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The cost of a child's life
WHILE BUSH and Blair's 'war on terror' continues, the number of chronically hungry people grows by five million a year. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation recently estimated that 842 million people were malnourished in 1999-2001 (see the socialist 326).
Of these, 798 million were in ex-colonial countries, 34 million in the former Soviet Union and 10 million in the advanced capitalist countries.
Drought, wars and HIV/AIDS are adding to the problem in Africa. AIDS has left many farms in parts of Southern Africa with only children and elderly people. There are not enough farmers alive and fit enough to produce food. More people are also hungry in India and Pakistan, although the numbers have fallen in China, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Six million children die each year from diseases caused by malnutrition. The International Research Centre on Diarrhoeal Diseases, based in Bangladesh, estimates the cost of saving a hungry child's life at £100. In just four months occupation of Iraq the New Labour government spends the £600 million needed to prevent all these child deaths.
In The Socialist 10 January 2004:
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
Socialist Party workplace news