20.01.2012

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Author: Andrew MacMillan (l) & Ignacio Truebal (r)

Exasperation can drive people to desperate acts. Some people vent their frustration by demonstrating, marching or rioting. Others resort to terrorism. We decided to express our frustrations peacefully by writing a little book*. We have been driven to this because we cannot find any logical explanation why so little is being done to end hunger.

We have been driven to this because we cannot find any logical explanation why so little is being done to end hunger. We are also alarmed at the lack of any sense of urgency in the quest for more sustainable food production and consumption systems.

The two issues are inter-connected, but here we will touch only on the hunger dimension.

We are amazed and shocked that most people we know (and most governments) are able to close their eyes to the fact that one thousand million fellow human beings – one in seven people on earth – live in chronic hunger, exposed to weakness, ill health and premature death, and excluded from being able to enjoy all that we have come to take for granted as part of a normal life. It is incredible to us that a human disaster on this vast scale can simply be ignored, even by people who normally act in a socially responsible manner and with compassion.

What adds to our indignation is that all the means exist to put an end to hunger today, if we set our minds to it and take the right steps. If someone is thirsty, our natural response is to give them water. But if millions are hungry, we convene another high-level meeting, forgetting that people are needlessly dying from food deficiencies and that the medicine for hunger is a square meal.

Hunger exists largely because of market failure in a world of ample food supplies.

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