Sunday, June 7, 2009

Global Challenges Are Also On the Rise

Disease Threatens: Nearly 39 million people live with HIV/AIDS and the number is still on the rise. More than 6800 people are newly infected with HIV/AIDS every day.

Over 2.1 million people die each year of AIDS. This trend has left entire nations without enough adults to harvest crops, conduct commerce or raise children. It is estimated that 15 million children have lost one or both parents as a result of AIDS since 1981. [UNICEF, Annual Report 2007.]

As sobering as these statistics are, the reality is that other preventable diseases cause even more deaths. Every three seconds, a child dies from the effects of unclean drinking water, malaria, or other preventable diseases. [UNICEF, World’s Children, 8.] With new strains of bacteria and new virus threats discovered regularly, basic health care and health education elude many.

Poverty: Eighty percent of the world’s population lives on under $10 per day. Over half of the world’s children suffer from poverty. As these children grow older, they often find themselves trapped inside a system that gives them little opportunity to escape the cycle. How will they survive? How will they grow?

War and Conflict: War is no longer only for the grown men of the world’s nations. Nearly half of the 3.6 million people killed in conflict during the 1990s were children. [UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 2004 (New York, December 2004).] At least 250,000 kids are forced to work as child soldiers. [UNICEF, Annual Report 2007.] At least 14 million children and their families fled their countries because of nearby fighting and live as refugees. War impacts women, children, and entire populations. [Pages 22, 23]

Source: Sylvia Foth, Daddy Are We There Yet? (A global check-in on the world of mission and kids), Kidzana Ministries, Mukilteo, 2009

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