Liberia: The Danger of Hunger

 It is a good day to draw the attention of people to the problem of hunger. This attention is of the highest importance because hunger is now being used as a pretext for violence, including coup d'etat and civil war. 

Witness the Civil War in Liberia that took 300,000 lives, damaged billions of dollars worth of infrastructure, and left the Liberian economy unrecovered to its pre-war level. It is essentially the experience from the Civil War that has the People of Liberia saying: We Want Peace! No More War!

1.6 million people in Liberia continue to experience hunger (Action Against Hunger, 2021). This is the number of people in Liberia who go to sleep hungry every night. 30 percent of the children of Liberia under five years of age are stunted, meaning that they are much smaller physically than they should be in a normal health situation. These children are burdened by problems of heredity and malnutrition. 

Let us visit the marketplaces and we will find plenty of hungry people. Many of these hungry marketers manage to cope with their hunger by sharing whatever they have to eat. On any day, when a marketeer has some food, he/she shares it with four or five marketeers. 

In many swampy/wetland communities, people can be seen going into the swamps with their nets to get some fish to eat. Some of the fish is sold to buy other food items. Some children are working as cleaners in cookshops, where they get food at the end of the day to take home for their unemployed parents/guardians to eat. In coping with their hunger, some people are still trying to get arable land to do some farming to get food to eat.

 But their farmlands are being given concessions for the production of products for export to get money to satisfy the greed of the powers that be. In this greed-driven action, value addition is not prioritized, meaning that humans and other resources are not given top priority to produce local products, owned and managed by Liberians, thereby creating employment, income generation,n and reducing hunger and poverty.

The problem of hunger remains a longstanding and widespread problem in Liberia to the point where Liberia is now the second poorest country in Africa and ranks 181 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index (UNDP, 2021). 

All of this violence-oriented hunger exists while Legislators in Liberia have access to at least US$1000 a day and their foreign friends and partners, in the commercial sector alone, have access to at least USD2 million a day, as over 80percentt of the people of Liberia remain in the dungeon of poverty with access to at most least than USD2 a day (CBL, LISGIS, MFDP. MCI, WB, IMF, AD, B, and UNDP). No wonder, most of the people of Liberia, residing in this dungeon, have concluded that Liberia is heading in the wrong direction (Afrobrometer, 2020).

How can this violence-oriented hunger come to an end? How can this life-threatening hunger come to an end? The World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations of the United Nations talk plenty about ending hunger but they do not Walk The Talk for ending hunger.

 They are busy holding conferences, signing resolutions, and handing out public relations donations in the form of grants, even grants to finance the present electoral system that violates the Constitution of Liberia. 

This flow of grants helps to explain the support that the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia continues to get, resulting in the election of persons with bad records of public service. 

Only the transformation of the electoral system from bad to good results in the election of good persons. With the election of persons having bad records, bad actions are experienced, and hunger mounts. In this hunger, we recall the song of the great singer Bob Marley who sings A Hungry Man is an Angry Man.

 In a prevention Better Than Cure Mode, the Progressives who Walk The Progressive Talk continue to raise awareness about the need to transform NEC. This raising of awareness is working well, as seen in the failure of most Legislators of the 52nd and 53rd Legislatures in their respective reelection bids likely, candidates with bad records will not be elected in the forthcoming elections. 

Let Us Walk the Talk to Avoid The Danger of Hunger.