JUST 10 days after the United Nations declared Australia to have the second-best quality of life in the world, a less flattering study has found it slow to share its wealth with a world in which more than a billion people go hungry.The international group ActionAid will release a scorecard today on which Australia is ranked 17th out of the world’s 22 most developed countries in terms of their aid.The report Who’s Really Fighting Hunger?, says that while much of the world battles obesity, a sixth of the world’s population does not have enough to eat.”Almost a third of the world’s children are growing up malnourished,” it says. ”This is perhaps one of the most shameful achievements of recent history, since there is no good reason for anyone to go hungry.”Early this month the UN Development Program’s Human Development Report for 2009 found that Australia had the second-best quality of life out of 182 countries on a scale measuring life expectancy, school enrolments and income.But ActionAid’s chief executive in Australia, Archie Law, said many people seemed oblivious of the global food crisis.Millions were surviving on less than $1.25 a day, which was not enough to buy more than one meal. Since 2005 the number of people facing chronic hunger had increased 20 per cent, or 170 million people, and the worst was still to come.The report said food prices remained stubbornly high in developing countries, the global recession was hitting jobs and incomes and climate change was battering rain-fed agriculture.The heaviest price was paid by children, with nearly one in three chronically malnourished.ActionAid based its survey of developed countries on how close they are to meeting the level of aid to agriculture and food security that they have promised the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation by 2012.Luxembourg came first, already 18 per cent over its target. Australia is 17th, having reached 24 per cent of its expected aid.
Nanjing Night Net

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