Children Starving Around
Proverb 30:14, “There
is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”
200 Million Children 'Starving'
November 20, 2009
years after the UN adopted a treaty guaranteeing children's
rights, 1 billion children are still deprived of food, shelter
or clean water, and nearly 200 million are chronically
There are some bright spots - fewer
youngsters are dying and more are going to school, the UN
children's agency Unicef said, in a report issued on the eve of
the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the
Unicef Executive Director Ann
Veneman said the convention "has transformed the way children
are viewed and treated throughout the world."
"As the first decade of the 21st
Century comes to a close, the convention stands at a pivotal
moment," she told a news conference.
"Its relevance remains timeless.
The challenge for the next 20 years is to build on the progress
achieved, working together to reach those children who are still
being denied their rights to survival, development, protection
The convention has the widest
support of any human rights treaty, with ratifications legally
binding 193 countries to its provisions. But not all countries
are implementing its requirements, Veneman said.
Only two countries - the United
States and Somalia - have not ratified it. The Clinton
administration in the 1990s signed the convention but never
submitted it to the Senate for ratification because a number of
groups argued it infringed on the rights of parents and was
inconsistent with state and local laws.
Asked about the US failure to
ratify, Veneman said "it is frustrating," but she noted that
President Barack Obama and US Ambassador Susan Rice "have
expressed a strong desire to move the US in the direction of
approving the convention."
Over the past 20 years, she said,
more than 70 countries have used the convention to incorporate
codes protecting children and ensuring their rights into
The convention has also brought
measures "to ensure that children are safeguarded from violence,
abuse, discrimination and exploitation," Veneman said.
Still, "between 500 million and 1.5
billion children are estimated to experience violence annually,"
the report said.
The report noted one of the
convention's most outstanding achievements was the improvement
in child survival. The number of deaths of children under five
decreased from around 12.5 million in 1990 to an estimated 8.8
million in 2008 - a 28 percent decline, it said.
Other pluses were an increase in
HIV prevention and treatment for children, and an increase in
primary school education.
In 2002, some 115 million children
weren't going to school, while in 2007 the number dropped to 101
million, the report said. However, while the gender gap has
narrowed, girls are still losing out, it said.
Nevertheless, Unicef said
children's rights are far from assured.
"It is unacceptable that children
are still dying from preventable causes, like pneumonia,
malaria, measles and malnutrition," Veneman said in a statement.
"Many of the world's children will never see the inside of a
school room, and millions lack protection against violence,
abuse, exploitation, discrimination and neglect."
An estimated 1 billion children
lack access to good health care, adequate nutrition, education,
clean water, sanitation facilities or adequate shelter.
Children in Africa and Asia suffer
the worst deprivation, Veneman said. "More than nine out of 10
children who are not attending school, who are malnourished, and
who die before the age of five live in these two continents."
More than 24,000 children under
five die every day from largely preventable causes, according to
the report. Some 150 million children aged five-14 are engaged
in child labour and more than 140 million children under five
are underweight for their age, it said.
Unicef said climate and population
shifts threaten recent advances in child rights and the
convention's 20th anniversary year has been marked by the worst
global financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
"There is a real danger that the
repercussions of these shocks will have lifelong consequences
that span generations, undermining efforts to advance children's
rights for the coming decades," it warned.
starving, again, in Ethiopia
By Anita Powell, Associated Press Writer
SHANTO, Ethiopia — This year's poor rains have
nearly killed Bizunesh.
The 3-year-old weighs less
than 10 pounds. Her long limbs, weak and folded like a praying mantis,
cannot carry even her slight weight. She cannot speak. She doesn't want to
eat. Health officials say she is permanently stunted.
Bizunesh -- whose name,
sadly, means "plentiful" -- is one of untold numbers of children hit by this
year's double blow of a countrywide drought and skyrocketing global food
prices that has brought famine, once again, to Ethiopia.
"She should be bigger than
this," said her mother Zewdunesh Feltam, rocking the listless child. "Before
there was maize, different kinds of food. But now there is nothing ... I beg
for milk from my neighbors."
The U.N. children's agency
said in a statement Tuesday an estimated 126,000 Ethiopian children urgently
need food and medical care because of severe malnutrition -- and called the
current crisis "the worst since the major humanitarian crisis of 2003."
The U.N. World Food Program
estimates that 2.7 million Ethiopians will need emergency food aid because
of late rains -- nearly double the number who needed help last year. An
additional 5 million of Ethiopia's 80 million people receive aid each year
because they never have enough food, whether harvests are good or not.
In Shanto, a southwestern
agricultural area that grows sweet potatoes, recent rains arrived too late
to save the harvest.
The crisis here is vivid. A
feeding center run by the Irish charity GOAL has admitted 73 starving
children in the past month.
Some, like Bizunesh, are
frail and skeletal. Others, like 4-year-old Eyob Tadesse, have grossly
swollen limbs in a sign of extreme malnutrition.
Eyob, whose mother said he
used to be a lively, talkative child, sat in a stupor, unable to speak, not
moving even to brush away the flies that swarmed over his face. The sunny
room humid with a recent, too late, rain shower was made gloomy by an eerie
silence despite being full of sick children. Chronic malnutrition can affect
children for life, stunting their growth, brain development and immune
systems, which leaves them vulnerable to a host of illnesses.
Many mothers said their
families were trying to survive on a gluey, chewy bread made of the root of
the "false banana" plant -- one of many wild or so-called famine foods that
Ethiopians depend on in times of trouble.
It's not known how many
children have died or are starving now. Local and international aid and
health workers say between 10 and nearly 20 percent of Ethiopia's children
are malnourished -- 15 percent is considered a critical situation. In 2006,
Ethiopia had 13.4 million children under age 5, according to UNICEF.
Samuel Akale, a
nutritionist with the government's disaster prevention agency, said the
hunger will get worse. "The number of severely malnourished will increase,
and then they'll die."
WFP officials say the
drought has affected six of Ethiopia's nine regions, stretching from Tigray
in the north to the vast and dry Somali region in the south, though not
every part of each region is affected.
Spokesman Greg Beals said
the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is preparing an
appeal for additional tens of millions of dollars.
"This is a real crisis that
needs to be addressed," he said.
Ethiopia is a country with
a history of hunger. It's food problems drew international attention in 1984
when a famine compounded by communist policies killed some 1 million people.
Pictures of stick-thin children like Bizunesh were broadcast onto television
sets around the world.
This year's crisis is far
less severe. But drought and chronic hunger persist in Ethiopia, a Horn of
Africa nation known for its coffee, a major export. In 2003, droughts led
13.2 million people to seek emergency food aid. Drought in 2000 left more
than 10 million needing emergency food.
Drought is especially
disastrous in Ethiopia because more than 80 percent of people live off the
land, and agriculture drives the economy, accounting for half of all
domestic production and 85 percent of exports. But many also go hungry
because of government policies. Ethiopia's government buys all crops from
farmers at fixed low prices. And the government owns all the land, so it
cannot be used as collateral for loans.
Aid agencies say emergency
intervention is not enough and are appealing for more money to support
regular feeding programs.
"What we're doing at the
moment is waiting until children get severely malnourished, taking them into
the feeding program, getting them back to a level of moderate malnutrition
and then watching them cycle back," said Hatty Newhouse, a nutrition adviser
There are fears that the
next harvest also will fail.
"We are crying with the
mothers and the children," said Akale, the nutritionist.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All
rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.
Children 'starving' in new Iraq
of children in Iraq do not have enough food to eat and more than a
quarter are chronically undernourished, a UN report says.
Malnutrition rates in children under
five have almost doubled since the US-led invasion - to nearly 8% by
the end of last year, it says.
The report was prepared for the annual
meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
It also expressed concern over North
Korea and Sudan's Darfur province.
Jean Ziegler, a UN specialist on hunger
who prepared the report, blamed the worsening situation in Iraq on
the war led by coalition forces.
silent daily massacre by hunger is a form of murder — it
must be battled and eliminated ”
He was addressing a meeting of the
53-nation commission, the top UN rights watchdog, which is halfway
through its annual six-week session.
When Saddam Hussein was overthrown,
about 4% of Iraqi children under five were going hungry; now that
figure has almost doubled to 8%, his report says.
Governments must recognise their
extra-territorial obligations towards the right to food and should
not do anything that might undermine access to it of people living
outside their borders, it says.
That point is aimed clearly at the US,
but Washington, which has sent a large delegation to the Human
Rights Commission, declined to respond to the charges, says the
BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva.
Mr Ziegler also said he was very
concerned about the lack of food in North Korea, where there are
reports that UN food aid is not being distributed fairly.
In Darfur, the continuing conflict has
prevented people from planting vital crops, he said.
Overall, Mr Ziegler said he was shocked
by the fact that hunger is actually increasing worldwide.
Some 17,000 children die every day from
hunger-related diseases, the report claims, calling the situation a
scandal in a world that is richer than ever before.
"The silent daily massacre by hunger is
a form of murder," Mr. Ziegler said. "It must be battled and
BBC NEWS |
Middle East | Children 'starving' in new Iraq
If God could hear the voice of
Abel's blood crying out to Him from the ground (Genesis 4:10), do
you suppose God has missed the cries of those starving children who
are being ignored by the world?
"...speaking the truth in
love..." —Ephesians 4:15
This is NOT a hate site
"Ye that love the LORD, hate evil..." —Psalm 97:10
Ye Must Be Born Again!
| You Need HIS Righteousness!