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Shaadaab S Bakht: UAE shows the way
June 11, 2018
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He was economically a bit of a mudlark. He came into this developed world, like millions of others, with deprivation playing his moniker. A lot of us under his circumstances would have succumbed to the sinister pressure of privation and turned into a bad guy. He didn’t. He went to a kerosene-lit village seminary and subsequently found himself the job of a muezzin. He got respect, which never was and will never be a natural corollary to creature comfort in a materialistic world. We all know that very big doors often lead to very small people and very small doors to very big people.

He used to proclaim the hour of the prayer on each day of his life, but his hour really never came. He waited for the contours of his life to change. They never did. All they did was creak. One day he joined the vast majority.

He was not alone in his battle because his country belonged to Asia, a continent that loses 22,000 children every day to malnutrition, according to a Unicef report. Unfortunately, Asian countries are home to two out of three of world’s underfed human beings and a huge number of them are children and babies. A Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) study states that hunger continues to take its largest toll in Southern Asia.

The estimate of 276 million chronically undernourished people in the last couple of years is only marginally lower than the number in 1990–92. The report adds that Eastern Asia (where China is by far the largest country) and Southeastern Asia (including Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam and others) have reduced under-nutrition substantially. The progress in these nations are indeed praiseworthy.

But it’s heartening to note that one Middle Eastern country, the United Arab Emirates, has been successfully battling in a real emulative manner all humans’ first enemy — hunger. Terrorism comes later because you got to be alive to be blown up by a bomber. It’s really painful that most of us, some of whom share my faith, refuse to understand that grains are cheaper than cartridges. Let’s help our political systems to invest in granaries, not armouries. Let’s help see humanity’s courtyard flourish with shining pieces of grains, not bullets, with coarse sacks of foodstuff and not coarse morality. Let’s help our social circuit develop a sense of plurality, not isolation. Let’s not settle our political grudges under the cover of religion. Well, the UAE’s role has been praised by Mehdi Al Idrissi, the FAO official, for promoting food security locally, regionally and globally.

He praised the country’s efforts in strengthening the role of the United Nations and international organisations in general and the FAO in particular.

Idrissi said the UAE’s effort in the field of agriculture “is an excellent example,” stressing that the UAE’s hosting of FAO office in Abu Dhabi, which also represents the GCC and Yemen, comes within the framework of strengthening its position as a regional and world hub in various fields of sustainable development.

Granted, the UAE has the means to do what it is doing, but sadly there are many such nations, which are investing more in armouries, not granaries.
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