There are now six billion of us on the planet for the first time in history. Although the six billionth child was symbolically born in Sarajevo according to the United Nations (UN), it was most likely born in an impoverished country in Asia or Africa, will be malnourished, and may not live even to the age of five.
The world’s population was about 300 million at the time of Christ, and it took 1,800 years for it to reach one billion. However, it needed only 12 years for the population to expand from five billion to touch the six billion figure of today. A quarter of a million new people are being added every day and we will have nearly nine billion people on this fragile planet by 2050, experts tell us.
How can we feed this ever-increasing population? One billion people go to bed daily on an empty stomach, and there are 40,000 hunger-related deaths every day. This “silent holocaust” is “unconscionable”, pleads Ismail Serageldin of the World Bank. Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of peace, called hunger the greatest of all violence. Read more . . .