- The Washington Times - Friday, December 18, 2009

Climate change. Economic crisis. Hunger. Poverty. Green jobs. Justice. These words and phrases are being heard around the globe this week as world leaders confer in Copenhagen. The goals of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which could wrap up Friday, include drafting precursors to a new climate-change treaty and ironing out details for aid to developing nations.

Bread for the World Institute, a persistent Christian voice, has added another phrase to the fight against hunger and poverty: “Bible study.”

In its annual report, Hunger Report 2010: A Just and Sustainable Recovery, the organization includes a Christian study guide that offers prayers and Scripture. It also recommends personal and collective reflections on how the economy has changed members’ lives and what they can do to make the recovery a just and righteous one (www.hungerreport.org/2010/guide).

World leaders must fight hunger, joblessness and climate change simultaneously in order to sustain worldwide economic recovery, the institute’s report says, and green jobs are an integral part of success.

“To blunt the surge of hunger, unemployment and the long-term effects of climate change, we need a just and sustainable economic recovery,” the Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World Institute, said when the report was released in November. “If we do not reshape our economy with jobs that allow low-income workers to feed their families and move out of poverty, our recovery will not be sustainable. Like a bubble, it will only collapse again.”

More than 1.02 billion people are hungry each day, an increase of more than 100 million in 2009, according to Bread for the World. In the United States, the number surged to 49.1 million.

“It’s deeply disturbing to think that nearly one in four children live on the brink of hunger in this country,” Mr. Beckmann. “It’s a scandal for us as the richest country in the world.”