Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala Page: 40
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The hunger issue came to the forefront of public attention through-
out the world during the 1960's and 1970's, particularly with such
disasters as the drought in the Sahel, Africa, the cyclone and tidal
wave in Bangladesh, civil war in Burundi and so on (Davis 1975). The
effect of these disaster situations heightened the already existing
food shortages in the Third World. The resulting news coverage, such
as the well-advertised photograph of the Bangladesh baby with severe
(Crade-3) malnutrition (kwashiorkor), helped create a guilt complex
among people in the developed world (Lappe and Collins 1977).
It would be useful in helping to understand food assistance to
consider one question: What are the conditions that produce hunger?
One immediate response particularly given by the developmentalists is
that hunger is caused by unprecedented exponential population increases,
especially in the Third World, which, when coupled with the lack of
economic growth and development, creates overcompetition for food and
economic resources. According to many private political, religious
and volunteer organizations, such as BFW and CARE, there are three dif-
ferent causes or "roots" of hunger: poverty is first and foremost;
next comes instability of food supplies; and, finally, natural and
man-made disasters. Rather than these "roots" being the causes of
hunger, however, they merely point out the real source; that is, the
social, economic and political structure of the societies having food
problems. As Lappe and Collins (1977: 8) note:
We are not saying merely that the solution to hunger
lies in better distribution--getting the food to the
hungry instead of the well-fed. We are saying something
else: that food distribution only reflects the more
fundamental issue of who controls and who participates
in the production process.
Here’s what’s next.
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Rodeheaver, Daniel Gilbert, 1954-; Bates, Frederick L. & Murphy, Arthur D. Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala, report, May 1982; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84342/m1/53/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.