegetables rather than overproduced commodities, would that peach be cheaper than the cheeseburger? Could the substantial expertise of food bankers and community food activists be marshaled to help set up local and regional systems of delivery to food deserts? Could we explore community-based growing solutions through public funding rather than relying on the quixotic arm of charity? If we were to modernize the safety net and base it on the reality of need, would parents like Barbie be able to focus their energies on parenting, studying, and their family’s upward mobility rather than the draining and demoralizing daily quest for food?
Why can’t school meals be highly nutritious and free for all students, like textbooks, thereby erasing the stigma for the millions of kids who need government-subsidized meals? Maybe then young people like Rosie, a struggling 10 year old we met in Collbran, Colorado, would have the energy they need to learn. And why not let teachers like Leslie Nichols teach children about healthy food choices and preparation? If we can teach algebra, why not food smarts?
All these changes would cost money up front, but it seems clear that in the long term we’d recoup our investment in the form of decreased healthcare costs and greater productivity. Doesn’t society prosper when people are healthier and have the money to make real, healthful food choices, thus increasing demand for those items? With increased demand comes greater production, leading to lower prices. Lower prices for fresh food would benefit the very people who need it most.
The true cost of hunger is measured not in dollars but in human suffering and loss of human potential. We made A Place at the Table because we truly believe that when Americans are made aware of injustice in their own backyard, they will demand change from their leaders. When Americans equate ending hunger with patriotism, we know we will solve the problem of hunger in America once and for all.
Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson are co-directors of the documentary film A Place at the Table, about the shocking paradox of hunger in the wealthiest nation on earth, through the stories of three Americans who face food insecurity daily.
This article first appeared in the 2013 Hunger Report: Within Reach Global Development Goals. Read more from the report here.
Here at Bread for the World Institute, we often talk about hunger and poverty as root causes of other social ills. When people don’t have enough money or food, they will take desperate actions they wouldn’t otherwise consider – such as crossing borders illegally, resorting to theft or violence, or no longer providing one or more of their children with an education or even adequate food. Dire necessity brings out the worst in people.
Among U.S. social justice advocates in the 21st century, one particular result of the desperation caused by hunger and poverty has been in the limelight. As evidenced by U.N. initiatives, recent mention by President Obama, and a proliferation of new NGOs, human trafficking — often called modern slavery — has shocked and fascinated people of faith and conscience. The reality that 27 million people are enslaved in 2013 is — and should be — hard to ignore.
In his book Disposable People, the co-founder of Free the Slaves, Kevin Bales, examines the convergence of factors that produced modern slavery and sustains it today. Three major causes are:
- the population explosion of the past three decades, which has flooded the world's labor markets with millions of impoverished, desperate people;
- a revolution in economic globalization and modernized agriculture that has dispossessed many poor farmers and forced them into debt, making them and their families particularly vulnerable to enslavement; and
- rapid economic change that has bred corruption and violence and destroyed social norms that might once have protected the most vulnerable individuals.
Each of Bales’ three factors points a finger at policy failures, macroeconomic shifts, and the widespread poverty that the two combined now allow to continue. The plain fact is that millions of people live in extreme poverty – conditions that leave them with very few options. Sometimes there are only two: enslavement or starvation.
The work of trafficking-focused initiatives and organizations is much needed. Advocates have exposed the blatant violation of human rights that is present-day slavery – a problem that has remained in the shadows far too long. Their faithful efforts are making legal history in countries around the world (just read the stories). But even as these necessary battles continue, so too must the greater war on the root causes that poverty, hunger, and modern slavery have in common.
In the 2013 Hunger Report, Within Reach: Global Development Goals, we celebrate the exciting successes credited to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), arguably the most unified global development initiative in human history. None of the eight MDGs talk specifically about modern slavery. While this may suggest a historical blind spot for the nearly expired goals, the omission makes sense because the MDGs were made to target prerequisites. Ending hunger and extreme poverty, as well as promoting inclusive economic growth and accountability, are essential to creating opportunities for poor families that enable them to avoid debt and servitude. The MDGs also support the necessary stable legal systems that can effectively prosecute traffickers. Working to eradicate extreme poverty will not free those in slavery today (and for this reason, we support the work of anti-trafficking advocates), but it is necessary if millions of people will have alternatives to enslavement tomorrow.
Explore the 2013 Hunger Report to learn more about the importance of poverty-focused development and MDGs such as universal primary education, gender equality, environmental sustainability, and foreign aid. They are the foundations of the solutions to shocking and dramatic problems such as slavery.
Posted by Bread on February 26, 2013 in Africa, Agriculture, Asia, Assets for the Poor, Development Assistance, Economic Development, Food Prices, Global Hunger, Good Governance, Hunger Report, Immigration, Inequality, Malnutrition, Millennium Development Goals, Trade, Weblogs | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)