Humanity needs to step up efforts to eliminate hunger and starvation. Around 800 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy life, about one in nine people on Earth are hungry. It is tragic that despite advancements in technology and advancement in farming methods, we are unable to free human society from hunger.
The world produces enough food to feed everyone. The problem is that many people in the world do not have enough money to purchase enough food or do not have the land to grow their own food. Poverty is the principal cause of hunger.
Around 113 million people in 53 countries worldwide faced severe food insecurity in 2018, according to a report released by the Food Security Information Network. An additional 143 million people in 42 other countries are just one step away from facing acute hunger.
The world’s most severe hunger crises are largely concentrated in regions experiencing war or civil conflict. Almost 490 million undernourished people and almost 80 percent of the world’s 155 million stunted children live in countries affected by conflict.
Suffering chronic hunger has long-term implications for mental and physical development. Hunger impacts a child’s capacity to learn and reduces immunity to disease. 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where roughly 13 percent of the population is undernourished.
Each year, poor nutrition causes nearly half of all deaths of children under five, 3.1 million children. If hungry child survives to adulthood, the consequences of malnutrition do not stop with the individual. If they become a parent, starvation creates a host of associated health problems with intergenerational impacts.
Hunger, starvation and malnutrition lead to a cycle of problems. This cycle can be broken by improving food production and distribution.
Photo: “Kids” by AK Rockefeller is licensed under CC BY 2.0