· Approximately 795 million people across the world are hungry.
· About 5.6 million deaths of children worldwide are related to under-nutrition. This accounts for 53 percent of the total deaths for children under 5.
· More than 140 million or 25 percent of all children in developing countries are underweight and at risk from the long-term effects of malnourishment.
· Worldwide, 161 million preschool children suffer from chronic malnutrition.
· Around 3 billion people cook their meals and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves burning biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste) and coal.
· Over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.
· More than 50% of premature deaths among children under 5 are due to pneumonia caused by particulate matter (soot) inhaled from household air pollution.
· 3.8 million premature deaths annually from non-communicable diseases including stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are attributed to exposure to household air pollution.
· Every minute a child dies from a water-related disease.
· Surveys from 45 developing countries show that women and children bear the primary responsibility for water collection in the majority of households. This is time not spent working at an income-generating job, caring for family members, or attending school.
· Diarrhea is the 4th leading cause of child death, a majority of which are water-related.
· Diarrhea kills children at a rate equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every ten hours.
· An estimated 622,000 children under the age of five die each year from diarrheal diseases globally.
· Reductions in time to collect water has been found to increase school attendance. A study in Ghana found that a 15 minute reduction in water collection time increases the proportion of girls attending school by 8% to 12%.
Facts and Discussion Questions
· The average small-scale farmer only produces half of the food needed for his/her family.
· There are close to one billion people living in hunger (or under-nourished) in the world today.
· A child dies from hunger-related causes every 12 seconds.
How would you feel if you only had half the money you needed to purchase food each day for your family?
There are people who don’t live in a land of plenty. What factors do you feel might be in play for parents when they can’t provide enough food?
We live in a land of plenty. What factors do you feel might be in play when other people don’t have enough food?
· In South America, Asia and Africa, farms are losing soil at 2 X the rate that is sustainable for crop production.
· After wind and water erosion, the remaining soil typically has only 1/3 the nutrients of the eroded topsoil.
What do you think are the reasons that farms are losing soil at such a rate?
In what ways do you think a small‐scale farmer can revitalize the soil?
· Worldwide, over 25 million acres of farmable land become desert every year.
· Erosion, overgrazing and damage from flooding are major causes.
Can you think of any ways we can help stop erosion, overgrazing and flooding?
· 75% of the world’s food is generated from only 12 plants and 5 animal species.
· More than 90% of crop varieties have disappeared from farmer’s fields.
Why to do think we are only utilizing only 12 plants and 5 animal species?
Why do you think certain crop varieties fall out of favor with farmers and the public?
World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase.
As a world family, should we work to create more food or decrease the world’s population? Given your response, how would that be accomplished?
ECHO's response to food inequality is to empower small-holder farmers to increase their harvests, while also increasing the nutritional diversity of their crops. By equipping farmers to provide for their own families, ECHO is creating sustainable solutions to hunger.
Discuss the benefits of teaching farmers to build their own soils and to grow enough food for their own families.