More and more people around the world are going hungry. Millions in the Horn of Africa have been on the brink of starvation due to civil war and drought. And the combination of war and weather has made chronic hunger a reality for people in Iraq and the West Bank, much of Eastern Europe, the Philippines, Liberia, and countless other countries.
The editors of the Hong Kong-based Christian newsletter Asia Focus stated recently in a World Food Day (October 16) editorial that hunger in Asia and the rest of the world reflects a "callous disregard" for those who suffer the indifference of governments and conditions that threaten their lives.
"It is not that the indifference lies in a human absence of charity or being deaf to their plight," the editors stated. "Silent acquiescence to dictatorial regimes and governments that view human life as a commodity of exchange, a resource to be exploited, is a form of collaboration with sin."
More than a half billion adults and children are in a constant state of hunger. And a recent study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization predicted that food shortages will grow worse as the world population increases (from five billion to 8.5 billion over the next 30 years) and deforestation continues at a rapid rate.
Despite the grave statistics, a recent report by the Bread for the World Institute on Hunger and Development maintains that this kind of widespread hunger is not inevitable.
"The principal barrier to overcoming world hunger is neither lack of resources nor lack of knowledge, but the failure to put ideas that work into practice," according to the institute's second annual report on the state of world hunger, released on World Food Day.