Solomon H Katz, PhD and Trustee of the Parliament of the World's Religions and Host/Organizer of the Melbourne Parliament Sessions on Food and Water.
Today, March 22, is World Water Day. It is a very special day recognized by the United Nations marking the issues surrounding the rights to food and water of every person in the world by virtue of the internationally recognized and accepted law of the UN. Of course, having these rights does not mean that everyone in the world automatically has enough food to eat or enough safe water to drink.
In fact, the numbers of those in serious need are staggering. And have been growing worse since the millennium goals were first announced about a dozen years ago. Today there are approximately one billion people who are in hunger and and do not have access to clean water. Moreover, an additional 2.5 billion people lack sanitation facilities. All of these problems of inadequate food and clean water take a very serious toll on young children, resulting in about 4,500 deaths every day traceable to these problems. And these are just some of the worst issues.
These data add up to a challenge. It is up to us and the others of the world who have the opportunity to read this message "on line" at web sites like PeaceNext to work together to provide for those who do not have the resources to provide for themselves.
Many individuals do great and compassionate work to help those in need of food and water. Others of us reading these words on PeaceNext choose to work within our religious and inter religious contexts to address these problems. The Parliament of the World's Religions has a long and venerable history of pioneering open inter religious dialog on water and food in its sessions in Cape Town, Barcelona, and Melbourne.
Please take some time today and through the next weeks to share with us your concerns, understanding, memories, stories, activities, and commitments in this area so that once more we can share with one another as these problems are addressed and resolved. How can we provide new insights and new sources of inspiration about how these problems of water and food can be improved sustainably for the future? Would you please share with our PeaceNext members your thoughts on these matters?
To assist you in responding to this call to sharing, I have provided a series of links. Please help by looking over the information provided by the UN so you can better understand the scope of the problem and begin to share with all of us what is going on within and between your religious communities to address these problems of water and food. Whenever possible bring info from these sites to our attention and tell them about our work, too!
Faiths for Safe Water (also register for more info from this one and post about PeaceNext) http://www.faithsforsafewater.org/
Read the Sermon on Water in today’s Huffington Post
Read and download these key UN Brochures on world water and food.
Refer to our group started at Melbourne during the birth of PeaceNext!