The World Bank unveiled its plan to end extreme poverty by 2030 recently.
The rapid progress of India, China and Brazil blazed the path towards exceeding the global Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015. Now the Bank wants to rid the world of extreme poverty forever.
Ending extreme poverty will require the acceleration of economic growth in developing countries and translating that growth into jobs while eliminating inequality, said World Bank President Jim Kim in a blogger call yesterday morning. Work must be done to mitigate the shocks caused by natural disasters and eliminate the insecurity linked to food, fuel and poverty, he added.
Linking all of these problems, for Kim, is climate change.
“Climate change is not just an environmental challenge. It’s a fundamental threat to economic development and the fight against poverty,” he said. Continue reading →
As the BBC reports, this is not due to lack of food but to rising food prices, nor is it limited to poor countries:
The charity says that children under two are most in need of help because the body and brain are developing fast at that age. Prolonged malnutrition for these children can irreversibly stunt their growth and reduce their IQ by as much as 15 points.
India is home to a third of the world’s malnourished children. Some 43% of them suffer from malnutrition and three out of four are anaemic.
Malnutrition doesn’t just kill, of course. Save the Children estimates lack of food and a proper diet also cause physical and mental disabilities for hundreds of millions of children who survive on poor diets.
Here’s a video about India’s massive child malnutrition problem from Al Jazeera:
Other news stories based on the Save the Children report:
PATH and World Vision have teamed up to test a “rice fortification method” in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world.
It is the first time this strategy to fighting malnutrition will be tried in Africa.
PATH calls it Ultra Rice. I like to call it super-fantastic fake rice. Ultra Rice is basically “manufactured” rice-shaped pasta (made from rice) which has had blended into it essential nutrients often lacking in the diets of poor people. Some inventors in Bellingham originally came up with idea, which PATH refined. Continue reading →
More than a decade ago, a creative Bellingham father-and-son duo invented some Vitamin-A fortified fake rice (basically rice pasta, shaped like a grain) but couldn’t sell it.
So they donated it to Seattle-based PATH, which added some more nutrients in the hope of using it to combat global malnutrition.
World Health Organization
Child Stunting Indicates Rate of Country Malnutrition
PATH also ran into some problems selling the product, which they dubbed Ultra Rice. It was (and is) slightly more expensive than regular rice and the target population was the world’s poorest people. It also didn’t help that Ultra Rice didn’t quite taste or look right.
Additionally, PATH soon discovered it was better to license the product to in-country manufacturers rather than try to handle distribution itself.
Today, as recently reported in the Seattle Times, Ultra Rice may now be ready to finally take off with a snap, crackle and pop. As the story by my friend and colleague Kristi Heim documents, there are still some potential hurdles.
But it’s a great story of how a simple idea and a good measure of perseverance can pay off to help solve one of the world’s biggest harms to children.