It is absurd to me that we live in a world where in the United States the focus is on lowering obesity rates while in countries such as in Africa and Asia populations are fighting hunger and starvation on a daily basis. We live in a high speed world where we are all connected through cell phones and the internet. We live in a world that has defined DNA and is exploring and unlocking the secrets of the Universe. Then why can we not figure out how to ensure all populations globally receive nutritious and life sustaining food? Why is it not a priority?
Malnutrition is treatable, yet we still see the physical and mental effects of malnutrition including, many times irreversible effects on physical and mental growth and development on children. The effects of malnutrition are far reaching and evident even for some, into adulthood. Children suffering from improper nutrition show growth retardation, delayed developmental milestones and in some, decreased intelligence and a lowered ability to learn. The severe effect of malnutrition is death. So while we in the U.S. are fighting to sustain an acceptable weight, there are children starving to death in third world nations. The United Nations World Food Programme carried out an assessment in 2013 which identified a Global Acute Malnutrition (an indicator for assessing the severity of a humanitarian crisis) at a rate of 8.2 percent, with levels reaching as high as 14 percent in some regions of West Africa.
The World Food Programme is an arm of the United Nations which seeks to make an impact by lowering hunger and starvation worldwide. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization. By far the greatest numbers of countries served by this organization are in Africa. One such country served by the World Food Programme is Burkina Faso.
The hunger season or “lean season” is identified in West Africa (and in Burkina Faso) as the period which impacts up to 20 million people. During this period there is decreased food availability, inefficient food markets with high and escalating prices, and improper nutrition. All these factors contribute to the continuing cycle of hunger and poverty experienced in these countries that are compounded during the lean season.
Prospective adoptive families often say they want to fill a need by adopting from Africa. Poverty and the resulting hunger crisis is one such need. There has been a focus in the last several years of adopting from Africa, including Congo, Ethiopia and Uganda. As adoption from these countries slows or is halted altogether, attention has shifted to alternative countries in Africa which might support international adoption. Burkina Faso is one such country. Although, Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in Africa, ranked 183 out of 186 countries on the UNDP’s Human Development Index (2013), it is a signatory to the Hague Convention and has committed itself to processing international adoptions ethically and transparently. If your heart for children is pulled towards filling the great need in Africa, we encourage you to explore our Burkina Faso international adoption program.
For more information on adopting from Burkina Faso, please contact us.
Photo Credit: Pascal Terjan