Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cameron anounces $4.1 billion Global Nutrition for Growth to feed hungry children of world

World Vision, a private relief and development agency, signed Cameron’s compact and promised to contribute $1.2 billion to the international effort.
 “This is a global moment . . . for aid agencies, governments and businesses to come together,” said Therrien.
Reaching kids in conflict zones is key.
“More than 60 per cent of the world’s undernourished children live in fragile and conflicted states like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Afghanistan,” she said. (from "Britain leads $4-billion push to end hunger" by Tany Talaga, Toronto Star. June 8, 2013, excerpted below)
It is not very difficult to drive down the streets of any large urban area in North America and notice the disparity between those areas where the kids have more than enough to eat and those in which the kids are quite literally hungry, if not starving. The gap is both tragic and growing, right before our eyes!
Getting the "rich" nations to recognize the depths of hunger and starvation on the 'other side of the globe' is not quite so quick and easy. It is the bombs and the machetes that immigrants from those starving child incubators set off that gets the attention of 'western' politicians. When the blood and severed limbs and dead bodies are lying in the streets, whether in a gas plant in Algeria where six Brits were killed or on the streets of South London where a young British soldier was hacked to death, Prime Minister David Cameron has taken notice.
Would that it did not have to come to this!
Would that the compassionate and common sense aphorism "we are our brothers' (not just brother's!) keeper" would extend to all the starving children, ripe for recruitment into the gangs of terror, wanton violence and religious dogmatic ideology. At least those gangs offer more than the subsistence existence of those children and their broken and battered families can offer, and thereby seduce those young, innocent, undernourished and ripe recruits into their brain-washing, mind-numbing, and body sustaining plots to kill the rich, immoral 'westerners'....
It is, apparently, not enough for the citizens and their politicians in the west to know that we all breath the same air, drink the same water, eat the same food grown on the same soil, in order to waken to the mental, emotional, intellectual and even spiritual isolation that, in spite of the many attempts by 24-7-365 television and cell phone technology to inform us of our narcissistic self-absorption and our uber-affluence, especially when compared with the lives of those children, often raising their own siblings in the absence of their parents, who scrape from the trash of others to survive. We need even more abhorrent and visible and tragic circumstances to move to substantial action, on the part of all citizens.
The NGO's, while growing in number and in effectiveness and efficiencies in their capacity to ameliorate various forms of social unrest, simply cannot do it all on their own. They, and we, need our governments to keep up a steady, relentless and increasingly loud drum-beat of financial support for the starving children....because only by doing so will we recruit the numbers of young people, and train them to 'fight the starvation and the disease' without falling into the trap of religious evangelism, that requires each recipient of a donated meal to join a religion that provided it. We must not do "missionary" work in the manner of those who attempted such work in our own communities over the last century. We must separate aid and the opportunity to receive it from any religious aspirations of converts to our particular form of faith, no matter which faith we represent. We must never again, consider ourselves morally and spiritually superior even to those who have not and do not wish to acquire any faith commitments. We can prosletyze about democracy, given our embedded experiences with a form of government that accepts all people as equal, with equal rights, equal dignity and equal opportunity....that would serve those whose needs we are attempting to meet, with a hand-up and not a hand-out, as the Americans have subtly shown us; however we must never hint that our democracy is dependent on devotion to a particular religious creed, belief or practice.
Our motives, for such engagement in the fight to relieve hunger, disease, poverty and lack of access to both health care and education might easily and appropriately find their footing in our religious convictions; however, those convictions must never be linked to our participation in any activity on the ground that attempts to recruit "converts"...and that includes the christian brands of religion, with which we are more familiar.
God does not need, and does not want disciples, in any religion, who are merely the grateful recipients of a quick fix for their desparate lives. Christians, just as other religions, need to back off any attempts to use their food packages as inducements for conversion. Such "bribes" do not serve either the faith or the recipients, who are by definition unable to decide for themselves what they believe, until and unless they are able to sustain themselves in body, mind and spirit....and then begin a search for their spiritual path, a journey that cannot be shaped overtly and from a power position by our gift of food.


Britain leads $4-billion push to end hunger


In advance of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, British Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled Saturday a $4.1-billion initiative to prevent stunted growth in children and improve maternal and childhood health

By Tanya Talaga, Toronto Star, June 8, 2013
ENNISKILLEN, NORTHERN IRELAND—As the G8 nears and demonstrators organize, British Prime Minister David Cameron is using his bully pulpit to start a new fund to alleviate malnutrition in children by 2020.
Each G8 host traditionally champions a cause, and on Saturday in London Cameron announced his — a $4.1-billion initiative to prevent stunted growth in children and improve maternal and childhood health.
Cameron’s Global Nutrition for Growth Compact — unveiled before African heads of state, former UN general secretary Kofi Annan and Bill Gates — will receive $600 million in core funding from Great Britain along with $446 million in matched funds.
If more money was directed towards food, less would be spent on arming nations against each other, Cameron said while addressing his nutrition for growth summit in London.
Britain has recently experienced two terror-related incidents. In January, the Algerian gas plant explosion claimed the lives of six Britons and, last month, soldier Lee Rigby was killed by knife-wielding assailants in Woolwich in southeast London.
“We understand that if we invest in countries before they get broken, we might not end up spending so much on dealing with problems — whether that’s immigration or new threats to our national security,” Cameron said.
“So yes, Britain will continue to lead from the front.”
This large financial push comes at a time when Great Britain is struggling with its own economic woes — high unemployment and controversial austerity cuts to government services, including welfare.
“(There) are those who say, ‘OK, it will make a difference, but why does Britain always have to be out in front?’ Let me tell you why. It’s because of the kind of people we are. . . We accept the moral case for keeping our promises to the world’s poorest, even when we face challenges at home,” he said.

The compact was signed by 24 governments, including Canada, and by businesses and non-governmental organizations.
The $4 billion raised will be spent by 2020 on goals that include:
•improving the nutrition of 500 million pregnant women and young children;
•reducing by 20 million the number of children under five who are stunted by poor nutrition; and increasing access to severe malnutrition interventions.
Two years ago, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosted the G8 in Huntsville, Ont., he committed $1.1 billion to ease maternal and infant health.
World Vision Canada’s Wendy Therrien praised Canada’s efforts in improving basic nutrition. World Vision, a private relief and development agency, signed Cameron’s compact and promised to contribute $1.2 billion to the international effort.
“This is a global moment . . . for aid agencies, governments and businesses to come together,” said Therrien.
Reaching kids in conflict zones is key.
“More than 60 per cent of the world’s undernourished children live in fragile and conflicted states like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Afghanistan,” she said.

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