No its not – its only Friday morning but the radio shouts this to me a number of times before work even starts for me this Friday morning (and most others). It gets me thinking about the apparent madness that greets the weekend for some, and yes, I understand that it’s about play and a break from the routine, a welcome break too.
Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has accused the rich countries of reneging on promises to help feed the world’s hungry.
Speaking on World Food Day, Annan appealed to wealthy nations not to use the global financial crisis as a pretext for not meeting their commitments. Annan warned that over 10 000 children are dying from malnutrition each day.
His comments are echoed by aid agency Oxfam, which estimates that more than 900 million people are facing starvation because of soaring prices.
The state of the nation is not simply about how the economy is doing, or how strong our currency is. The state of the nation is about how well the people of South Africa are doing. Are they able to live with dignity, feed their children, meet their basic needs and access employment, education and health care? According to the views expressed during the poverty hearings, our state of the nation is dire. Communities are crippled by poverty. It is a state of emergency.
The world, both rich and poor countries, is clearly facing multiple crises. Unfortunately it is poor people who suffer the most, suffering immensely from food price increases. We expected this year’s G8 summit to reflect the gravity and urgency of the situation globally, but more so in Africa. Rather we got more and more talk and zero practical, measurable and tangible commitments with set timelines.
From Poverty to Power is a major new book from Oxfam International that argues that ending the scourges of extreme poverty, inequality, and threatened environmental collapse is the greatest global challenge of the twenty-first century.