How to achieve sustainable development, guarantee access to clean drinking water, foster ethical market economies and fight new as well as re-emerging diseases? While the panorama may appear pessimistic, humanity is winning more than losing – even if where we are losing is very serious. But these challenges cannot be addressed by any single government or institution acting alone. They require collaborative actions
We need a serious focus on green growth, falling water tables, rising food/water/energy prices, population growth, resource depletion, climte change, terrorism, and changing disease patterns, otherwise the results may well be catastrophic.
Famine still exists and 44 million people around the world stand on the brink — and the slightest shock could tip them over the edge. Tragically, by the time a famine is declared, it's already too late. Thousands of people are already dying of hunger. In a world where food production keeps increasing, there is no reason that humans should still be suffering this fate.
30% of children worldwide suffer from acute malnutrition
Conflict is the biggest driver of famine. Hunger levels worsen when conflict drives large numbers of people from their homes, their land and their jobs. Climate change and more regular droughts are increasing food shortages. Drought means fewer crops, and climate-induced migration is driving farmers from their land. The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is contributing to sharply increasing hunger numbers.
DISEASES OF POVERTY
World Health Organization (WHO) research confirms that the majority of diseases in low-income countries are caused by poverty. These diseases are known as “diseases of poverty.” Diseases of poverty affect more than 1 billion people worldwide and are completely preventable.
WHO has defined a total of 10 common causes of death for low-income countries. The top 4 diseases that appear on that list are:
Lower Respiratory Infections
Coronary Heart Disease
Through social change and access to basic necessities like medical care, it is possible to increase the prevention of diseases of poverty and save millions of lives every year.
Literacy is a key skill and a key measure of a population’s education. In this entry we discuss historical trends, as well as recent developments in literacy.
From a historical perspective, literacy levels for the world population have risen drastically in the last couple of centuries.
While only 12% of the people in the world could read and write in 1820, today the share has reversed: only 14% of the world population, in 2016, remained illiterate. Over the last 65 years the global literacy rate increased by 4% every 5 years – from 42% in 1960 to 86% in 2015. But is it sufficient?
NO FREEDOMS AND WARS
More than a third of the world’s population, or 2.6 billion people, live in nations and territories gripped by repression, corruption and human rights abuses, with the worst being Syria, Tibet and Somalia.
A third of world population lives in nations without freedoms.
Worldwide in 2015, 86 nations and territories were designated free based on their political rights and civil liberties, 50 were deemed not free, and 59 were partly free.
The bulk of those deemed unfree were in the Middle East and North Africa, where 85 percent of the population lives with repression; sub-Saharan Africa where 20 regimes earned the not free ranking; and Eurasia, where no country was listed as free.
There are currently ongoing wars or minor conflicts in around three dozen countries, most of them in the Middle East, North West Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, and a major ongoing drug-war in Mexico. The problem of our violence as a species as it plays out terribly in war and violent crime.
Main sources: borgenmagazine.com, reuters.com, ourworldindata.org, bbvaopenmind.com, wfp.org, revisesociology.com
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