- Elizabeth Xu
The world is more connected and more advanced than it has ever been. Through many technological inventions and improvements, most people in first world countries are able to have comfortable lives: living under a shelter and having enough to eat. In fact, some first world countries have such an abundance of food that obesity has become a leading problem in today’s society. However, this really contrasts everything happening in developing countries where 820 million people are suffering from hunger and 800 million are suffering from chronic malnutrition. Many might just be wondering if the blame can be simply on the fact that the earth cannot produce enough food for 7.5 billion people. The truth is, however, that with all the agricultural improvements, there is enough food in the world to feed everyone. Despite this, 1 in 9 people of the world population is still undernourished, with 9 million people dying each year from hunger. It is still so bad that every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger.
If there is enough food for everyone, why isn’t it being distributed evenly? Why do 526 million people in Asia still suffer from hunger and 1 in 4 people in Africa are undernourished? There are many answers. One is that many people don’t have enough money to buy the food they need. This can be because of war and conflicts, climate change, poor transportation, unemployment and bad governmental aid. These causes are especially hard to solve because they are more complicated than most people might think. For example, many countries are very poor because of government corruption and war. The solution to such great problems will take more than just donations and humanitarian aid. We will need a global effort to fix it.
Another shocking cause of world hunger is food waste. The United Nations estimates that 2.9 trillion pounds or ⅓ of food is wasted. This alone is believed to be enough to feed all the people suffering from hunger. In fact, the UN stated that if global food waste was reduced by just 25% we would have enough food to feed all of those who are malnourished. Food is wasted on such a great scale that 165 billion dollars are lost to food waste. A solution to this problem is to promote the solution of redistribution food from places of food surplus to charitable groups. This can reduce food waste while helping those in need.
Although there is much humanitarian aid to help, aid can only be temporary. The only way to make help long term is to invest in projects that address root issues in developing societies. This includes investing in employment opportunities and agricultural developments for self-sustainability. It also includes investing in research to find solutions to different root causes of poverty and hunger. Knowing how we can improve farming even in places with poor soil or how to create employment opportunities in developing countries, for example, are areas of research that will certainly benefit those in need.
Finally, other ways that are already in use to fight world hunger worth raising awareness and help include getting everyone a fair and good education, getting women birth control education, providing poor people access to loans and helping charities that help fight for the cause of ending world hunger. Some charities you can help include Bread for the World, Mercy Corps, and Heifer International.
Everyone needs to remember that world hunger is a problem that can be solved. It only takes effort and passion from those who have enough.