Over the weekend, I posted two posts about food security, hunger, and climate change in the North West Province. This week, I am going to be writing about hunger. The hunger I see on a daily basis, and its affect on South Africa. I’m kicking it off with some stats I found this week.
1 in 15 children die before their 5th birthday in South Africa, and SA is one of the few countries where this rate has RISEN since 1990.
15% of babies are born with a low birth weight, meaning they have a much greater risk for dying from infection or lack of feeding.
1/3 of childhood deaths are HIV/AIDS related, and another 1/3 are from infections like pneumonia and diarrhea.
Of all children who die, 1/3 are severely malnourished and 60% are underweight.
A child from a poor family is four times more likely to die than a child from a wealthy family.
2.7 million children (15%) live in households where there is child hunger.
1 in 10 children suffer from severe malnutrition.
12 million people suffer from food insecurity, and 4 million of those are on the brink of starvation.
1 in 5 children are stunted due to chronic malnutrition.
Does this scare you? It scares me. There kids aren’t halfway around the world….they are my neighbors. I teach them, play with them, and learn from them. Their smiles make my day, and their exuberant greetings make me laugh. Yet from birth, they fight hunger. They go to bed hungry, wake up hungry, and try to learn while their stomachs rumble painfully.
It breaks my heart.