It’s still an under reported tragedy. Over 20 million people in neighbouring Pakistan have lost all but their lives as flood waters continue to surge forth – even three weeks on since heavy rains hit the country.The UN has called for a $460 million response plan to deal with this humanitarian disaster – far worse in its impact than many in recent times put together - the Haiti earthquake, the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and the 2008 Cyclone Nargis.
It was in spring this year that I went to Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh – India’s largest and one of the poorest states – to oversee a photo-shoot. The subject was a nondescript van that ferries pregnant women across rocky terrain to the nearest health facility. Its remarkable drive lies in achieving this safely and in time.The van goes by the name of Janani Express – janani meaning ‘mother’ in Hindi – and is run by the government to promote safe births in rural India.
1.02 billion people live on this earth in chronic hunger. If this shocks you, sign up at www.1billionhungry.org! FAO’s new online anti-hunger petition will send out a strong message to world leaders.But a new report launched ahead of the World Summit on Food Security starting early next week offers some hope. Thirty-one countries have noted success in halving the number of hungry by 2015 or are on track to meet this goal.
I was away attending the Second Global Forum on the Power of Peace, I mentioned at work today. ‘Power of peace… I thought it was spam,’ a colleague remarked referring to a mail she had got on the same.A similar thought was shared at the forum last week. People do mistrust ‘peace’ or ‘unity’ messages as bugs ready to spam their inbox. In a world ridden with conflicts of all nature, isn't it ironic the way our minds function?
While I took a respite, the world has been pretty active.Two rounds of global talks on economy recovery: the G8 summit at L’Aquila, Italy, pledging (mere?) $20 billion to boost food supplies (it’s a ‘moral obligation’ to help poor countries, says Obama); and the G20 Pittsburg summit in US last month where leaders met to follow up on their London pledges. (Check out the last five months’ action on the BBC pledge tracker).