Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman’s compelling book Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty tells the story of the world’s food. It raises the question of supply and demand, which is easy to understand even if you were not an economics major. There is enough food to feed everyone in the world. There are enough people to ensure that food gets produced and distributed. Then why are there people living with nothing?
Thurow’s intent is to outrage, and to inspire. His goal is audacious, but exciting.
Roger Thurow greeted the Oportunity Board of Governor’s Conference attendees with his own story: hunger seized his soul when he looked into the eyes of a starving child in Ethopia. Thurow speaks with great passion, full of zeal. He has walked among those starving in Africa when there was a warehouse full of food just down the road. He has seen the bumper crops that farmers produce one year but then the famine they endure the next year. The story he presents is a heartbreaking one, full of contrasts.
When I hear about disparities such as this, I generally grow discouraged. Not this time.
“There are 25,000 people dying every day of hunger-related illnesses. And it doesn’t have to happen,” he emphasizes.
There are people and organizations that are making a difference in food security. Opportunity is introducing crop insurance to mitigate weather risk. Seeing the need for rural lending, Opportunity is making loans to farmers. And Opportunity is working alongside governments to start to make a difference in the area of food scarcity.
“Hunger is one of the great problems of the world that can be solved,” he says. “Opportunity has a great abundance of concrete examples and inspiring leaders, like Francis Pelekamoyo…. When I first met him, Francis was finding his life’s worth in small acts that were impacting the lives of Malawian farmers.”
Thurow spotlights Opportunity’s own Francis Pelekamoyo with great reverence in Enough. He is a man that left a high-powered career as the Head of the Central Bank of Malawi to work with Opportunity International. Francis is now Opportunity’s board chair for Opportunity’s banks in Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sought Africa, and Kenya.
Thanks, Roger Thorow, for outraging and inspiring the Opportunity International Board of Governors!