Running on empty - Poverty in Ethiopia & Wales


Uploaded by savethechildrenuk on 16.10.2007

Transcript:
Seven years ago worlds years ago world leaders signed up to the millennium development goals.
Number one being to half poverty and hunger by 2015. The impact of this pledge should
now be felt amongst the poor in Ethiopia and surprisingly amongst the poor in Wales. Low income is the common factor joining two
young mothers in two very different societies. We visited them in the run-up to Christmas
and again in April to discover how they are managing. The flour for the dough Asemu is
needing she bought in the market. Asemu gets cash aid rather than food aid and she uses
the cash to buy the food she needs.
The aid keeps the family together, without it her husband would have to leave to find
work as a day labourer, because of it he can stay and farm. One in two children in Ethiopia suffers from
malnutrition. To prevent this, children should get a healthy diet during their first two
years. If a child suffer chronic persistent chronic malnutrition during that time their
mental and physical development will be impaired, their immune system weakened, their brain
damaged and their body stunted. This cannot be reversed beyond their second birthday.
Micarey is fine though her real test will come when she is no longer breast feed. Beu
on the other hand is very seriously small and under weight. He is stunted and all the
love and caring of his parents won't make up for the deprivation of his early years.
After six months he was good form but then on he has problems which continued today.
He was healthy for only 6 months. He only started to get up at three and didn't walk
until he was four. He was very thin, his development was very slow. If government food had been
available then it would have been wonderful. He was like a blade of grass. Dawn buys food
for the week. She feeds four of the family for fourteen meals. The fifth Cathlyn gets
school lunches so only needs nine meals. So she provides sixty five meals from £40. This
averages 65 pence per meal. I find it a lot cheaper to buy chips and junk food then to
cook up a proper meal from scratch. I watch programmes and it shows how much children
eat the fatty foods and it does worry me quite a lot because of the way that they show pictures
or the way their children will look in years to come if they don't change their diet. I'm
quite upset about the way I do feed them but if I could change it I would. Direct cash
payments are one of the most effective ways of preventing chronic malnutrition in children
but the cash must be sufficient to fulfil its purpose. Dawn can just about manage on
what she gets but Asemu can't. The international community has made a commitment to half hunger
by 2015. Asemu and Debrew will tell you it's failing. What outrages us is that the program
has not been able to increase the payments in line with rising food costs so families
are now struggling on the payments that are made available. That's why we are calling
on rich countries to keep their promises providing the money that's needed to enable programmes
like this to succeed so that Asemu's second child can grow up without that stunting.