GOOD

To Fight Malnutrition, A Little Diplomacy Goes A Long Way

Stunting — failing to meet an average height by a certain age — was rampant in Peru. This is how they cut rates in half.

Photo by The Visionary Agency/Flickr.

THE GOOD NEWS:


Child malnutrition in Peru has hit an all-time low thanks to a combination of local and international efforts.

Identifying stunting — otherwise known as failing to meet an average height by a certain age — is just one way that researchers and health advocates are able to measure a child’s overall well-being. Treating a stunted child can be complicated because diet, disease, cultural upheaval, pollution, and emotional stress all play a role in normal and abnormal development. In the case of Peru, a country typically plagued by stunting, nonprofit and government officials worked together to better understand and ultimately solve the problem.

To give a little background on the issue, 39% of Peruvian children under age 5 suffered from stunting in 1990. Despite economic gains in the country, malnutrition remained a widespread, chronic issue. In an attempt to change that, the nonprofit CARE Peru received funding from USAID to invest in the health of 1,200 communities. Using the positive results of these investments, CARE Peru convinced President Alan Garcia to pick up where they left off. And it worked. By 2016, the percentage of stunted children 5 and younger had dropped to 18% according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Of course, at the root of the problem of stunting is a lack of both resources and awareness. Peru’s former Deputy Minister of Development and Social Assessment, Ariela Luna, sought to confront this problem head-on with a two-pronged approach: vaccinations and maternal counseling. With the support of the Ministry of Economics and Finance, Luna was able to reallocate funds toward malnutrition with low-cost, results-oriented initiatives.

After targeting districts with high rates of stunting and implementing protocols to track progress, Luna and her team started to see gradual improvement. After six months of work, just about 100% of the participating communities were performing at new standards. Since then, millions of Peruvian children have escaped the cycle of chronic malnutrition.

Articles
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet