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FOREIGN AID: Hunger isn’t just an empty belly

Letter by Donna M. Schindler Munro, Bremerton on May 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm | No Comments »
May 9, 2013 3:13 pm

Hunger isn’t just an empty belly thing. Globally, it’s a death sentence for 2.5 million kids annually. And the 165 million more that do survive are damaged physically and cognitively for life. One in four children under the age of five is stunted in this manner.

While the human and economic costs of undernutrition are enormous, the solutions are basic, proven and cost-effective. But between 2009 and 2011, just 0.3 percent of U.S. foreign aid went to basic nutrition. Every $1 invested in nutrition generates as much as $138 in better health and increased productivity. Undernutrition can cost countries up to 11 percent of their annual GDP in lost productivity.

On June 8, 2013, the British government will host the first ever global nutrition pledging event to mobilize financial commitment to fight malnutrition. Leading U.S. humanitarian and advocacy organizations have called upon President Obama to join this global effort by pledging $1.35 billion to nutritional efforts over the next three years.

We live in a global village. The stability and well-being of other countries affects our own. We need to step up to the plate.

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