UN Say Millions Starving. Should we let them "get on with it"?

  • The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, the United Nations says, issuing a plea for help to avoid "a catastrophe".


    UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said that more than 20 million people faced the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.


    Unicef has already warned 1.4m children could starve to death this year.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-39238808
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    You can't have it both ways. Either we stay out of other people's affairs, or, as I said in the Syria thread, for serious matters we get involved.


    Do we let let all starve?

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  • I think it's how you get involved that's the point. We shouldn't be taking part in foreign wars on an individual country basis. However, feeding those who are starving etc. as a result of those wars or a famine is a different issue. The UN has said £3.6bn was needed by July to avert disaster. Well that in itself should be simple enough to find out of our foreign aid budget, we give £12 billion a year. But we can't do everything and other countries have to get involved and do their bit.


    We give more in foreign aid than many countries and we have our own problems with social care, the NHS and housing.

  • When something can be done about overpopulation, especially in arid regions that cannot support unlimited numbers of offspring, then starvation, like poverty, will always be with us. It is no use putting a plaster on an infected wound. The problems these places have is with their cultures and religions that disallow women's education and the freedom to control their own fertility.


    If those who control these cultures are not willing to join the modern world, then it is these folk who are plunging their people into catastrophe, not the west. The fascist grip these elites have on their people is what is creating this problem.


    To help people is one thing, but to help people to continue destroying themselves is another.


    The Catholic Pope is also part of a similar problem. The countries where Catholicism refuses to allow fertility control, or family planning, are often made the victims of poverty. When any situation arises that is a challenge to their survival, they tend to implode. It isn't rocket science to work out why, but it would take several miracles to get any of the unbending wills among the people who control these vast numbers with ideology and belief to admit it and allow the people to be saved by common sense.

  • You're right about Catholicism. Their early intervention in Africa has led to a lot of the problems but I can't see any solution. It's amazing that people with apparently so little sustenance manage to breed so prolifically, apparently with very little if any medical care. If we feed one generation then it simply multiplies the problem in a few years time. There has to be some sort of bribery or persuasion to encourage them to practise contraception. Perhaps some sort of allowance if they only have one child.


    Of course the other problem is that they seem to spend more time fighting each other than trying to grow produce and feed themselves. I realise drought is a factor of course but there wasn't always a drought but it seems the problems persist.

  • You're right about Catholicism. Their early intervention in Africa has led to a lot of the problems but I can't see any solution. It's amazing that people with apparently so little sustenance manage to breed so prolifically, apparently with very little if any medical care. If we feed one generation then it simply multiplies the problem in a few years time. There has to be some sort of bribery or persuasion to encourage them to practise contraception. Perhaps some sort of allowance if they only have one child.


    Of course the other problem is that they seem to spend more time fighting each other than trying to grow produce and feed themselves. I realise drought is a factor of course but there wasn't always a drought but it seems the problems persist.


    It's the lack of medical care and short life expectancy that is a big part of it. People over compensate. If you have a high degree of confidence that your little sprog won't croak it you don't keep on making more of them just in case. The actual end result is over population albeit occasionally cut down by fighting and natural disasters.


    Although I'm a confirmed atheist I think religion plays a minor part in population growth. There are catholic and muslim nations that have low population growth thanks mainly to being more prosperous and seeing women as something more than just baby machines e.g. Italy and UAE.

  • Islam is another problem in North Africa and it is trying its best to migrate down south. Also keen on out of control breeding, oppression of women and strict obedience to the enforcers of the clerical elite. Can be utterly vicious in warfare and has caused untold misery to many Africans. The tale of Zanzibar is one where the Africans fought back.


    In South Africa, for example, education has reached many now and these families on average now have only two children, or only as many as they can afford. The others are slumped in squatter camp horror and the children run round, unfed, unclothed and illiterate. It is no surprise that a life of crime beckons to them at some stage. My city has an opposition municipal government now and at last funds are being allocated to the upliftment of some of of these areas and people. Takes time after so much corruption and theft of funds.


    I don't know what is to be done about places like Somalia, Sudan and the Yemen and other drastically destroyed places. They need help that is practical and solutions that are workable. They need vaccination programs and basic schooling for all children. Girls need to be free to gain literacy skills and get advice on family planning and the avoidance of diseases, etc. Boys need to learn methods of farming that can thwart the climate. If the governments aren't on board with this then nothing gets done. That is the problem. Archaic notions of social hierarchy and belief are taking these places and these people to the brink of catastrophe.


    The constant fighting is another, as you mention. These are often old feuds. The scarcity of water and resources make things worse. Support from dodgy allies doesn't help either. Turning these folk into refugees, then calling them "immigrants" and using them to multiculturalise developed nations is stunningly irresponsible.

  • When something can be done about overpopulation, especially in arid regions that cannot support unlimited numbers of offspring, then starvation, like poverty, will always be with us.


    It's the lack of medical care and short life expectancy that is a big part of it. People over compensate. If you have a high degree of confidence that your little sprog won't croak it you don't keep on making more of them just in case. The actual end result is over population albeit occasionally cut down by fighting and natural disasters.


    There has to be some sort of bribery or persuasion to encourage them to practise contraception. Perhaps some sort of allowance if they only have one child


    There was an excellent programme on BBC about 3-4 weeks ago, a lecture in fact by a Swedish scientist, I don't know if anyone saw it?


    It was "telling the future" of the world in the next 50-100 years and specifically focussed on population growth and Africa.


    It is all down to money...


    The programme highlighted a case of an African farmer who lives with his large family (many kids) in a isolated area and was moving "up the ladder." The programme followed his journey and highlighted how even Africa will eventually become highly developed and turn into a continent of several billion people.


    Basically, the farmer's time was mostly spent walking from place to place. When his family need water, it's at least a few hours hard trek on foot for them to get the water in heavy containers, a massive effort just to get water. If he needed supplies or to sell his crops, that's half a day's walk to the nearest town.


    All that changed when he saved up enough money to by a bicycle, TRANSFORMED his life forever


    What took hours to get water, then took minutes. What took half a morning to sell crops at the nearest town, took an hour instead, thus giving him more time to grow more crops which in turn gave him more money.


    He and his wife, then started receiving lessons on how to read and write and count. He eventually found out that the person buying his crops was fiddling him and not paying him the correct amount for his crops, thus he got more money again.


    The programme finished with him getting a motorcycle and him eyeing a car in the future.


    Africa can change but there are many challenges ahead.

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  • Would that be Hans Rosling? I saw one of his lectures a long time ago which pretty much busted the idea of exponential global population growth. That's not to say it won't continue to grow for a while yet but he predicted (with sound basis) a plateau.

  • And the name of the programme was "Don't Panic - How to end poverty in 15 years".


    It's not on iplayer any more, but I'm going to track it down elsewhere. A must watch and I want to see it again.

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  • South Africa is very advanced on the farming front and now African farmers are getting training and funds for the project of turning SA back into a food producer of note. (Getting rid of Zuma would help enormously as he is just using the white farmer race card to stay in power.)


    But in the future, when Zuma has mercifully left the political stage, African farmers will hopefully be in a better situation than some of the other African farmers because they have a hugely successful and scientifically based farming heritage on which to expand and build. It's just very important not to allow brainless politicians to ruin that.


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