World Hunger: Causes and Facts

We all have heard about the world hunger in one way or other. The basic definition of which goes as: the want or scarcity of food in the world. And it readily brings one question in our brain: Do we really lack food to feed the world population; Answer to the above question is a clear NO. The amount of food produced in the world is enough to feed the entire population of the world, yet a large number of people on our planet sleep hungry every night and the actual figures of such people might surprise you. Out of 7.3 billion people on earth, 795 million people can’t afford enough food and are suffering from chronic undernourishment as per reports from The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. We can simplify it for you; it is one in every ninth person on earth who is suffering from hunger.

The majority of affected people live in the developing countries where this percentage is 12.9, which is alarming. This number is maximum in Asia, where two thirds of total world’s undernourished people live. The most shocking fact is that almost half (45%) of the children deaths aged under 5 years, are caused due to poor nutrition, which is a slap on the face of world development. Adding onto that, 66 million primary school going children around the world attends their classes hungry. The numbers are quite huge and the world we live in, don’t seem be that unfair. But yes, the facts tell the actual truth of the human development and how much work is needed in this area to be able to fulfill the most basic need of mankind.

There are many causes of world hunger, and some of reasons are somehow interconnected.

Poverty: Biggest reason of hunger is poverty which doesn’t allow someone to afford the food which they need to survive in the world. This is similar in every country; it can be a developing country or the developed one. The income of people is so less that they can’t afford the food for whole year.

War and Conflict: Wars makes people deprived of the basic facilities, they have to suffer a lot of things, their cities are destroyed and they have to flee from their homes. People have to look for shelter in tremendous conditions, food is destroyed and fields are also mined. The physical infrastructure is brought down and it taken a large amount of time to bring back life to normal. All these and many other reasons create a scenario where people can’t arrange food and some of them even starve. One recent example of such conflict is Syria.

Weather and Climate Change: The nature can also be cruel sometimes, as most of the natural disaster leads to the damage of property and basic infrastructure. The Floods, droughts, earth quake and storms can be really destructive and they can leave the place in unimaginable condition. The most common natural disaster causing food shortage is drought.

Food Wastage: This is one of the saddest reason, as one third of the produced food never gets consumed. The production of this food takes up a large amount of resources which again affects the environment and creates pollution which in turn is responsible for various climate changes (one of the factor of world hunger).

Population Growth: World population is increasing so rapidly that we are lacking resources which are used for production of food. This actor has affected the developing countries most, as they are struggling to match with the population growth rate. Rise in population means the demand of food also increases which results in rise of prices of food. Thus food goes far from the reach of poor.

Although we are facing this crisis for a long time now, there are various steps which are taken to improve this situation in various countries. The Aim of World Food Summit held in 1996 was to reduce the number of hungry people from 991 million to 495 million by the end of 2015. It was not achieved, however it also shows that the progress has been made by reducing the number by 200 million roughly, despite of the fact that world population has increased massively in this course of time. Ending world hunger can be achieved if rights steps are taken within time and we can finally see world as a better place to live, where everyone gets fair share of food and no one sleeps with empty stomach or nobody has to starve to death.

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