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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 7. 1962.



New Zealand hardly knows the meaning of this word. We have not the millions starving in our cities, as China or India have, nor suffer from the universal malnutrition of Italy or South America. Very few New Zealanders know the experience, not just of temporary hunger, but of no prospect of food, ever; not just the next meal, nor the next few days, but the coming years are hungry — no assurance at all. They are not hung y because the people are lazy, or unambitious, or ignorant — but because there are too many of them for the amount of food the land can grow, and too many for the amount of work available. If they had work they might improve the land with their earnings, and buy its food.

It is a never-ending cycle. Poor food—poor health—poor work—insufficient money and food.

Obviously, any scheme merely to feed the hungry would be useless. It is not the food the Indians and Asians need, it is the means by which they may produce it, distribute it, buy it with, improve the quality as well as the quantity. The situation is aggravated by the rapid increase in population in these very countries of limited capital resources. 20 countries (total population 500,000,000) have a surplus of food; the rest (total population 2,500 million) have food shortage. Redistribution will not solve this problem.

F.A.O. and U.N.I.C.E.F., two of the U.N. organisations have set themselves a long-term plan to improve agricultural methods, develop better seeds and fertilisers, irrigation, transport, education and training. There has been much scorn poured onto Western 'patronage', on American brashness, and British 'flour and sugar.' Anything which suggested imperialism was bitterly rejected, if the recipients had an opportunity to refuse. But U.N., by insisting on self-help, and the participation of all members in its schemes, is being far more effective.

The N.Z. committee for 'Freedom from Hunger' is holding a major campaign to enlist public support for the £500,000 N.Z. is to raise for the F.A.O. and Unicef fund. This money is going into specific projects: land reclamation in Korea, resettlement schemes, a milk treatment station in Tanganyika and village rehabilitation.

On June 13, 14, 15, a campaign at Victoria is being organised by the World University Service for the 'Freedom from Hunger' Campaign, to coincide with the nationwide effort. The money we send to W.U.S. is aid in student health programmes; in some areas as many as 80% of the students suffer from diseases such as T.B., pleurisy, dysentry or malaria which are mainly the result of malnutrition. It is aid in building clinics and providing drugs and medical equipment. It provides canteens and hostels for the thousands of refugees and homeless students in Asia and Europe, and even 'food scholarships.' Many universities are desperately short of book and technical equipment which W.U.S. committees in our universities will collect, or provide them with materials to make their own books and periodicals. If there are the funds available W.U.S. will provide special scholarships, education and advisory services, but the emphasis is not on individual aid, but on general projects in which the whole university or community may share. Disease and hunger is its main concern, especially in this 'Freedom from Hunger' year.

When you are approached by a collector, do not look embarrassed and mumble something about pay-day. This aid to the universities and people of Africa, Europe, South America and particularly Asia, is of vital importance to us. More than once it has been said that our future depends on the needs and ideals of the Asian people; if they are hungry, and needing land, education and technology they will soon be demanding it from us, not from a distance but at our doors.

Give, and give generously in this Campaign.