manta-91745_1280As you get up and get ready to go to work in the morning, do you ever look around and feel grateful for running water,a power supply and air conditioning in your room that kept you cool? You may never worry about how many people in the world are suffering right now for lack of sufficient clean water, proper sanitation, healthcare facilities and lack of other basic needs such as food and proper housing. Those of us living in the first world, often take these modern day facilities for granted.Having grown up in a third world country myself, it makes me realize that these resources are not limitless.

People who enjoy these facilities have gotten so used to them that we cannot imagine our lives without them, which our municipal services offer by default to us.

india-310_1280When you put millions of people within a few hundred square miles, who have no basic education, no powerful government to regulate them and take care of their basic needs, and no money to support their basic needs, it becomes the chaotic situation that most of the Latin American, African and Asian countries are in – the countries we call the third world. The main challenge for third world countries is one that we can’t even imagine – it’s called the battle for survival.

When we look at the statistics, they are as startling to me as they may seem to you. We see that death from hunger and curable diseases are more common among the poorer countries of the world. We see that deaths among the children caused by hunger, shortage of clean water, proper medication and medical facilities, could easily be prevented. To think that six million children will die from starvation by the end of this year, and that those lives could be saved if we make the right choices, is even more shocking.

oilseed-rape-333392_1920According to UNICEF’s latest data, 6.6 million children died in 2012, before they saw their fifth birthday. Although there has been a sharp decline in child mortality rates since 1990, the number of children dying each year from curable disease is still alarming. (Young child survival and development)

Deaths from diseases like cholera and diarrhea can be easily prevented if clean water and treatments for children are ensured. Medical facilities are often out of reach of poor people, and are located in urban areas. In rural areas, the availability of qualified doctors, medical professionals, facilities and medication is often limited and sometimes unavailable.

The two major problems that the third world countries face are lack of money and education. The government does not make enough money to cover all the expenses needed to run government facilities. Corruption is at every level of government, taking money away from governmental projects. The people who are employed to monitor and watch over these projects are often corrupted themselves.

agriculture with buffalo The lack of agricultural equipment, technology and proper education is degrading the fertile lands. Uncontrolled use of pesticides, fertilizer and preservatives are causing major ecological imbalances. Lack of knowledge also contributes to improper land management, an inability to protect crops from disease, and inappropriate crop harvests giving rise to food shortages and requiring a huge amount of food imports from other countries and a growing dependence on food donations.

Using coal and fossil fuels that pollute the environment is very common and adds to the poor health conditions. (Air Quality in China and Possible Global Impacts)

As the world is becoming a global place, anything we do in one part of the world can impact all parts of the globe. Our choice of food and what we eat and grow today can also impact the third word, and similarly third world nations can also impact the first world countries through their use of toxic substance, pollution causing fossil fuels and pesticides that get introduced in the ecosystem.

“It is so very difficult to see, feel, or extend beyond the microcosm or bubble each of us finds ourselves living within. After all, if it is not directly in our sight, it must not real.” – Dr.RichardOppenlander|The World Hunger-Food Choice Connection.

rickshaw-320581_1920Most of the world’s poorest population is living on an income of $2 or less per day. The majority of this huge population live in the rural areas, relying on natural resources for their existence. Grains and food crops grown by them are often fed to livestock which are consumed by the richer population.International demand and production of fish and livestock has reduced ocean and wild fish stocks.

Extensive repeated agriculture has left the land barren, taking all the nutrients out, and the need for new land for cultivation has also decreased the amount of forest. This will only exacerbate world poverty and hunger. Those days of relying on natural resources are over.

It is not simple to get rid of the corruption, and teach the third world population to feed themselves without depleting the ecosystem, and still keep economic progress. However, we can try to stop the hunger and reach out so that no more children under the age of five die from a disease that could be easily cured, or we could feed at least one kid per day. It is Child_labor_Bangladeshnot hard; we just need more people who are willing to find it within their hearts to reach out and find solutions to save this huge population.

It’s not simple but the solution isn’t to give money. It’s in working with groups like ours that help to research and provide practical solutions to food shortages.

Please put down your thoughts below in the comment box, we’d love to hear from you, because it would greatly inspire us.

–          Mamunur Rahman Kazi (Staff: Institute of Ecolonomics)


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