Bread for the World released its annual hunger report yesterday at a news conference in Washington, D.C. Here are the vital details from their press officer, Shawnda Hines:
Washington, DC, November 23, 2009 – A new report released today by Bread for the World Institute warns that unless the triple threats of hunger, unemployment, and climate change are addressed, any economic recovery will only lead to another bubble.
To blunt the surge of hunger, unemployment, and the long-term effects of climate change, we need a just and sustainable economic recovery,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World Institute. “If we do not reshape our economy with jobs that allow low-income workers to feed their families and move out of poverty, our recovery will not be sustainable. Like a bubble, it will only collapse again.”
According to the new report, Hunger 2010: Just and Sustainable Recovery, more than 1.02 billion people are hungry every day – an increase of more than 100 million from a year ago. In the United States, the number of people who struggle to put food on the table has surged to 49.1 million. “It’s deeply disturbing that nearly one in four children live on the brink of hunger in this country,” said Rev. Beckmann. “It’s a scandal for us as the richest country in the world and an affront to a just and loving God.”
Unemployment is also on the rise, with one in ten Americans out of a job. The report stresses that for a sustainable economic recovery, we need to put people back to work. It argues that dollar for dollar, one of the best investments the United States can make is to create green jobs focused on lowering carbon emissions. “The jobs that will help us convert our economy from reliance on fossil fuels to alternative energy sources could more than surpass the 4 million manufacturing jobs lost since the start of the recession,” Rev. Beckmann added,“Climate change is real, and we have to deal with it,” said Rev. Beckmann. “Governments negotiating a new climate treaty must make concrete commitments at the climate change conference in Copenhagen in early December. The world’s economic recovery will remain fragile if we do not take steps to address climate change. Hungry and poor people are the most vulnerable. More than anyone else, they are bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change.”
The report analyzes the issues that need to be addressed in order for the U.S. and global economies to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. It highlights the opportunity to put in place policies that reduce inequality, help low-income families to save and build assets for the future, and revitalize neglected communities throughout the country.
A Just and Sustainable Recovery also includes a study guide designed to engage Christians of many theological perspectives in Scripture-based reflections on God’s intentions for the world and contrasting analysis of current realities, based on their reading of the report experiences in life. Corresponding with chapters in the report, the six-session guide includes prayers, activities, and concrete actions readers can take to help restore a just and right relationship between God’s intentions and troubling economic realities.
“The economic crisis has given us an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild our economy and to put people and all of God’s creation at the center of our decisions,” said Rev. Beckmann. “It is important that the economic recovery be measured by how many of the world’s poorest people are able to lift themselves out of chronic hunger and poverty.”
Hunger 2010: Sustainable Recovery, including the study guide for Christian groups, is available online at www.bread.org/hungerreport.
Bread for the World Institute provides policy analysis on hunger and strategies to end it. The Institute educates its advocacy network, opinion leaders, policy makers and the public about hunger in the United States and abroad.