Empty Promises: The Injustice of Starving Children Increasing

Empty Promises: The Injustice of Starving Children Increasing

by Nadia Ramoutar  MMM Communications Coordinator               Ireland                         16.06.2024

Every now and then, as I am doing my work in Communications for the MMMs, I read something related to our work in Global Health and Justice and I feel so angry I have to stop and pause. Today is one of those days and here is why.

UNICEF just introduced the term “severe child food poverty” to reference a child’s inability to access and consume a nutritious and diverse diet in the first five years of their life. This as you most likely know, very harmful to young children as it can do great harm to their ability to grow or even to survive. The consequences can last a lifetime if the child is able to live.

The label refers to children having access to two or fewer food groups, meaning they are rarely eating any nutrient-dense food. Starving children live all over the world, but South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have more than their fair share – as in two thirds. While statistics are unreliable at best, the estimate of 181 million children struggling with severe child food poverty is far too many for me. I am disturbed at the amount of food waste in many parts of the world in contrast to this.

So at the same time we have the challenges of obese children in parts of the world and severely starving children in other parts. This must be an adult problem. We adults really do have to step up in some way to see this unacceptable at best, imbalance righted.

What will it take for us grown humans to bring some greater justice to food issues in our world? How can we somehow prevent this divide in wealth from becoming more extreme instead of less? I am saddened for the child who is going hungry right this minute or not getting the nutrients needed to be well. But, imagine being the mother watching your child basically starving. We know this, where there is a severely poor and hungry child, they are in the care of a mother without options.

MMM projects that try hard to counter act climate crisis are essential. We need to find ways to help poor mothers grow food wherever possible and to also work or generate some kind of income. We know that climate crisis will continue to make access to more food even harder for the people who didn’t cause the increase in the climate crisis to begin with.

I hope after reading this you too feel the sense of foreboding with this new term and the sense of anger and frustration motives us all to keep working for a better tomorrow for the most needy. No child deserves to starve. End of story.

Here is the link to the full report.