Ending world hunger is one of the greatest challenges of our times. Let us look into the statistics for global food security and how we can contribute to eradicating world hunger. Up to 828 million people do not have enough food and 50 million people are facing emergency levels of hunger. After gradually declining for a decade, world hunger is now on the rise. According to the Global Hunger Index 2020, 5.3 million children died from hunger before their fifth birthdays in 2018. Hunger is a killer and the threat it poses to the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people is clear to see. That is more than enough reason to solve world hunger. Yet it is not the only one.
Inequalities and unsustainable practices are also deeply entrenched in the current food distribution system. There’s enough food to feed everybody but problems with food distribution worsened by climate change and the pandemic have led to rising food scarcity. The consequence of diets poor in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are affecting the health and life prospects of millions more, and casting a shadow over the future of communities and entire countries.
Major factors that add to World Hunger
Here are some of the primary causes of hunger in the world’s poorest countries.
Unequal distribution of food
Nearly 30% of all food produced in the world is thrown away. That’s 1.3 billion tons every year. We have enough food to feed all of the people on this planet but most of it goes to waste due to not having a proper distribution system for the excess food.
Based on the information collected by the World Bank, around 690 million people are living in extremely poor conditions and lack access to basic human needs. Due to rising inflation and the falling world economy, they cannot afford to buy food for themselves. This leads to extreme hunger and resulting poorer quality of life.
A massive proportion of the underprivileged population lives in rural areas where their survival is dependent on being able to grow enough food to feed themselves. These are the people who are most vulnerable to climate change. It is causing natural disasters like drought and flooding to occur far more frequently. When these disasters strike, the entire crop gets destroyed leaving communities with nothing to eat and with no seeds to plant for the next year.
Conflict & war
Political conflict has displaced people from their homes and often from their countries, affecting their access to work. Due to the conflicts that take place in multiple regions around the world, many people are forced to migrate. Refugees and internally displaced persons represent the most disadvantaged groups who face food insecurity. Refugees comprise a huge portion of the underprivileged population as people who have left their homes in hope of a better life. These refugees often live in poor conditions when they reach foreign lands in search of peace. Even for those who are able to remain at home, discord disrupts their livelihoods and businesses. People are unable to leave their homes to earn money or to collect food for their families.
Women make up approximately half of the agricultural workforce in many countries, yet they lack equal access to the same tools and resources that men have. Such sources include adequate wages for their labor and other benefits that male workers get. Women in poor communities are often discriminated against in comparison to male members of the house and are expected to bear children despite their nutritional deficiencies.
What needs to be done to eradicate world hunger?
There is no single, easy solution to eradicate world hunger, but that does not mean it cannot be solved. There is a wide array of strategies available to us, both on an institutional level and an individual level, which can help end hunger for good.
- It is important to stop all political conflicts that cause people to flee their countries and be forced to live in poor conditions; such actions should be taken at the government and policy levels. This is exceedingly difficult and will not happen overnight. However, numerous socioeconomic concerns, such as wars, offer a major barrier to ending world hunger.
- Reducing food waste would be a huge step forward; every person can contribute to this solution of the problem by simply lowering their personal food waste. Even if just 25% of all wasted food around the globe could be saved, it would be possible to feed 870 million people suffering from hunger.
- An improved educational system is a universal solution to eradicate poverty. With regard to global hunger, education is able to offer a greater chance of accessing both income and food.
- If a household lacks proper sanitation and hygiene, its members become exposed to various waterborne infections leading to diarrhea and other health complications. This prevents people from getting adequate nutrition from their diet. Children are especially prone to malnutrition from lack of hygiene.
- Assisting disadvantaged communities with technology and methods of lowering and mitigating disaster risks can limit possible losses in the aftermath of man-made or natural disasters. Designing systems to protect property and cattle could prove to be relatively effective measures. To avoid starvation, it is also critical to ensure crop.
- When communities have a successful harvest, they need to have access to a safe storage system to ensure their food supply lasts. This can be done on an individual level as well as the institutional level by governments.
- Freezing fresh produce and leftovers if you don’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad is an individual option. You can also do this with take-away or delivered food, if you know you will not feel like eating it the next day. You will save food and money.
- Even when families have enough food to eat, if they don’t have access to water, sanitation and hygiene, they become susceptible to diarrhea and other waterborne diseases that could prevent them from absorbing the necessary nutrients from their food. Children are particularly vulnerable to becoming malnourished in this way. A huge focus of our health program is ensuring that people have access to clean, safe water and adequate hygiene and sanitation services.
- Incorporate more sustainable foods into your diet. These are foods that have a lower impact on our planet and promote increased biodiversity. The great news is, they’re also good for our bodies. Produce from the earth is at the top of the list among such foods. Moreover, sustainable farming practices for poultry and dairy products can additionally help reduce the carbon footprint.
You can contribute to the issue at hand by contributing to one or all of our range of ongoing projects to eradicate hunger from underprivileged communities. Donate and use your voice to spread the message through our communities and social networks.