It's not to be believed. In the XXI century in the world there are 821 million people who suffer chronic hunger. Six million more than last year! That is, one in nine inhabitants of the planet. 98% of them live in developing countries and 70% are women.
We speak of people who lack the resources and basic services to have a minimally healthy life: food, health, housing, education, health care; but also of capacities, possibilities and basic rights to produce, to live with dignity …
We also know that 42 people own half of the world's wealth and that 1% of the planet's inhabitants accumulate as much wealth as the remaining 99%. This is called inequality and inequity.
We have amazing levels of economic growth, technological means and financial resources. We have almost infinite possibilities of producing food for many more than the 7,500 million we are … Do we have the right to accept the existence of this huge number of hungry people, which continues to increase?
The eradication of poverty is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. In 1992, the UN General Assembly established on October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to promote greater awareness among citizens, governments and the international community of the need to take measures to eradicate poverty and the indigence in all the countries.
From personal responsibility, we can not avoid the ethical duty of solidarity, sharing our assets to achieve better living conditions for the poorest and promote their dignity. We have the possibility to collaborate economically with projects of food security, nutrition and fight against hunger, through a Non-Governmental Development Organization (NGDO).
We must demand of our politicians that they design a model of development in whose center the realization of the person is
But personal responses and the work of NGDOs are not enough because their impacts are limited. Today we know that extreme poverty is due, to a large extent, to the organization of the economic system at a global level. Pope Francis has called this the "economy that kills" (Address to a group of businessmen, Rome, February 4, 2017). It is the economy that places the economic benefit on the right of people to food, which increases the inequalities between human beings and produces "discarded".
Experts tell us that violent conflicts and disturbances resulting from climate change affect the most vulnerable. We also know that the current global food production system is benefiting a few hands and depriving millions of human beings of the right to food; that crops dedicated to the manufacture of biofuels compete with food production and especially affect the poorest; that the hoarding of arable land in poor countries by some investors and governments deprives millions of peasants of their livelihoods; and that financial speculation with food prices also affects the poorest …
And we also know that 1,300 million tons of food are lost or wasted per year, enough to feed 3,000 million people … They are lost in poor countries due to the lack of infrastructure for their processing and storage; and they are wasted in rich countries in the process of commercialization and consumption: in supermarkets, school canteens, hospitals, restaurants, homes …
Faced with this situation, we can not sit idly by in the face of the greatest shame of our civilization … In addition to what we can personally contribute, we must demand that our politicians strive to design a model of development centered on the person's achievement, that prioritizes the common good and harmony with nature.
If not, it will arrive 2030, and 2050, and we will be the same. And we will continue to allow millions of people to continue to be victims of inequity, voracity and hoarding.
Waldo Fernández is a member of the United Nations Development Education Area.