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“The Silent Emergency” Soon to End!

“The Silent Emergency” Soon to End!

 “The Silent Emergency” Soon to End!

“COMPARED with the relatively recent past, we live today in a world of abundance. . . . There is more than enough food for all . . . theoretically.” So says a study by the World Health Organization (WHO). If that is the case, what is the real problem that causes malnutrition?

“The problem is that food is neither produced nor distributed equitably,” says WHO. “All too frequently, the poor in fertile developing countries stand by watching with empty hands​—and empty stomachs—​while ample harvests and bumper crops are exported for hard cash. Short-term profits for a few, long-term losses for many.” A recent study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) shows that ‘the richest fifth of the people’ on the planet ‘eat 45 percent of all the meat and fish; the poorest fifth get just 5 percent.’

On the other hand, “a lack of access to good education and correct information is also a cause of malnutrition,” says the United Nations Children’s Fund, adding: “Without information strategies and better and more accessible education programmes, the awareness, skills and behaviours needed to combat malnutrition cannot be developed.” But lack of food, in turn, diminishes a person’s health and ability to get a better education​—yet another vicious circle.

Justice and Unselfish Interest in Others

Despite such frustrating obstacles, some experts in this field are still optimistic. For instance, the director general of the FAO, Jacques Diouf, expressed this hope: “I have a vision of a world where every man, woman and child has enough nutritious and safe food, every single day. In my vision, the shocking extremes of wealth and poverty are reduced. I see tolerance and not discrimination; peace and not civil strife; sustainable habitats and not environmental degradation; general prosperity and not debilitating hopelessness.”

As we have seen, though, it will take more than increased production and distribution of food to realize such hopes. Widespread justice and unselfish interest in others are needed.  But these noble traits are not typical of modern commercialism.

Is it possible to eliminate such huge obstacles as greed, poverty, strife, and selfishness and thus rid the earth of malnutrition? Or is this an impossible dream?

The Only Real Solution

According to the Bible, we should not be surprised at the underlying problems that lead to malnutrition. God’s Word states: “In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, . . . having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, . . . without love of goodness, . . . having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power.”​—2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Can mankind eradicate such deeply ingrained attitudes without God’s help? It doesn’t seem likely, does it? Perhaps you have noted that sometimes people in authority have good intentions regarding the social problems of mankind, but selfishness, love of money, and imperfection on the part of others interfere with and paralyze even the most honest endeavors.​—Jeremiah 10:23.

Yet, the solution is not an impossible dream. The Bible promises that the Kingdom of God will put an end to the problem of injustice as well as to all other afflictions that plague mankind today.

Isaiah 9:6-7 offers us this magnificent hope: “There has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. To the abundance of the princely rule and to peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom in order to establish it firmly and to sustain it by means of justice and by means of righteousness, from now on and to time indefinite. The very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.”

It is this same Kingdom that people pray for when they recite the Lord’s Prayer and say to God, “Let your kingdom come.” (Matthew 6:9, 10) Note that Isaiah mentions that “the very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.” Yes, Jehovah God has always been keenly interested in providing for the needs of humans. He has designed this earth to produce ample food for all.

Psalm 65:9-13 says of him: “You have turned your attention to the earth, that you may give it abundance; you enrich it very much. The stream from God is full of water. You prepare their grain, for that is the way you prepare the earth. There is a drenching of its furrows, a leveling off of its clods; with copious showers you soften it; you bless its very sprouts. . . . The pastures have become clothed with flocks, and the low plains themselves are enveloped with grain.”

Yes, the Creator, Jehovah, is the best provider for mankind. He is “the One giving food to all flesh: for his loving-kindness is to time indefinite.”​—Psalm 136:25.

We can be confident that God’s Kingdom under Christ will take care of all people. “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow,” as the Bible says. But there will also be an equitable distribution, for “[Jesus Christ] will deliver the poor one crying for help, also the afflicted one and whoever has no helper. . . . The souls of the poor ones he will save.” (Psalm 72:12, 13, 16) So take courage! This “silent emergency” is about to be resolved once and for all.

[Blurb on page 11]

“Eliminating hunger and malnutrition is technically feasible. The means are there. The challenge lies in . . . taking concerted actions nationally and internationally.”​—World Health Organization

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