The Urgent Need To End World Hunger

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Have you ever thought what it would be like to have no food? To go to bed starving and your body sore with lack of nourishment. To sleep not knowing when your next meal might be? I am sure most of us have never needed to worry about these problems and they will likely never affect us however, it is affecting millions of innocent people, many of which are young children and babies. 821 million people around the world have not the food required to ensure they can lead and happy and healthy lifestyle. One in every nine people go to bed hungry each night, which include millions of people at risk of famine in parts of Africa like Nigeria (the most populated African country).

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People suffering from chronic hunger are plagued with recurring illnesses, developmental disabilities, and low productivity. They are often forced to use all their limited physical and financial resources just to put food on the table.

It hurts to think how many people are unfortunately affected by this tragic situation and many of which are children for whom early hunger leaves a lifelong legacy of cognitive and physical impairment. The human and economic waste is horrifying.

This world food hunger problem mainly affects women and girls as well as children. Social structures in countries which are dominated by males, limit and reduce the resources females have such as opportunities for jobs, financial services, and education, resulting in them being more vulnerable and prone to poverty and hunger. Sixty percent of the world’s hungry are women and girls. This, in turn, impacts their children. A mother who is impacted from the effects of hunger and the consequences of malnourishment has an increased risk of difficulties during childbirth or delivering an underweight baby, which can result in devastating physical and mental stunting which is irreversible right from childbirth.

Now you may be wondering. Why are people hungry? Because of you. And because of me. And our excessive use of fossil fuels through the use of cars and excessive use of electricity, we are contributing towards climate change which is destroying the planet we live in and has a massive impact on peoples’ source of food in more deprived and less economically developed areas/ countries. As a result of climate change and an increase of unpredictable rainfall, droughts have become one of the most common causes of food shortages in the world. It consistently results in crop failures, destroys entire herds of livestock, and dries up farmland in poor communities that have no other means to survive. This is because of us. Because of our mindless use of energy. Because of our carelessness.

Another massive reason why people are hungry is due to the inaccessibility of the food. Most people that live in hunger, live in countries which has food surpluses, not food shortages. The main issue is there is problems and difficulties of distributing the food to the people that need it most as they are not getting a steady supply of food, rendering them living in hunger and malnourishment,

Food is wasted. 1.3 billion tonnes of food are produced worldwide over a year. Studies have reported that one third of the food is produced worldwide is never consumed. This means a massive 433 million tonnes of food (approximately) is never consumed. The fault can also be placed on us. 6.6 million tonnes of food are wasted by the UK alone. If we fix up our act and watch how we handle this precious gift and luxury we have been given then we can help save vast amounts of food which could potentially be used to feed millions of dying people in deprived areas. I also believe we are partly responsible for these millions of deaths. We should all feel guilt towards the current situation of world food hunger, but we should take this guilt and turn this into a positive approach on how to tackle the issue and solve the problem of world food hunger.

Ending world food hunger is incredibly doable. It requires action to be taken at several different levels. At a national level it requires actions of progressive governments. We should take the example of Brazil and Ghana who have shown how to cut hunger sharply, through ways like raising the minimum wage and investing in smaller farmers and businesses (especially women), who produce food and are amongst the most poorest and deprived among an unfair farming system. If countries like Ghana and Brazil can adopt a good initiative to solve current problems, then why can’t we and the UK government do this also? Can we not pressurize our government and authorities to stringently regulate the food surpluses and ensure they have the proper and correct facilities and distribution services to ensure the food is not wasted and go to the people who so desperately need them? If we can join, then we can help save millions of innocent lives and give people an equal opportunity to strive and grow just as we have been able to.

Beyond and past supporting aid for food and investment for farmers, what can we personally in more developed and well-fed countries do, to help combat this growing issue? We can start by putting our own households in order. The richer, well-fed, and more developed countries like ours are both part of the problem and the solution. Ideas:

A cost free and personal economic beneficial way to help is by getting your own house in order. If we limit our spending and buy only foods, we need and do not overstock then this would reduce the chance of food going off and expiring and would reduce the personal waste of food from each household. This added up from millions of households would mean millions of tonnes saved in food waste and even millions of £ saved altogether from each household.

You can even help feed a child in a less abundant country for 1 week for only £1. If every person in the country just set aside £1 every week so £4 in a month and only £48 in a year which is tiny compared to the average salary of £30,000 of a person in the UK then this could make a HUGE difference and make a MASSIVE step in ending World Hunger at such a small price.

Hunger is a consequence and a cause of poverty. Damaged bodies and brains are a moral scandal and a tragic waste of economic potential. It is our responsibility to look after each other and do our best to provide for those in need. If it were a family member in need, wouldn’t you help them out? Why should a dying child at risk of losing their future and potential capabilities be any different. Or the women farmers who work tirelessly with such massive effort but due to the social and economic imbalance they receive minimal reward for the input they put in. If we are going to end World Hunger then we have to work together, pressurise governments to make urgent moves and plans to solve world hunger, and we should ourselves make sure we are doing everything we can to help. It only takes 1 person to start a movement. 

16 August 2021

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