Monday, May 8, 2006

UNICEF Report on Malnutrition

"THE Philippines was able to reduce the incidence of child malnutrition by 0.9 percent every year from 1990 to 2004, the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) reported.

This rate however, the report said, is insufficient to meet targets set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The report card is the fourth of a Unicef series that monitors progress for children toward the MDGs, a set of time-bound strategies listed in 2000 by the international community to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

Among the benchmarks outlined by the MDGs for the year 2015 is to halve the proportion of underweight children under 5 years old.

In the Philippines, the prevalence of underweight children under 5 stands at 28 percent."

I will admit that I did not realize how bad it continues to be in the Philippines. When I left the country 17 years ago, people here in the US could not understand why I disliked Ronald Reagan. That was the reason then. Because by supporting a dictator like Marcos, children were dying and nobody cared so long as corporate profits were sustained and American interests were protected.

Well, Marcos has been gone 20 years now and it looks like we are only sliding further down. We have run out of excuses. It is truly not out of any Messianic mission that I am returning home. I simply find it unconscionable to remain here in the US while children continue to die in droves from parasitic infections and upper respiratory diseases. And all these hotshots can think of is charter change.

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