It is indeed a multibillion-dollar question: how much time and money would it take to end the world hunger? The problems arising in context to this are many, and so are their answers. Statistics say that around 10% of the population that is approximately 700 million of the world is currently living in extreme poverty and even their basic needs like health, access to water, sanitation and education not being fulfilled because of their poverty-stricken conditions. Now let us look at how we can end the world hunger, but the bigger question is if it can also be completed no?
What is world hunger, and how many people are facing it?
World hunger is malnutrition or undernutrition caused by several reasons that affect millions of individuals across the globe. Almost 2 billion people do not have access to sufficient food and hence our undernourished. Due to the Covid -19 pandemic this year, there have been 83 to 132 million people to these 2 billion people. More than 820 million people on this planet suffer from chronic hunger. It is one of the major contributing factors to premature death.
What does hunger mean to children?
World hunger is the most dangerous and very vulnerable to kids. Around 20.5 million children are born with low birth weight every year because their mother did not get enough nutrition. This same hunger also causes stunted growth in 149 Million children across the globe. Factors like these lead to death in infancy.
Even if the child who was malnourished before manages to live, there is an excellent possibility of underdevelopment of that child physically and mentally, no matter how much that child improves its nutrition as an adult. Aren’t these numbers and facts too much to digest, but they are the sad reality of this world?
Factors behind this sad reality
There are various factors behind world hunger because there cannot be only one factor to it.
- Falling crop prices
- Disease outbreak
- Bad weather
- Rising prices for food
- Low wages or unemployment
- Lack of transportation options
No single solution can address all these factors. Hence it is a global problem, and the progress to it can be made step by step, community by community.
This makes us more curious to know which all countries are majorly suffering from hunger. So let’s take a peep at it. However, no country is hunger-free or immune to food scarcity problems according to the FAO of the United Nations for 2016 to 2018.
The countries with the highest numbers and percentage of undernourished people are –
- 59.6 % – Central African Republic
- 51.3 % – Zimbabwe
- 49.3% – Haiti
- 47.8% – North Korea
- 46.7% – Zambia
Can we put an end to world hunger?
Keeping the wide range of factors for hunger in mind estimates how much money would it require to end the world hunger, and the estimate ranges from $7, billion to $265 billion per year. However, it is also a matter of different approaches. The dollar 7 billion approach focuses on reducing malnutrition. In contrast, the dollar 265 billion approach focuses on ending hunger by first dealing with poverty.
Somehow, the reality is that none of the approaches provides a quick fix to world hunger. The leading cause behind this is the lack of infrastructure or to not be able to transport the necessary food and resources and not be able to give agricultural solutions for irrigation like reliable water source or not to be able to impart the education which is required for sustainable farming methods, nutrition and the list goes on and on.
Word hunger in itself is much more than just empty stomachs. This is why many organisations believe in following a more wholesome approach, even if it takes longer and costs more money to achieve it, at least it will be a permanent solution.
What does the World Health Organization have to say about it?
The world health organisation (WHO) considers world hunger to be the single greatest threat to global health, the reason being that it affects a vast number of aspects of a man’s life. It drops all the people affected by world hunger in this vicious cycle of it. Suppose a child’s family is living in poverty. In that case, there are more chances that the child’s whole life shall also remain poverty-stricken. The vicious circle behind this is that hunger prevents children from learning, which further prevents them from working as adults, and keeps them rooted in poverty whole of their life. This hence becomes the root cause of their hunger.
What all problems come in the way to eradicate hunger?
Do you know that the most annoying, frustrating, and mind-boggling thing about the issue of world hunger is not the lack of food? This planet gives plenty of food to eat, and there is plenty of food grown across the world every year, which can feed everyone. But then still there is a lot of hunger in this world, so what is causing it?
- Poverty- The lack of resources like means to harvest, store and preserve food, and need farmlands are the significant challenges for low populations to fight poverty hunger. The vicious circle of poverty that I had earlier described makes it all the more difficult for people to fight hunger and help themselves.
- Waste- The United Nations organization estimates that around one-third of the whole produce of the world of food is wasted every year. This amount of food is more than enough to feed the malnourished individuals.
- Climate change– It isn’t easy to grow crops in areas where weather conditions are not predictable. Many farmers in developing countries lose their crops and predicted rain patterns and temperatures. Some farmers plant their crops too early or too late, and they lose their crops because of unforeseen weather conditions like droughts and storms. A small amount of produce wasted Devar states communities that are already fighting hunger. According to reports of the United Nations from 1998 to 2017, there was an economic loss of almost $3 trillion because of disasters.
What all solutions can be offered for a situation like this?
The solution to a world hunger like this is a world where every person has the resources and equipment to produce their food. Many organizations are working on world hunger, and their main focus areas are:
- Agriculture: Various organisations are trying to help farmers by connecting them to people and resources which can further help them in getting started or increasing their yield or can help them in safeguarding the crops from weeds and pests without the use of harmful chemicals
- Sustainability: This sustainability solution is limited to farming practices and helps different communities develop the skills and strategies essential to manage their financial resources to better their health and survival.
- Government and infrastructure: Many organisations work with governments of affected regions and communities to guide them and wherever required, help them move forward in times of crucial hunger. They also help the poor in getting access to clean water and education. They help provide information about how the farmers should produce, prepare and preserve their food for having a sustained source of nutritious diet just in case the future does not go in their favour.
- Doing this is essential because, without government and their good policies and laws that they make for the farming families, it wouldn’t matter what kind of techniques are being used to save financial resources. After all, if the government would not support all this would then go down the drain.
However, it is not only the organization’s responsibility to work for eradicating world hunger. We must also do a part to eliminate it; we must look at opportunities to donate to poverty-stricken people and launch fundraising campaigns to help them. We can also contribute to organizations that focus on eradicating hunger.
They have people working on the ground in areas where they feel the need to. And cash donations give them the flexibility to deliver what they think is needed and at what place is it required whether it is as simple as buying seeds for the farmers or as big a task as building an app for awareness.
Awareness is, however, not a one day task, so we also need to contribute our part to it. We should also make people informed of the problems to reduce their food waste and help them follow sustainable practices. Even a little donation counts as it helps provide a family that is suffering some amount of relief.
What would an end to hunger look like?
It will provide even poor people to live a healthy life. When people are no more worried about how and where their next meal would come from, they will focus on better things beyond their basic needs. Like education standards, women’s status, and agricultural practices would also improve and advance as the communities and regions, would become more productive and self-sufficient. Ending world hunger would enhance the standard of living for poor people. Still, it would also facilitate countries’ peaceful relationship worldwide.