In Brief...World News Review: Famine Stalks Africa

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In Brief...World News Review

Famine Stalks Africa

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Clearly world hunger is rising again, much of it afflicting the African continent, especially the sub-Saharan area. But more generally, according to the Los Angeles Times, "Every year about six million children under the age of 5 die as a result of hunger and malnutrition, says a UN study released Tuesday. That's as if all of California's children in that age group—more than twice over—starved to death" (Oct. 16, 2002).

This increase in world hunger is due primarily to a combination of wars, droughts, floods and shortfall in donations from the developed nations. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) "puts the number of undernourished people at 840 million—roughly 15% of the world's people. After some progress in the 1990s, the rate has returned to levels of a decade ago" (Los Angeles Times).

The Independent on Sunday's environment editor, Geoffrey Lean, further explained that "this year's total world harvest will fall for the fifth year in succession, while the global population continues to grow" (Oct. 27, 2002).

More specifically, famine has returned to Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Nearly six million people are in desperate need of emergency food supplies in order to avert starvation. Perhaps another million require immediate help in Eritrea. Also Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and other African nations are experiencing severe food shortages.

Lesotho is another case in point. Too much rain devastated crops and people are dying. Poor mountainous roads are a difficult barrier to getting aid supplies through to the population. A Times (London) feature article stated that "crop production has declined sharply over the past three decades and is expected to cease altogether over large swaths of arable land because of soil erosion and declining soil fertility" (Nov. 9, 2002.). Also, a 31 percent HIV-AIDS infection rate complicates matters even further.

Bible prophecy is being fulfilled. The book of Revelation clearly reveals the identity of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The black horse symbolizes hunger and famine (Revelation 6:5-6). It is already riding in Africa.

—Sources: The Independent on Sunday, The Times (both London), Los Angeles Times.