Did you know that the planet produces enough food to feed and nourish all 7.5 billion of us? But, 1 in 9 people go without food every day. It’s easy to think the solution is to send food to those in need; however, rural communities suffer immensely due to the underlying causes of hunger.
This year, we raise awareness about how providing access to healthcare, technology, and education can end world hunger.
Creation of World Hunger Day
World hunger day was created to bring awareness to the 690 million people terribly affected by chronic hunger. And to highlight the multi-layered steps we can take to permanently end world hunger.
The severity of the issue has been exacerbated by war, climate change, poverty, gender inequality, and lack of healthcare, to name a few. So, the solution can’t simply be to provide undernourished countries with food.
We can eradicate hunger and poverty through sustainable solutions, such as giving access to education, advocating for women’s and girls’ rights, and living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Solving the world hunger crisis isn’t about giving handouts. It’s about equipping the affected communities with the relevant knowledge and tools to be self-reliant. With this, they can build a sustainable lifestyle for themselves and their future generations.
To understand how everything is linked and make a permanent change, we should be conscious of how people live in the world around us.
Effects of Hunger Worldwide
The facts and statistics surrounding world hunger were worsened because of the Covid-19. Due to the pandemic, 130 million people may be forced into chronic hunger, and more people will die from starvation than the virus.
- Globally, 690 million people are chronically undernourished.
- Congo’s natural resources are enough to feed Africa, but 70% of people in the country are malnourished.
- 12.8 million children in East Africa are acutely malnourished.
- 98% of undernourished people live in low, and mid-income countries.
- 75% of the poorest people live in rural areas that rely on farming for their income.
- 328 million children live in extreme poverty.
- 60% of undernourished people globally are women and young girls.
Access Ends Hunger
Ending world hunger is a multifaceted process. Providing impoverished communities with 3 things that we sometimes take for granted can save millions of lives.
Access to education provides opportunities for people, eradicates social differences, and empowers communities.
Statistics show that educated women marry later and have healthier children later. They are more active in their communities and work to sustain women’s rights. Good quality education involves relevant training that teaches students how to address environmental, economic, and social challenges.
Access to technology enables access to online health services, education, essential information, and life-saving disaster warnings.
Providing access can significantly benefit women in low-income countries because they can expand their education beyond school classes. This will result in a large quantity of smart, healthy, independent women who can contribute to their local economy.
Access to health care is a basic human right and essential in ending world hunger. Every human deserves to have their physical and mental well-being in good condition regardless of where they live.
Other Effects and Solutions
Climate change plays a significant role in global hunger as the duration and frequency of extreme weather conditions delays the farming process. Listed below are more causes that need to be considered.
Poverty and Undernourishment
Hunger is one of the worst symptoms of poverty. Millions of people suffer from chronic hunger because they cannot buy the required supplies to grow food, don’t have access to the correct varieties of nutrients, or can’t afford to buy food for themselves.
This manifests itself in malnutrition and undernourishment - when the body is deficient or unbalanced in energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
A significant factor in malnutrition is the lack of knowledge about breastfeeding. Many mothers are unaware that there is a correlation between eating various nutrient-dense foods and transferring the essential nutrients to their babies through breastfeeding.
Residents in rural communities must be trained to develop relevant, sustainable agriculture practices. Once implemented, farms can keep production thriving locally. Communities will be able to stock and operate their own food banks - helping to beat chronic hunger and the constantly increasing food prices.
A community can’t invest in their own development when they don’t have the means to do so. With no sustainable source of income, families can’t have access to nutritious food, clean water, or health care.
Poverty is also linked to gender inequality. The education for girls in rural communities is not prioritized. They are kept out of school so that their families can allocate money elsewhere. The lack of education for girls contributes to early marriage and teenage birth rates, thus continuing gender inequality, poverty, and hunger cycle.
- $1.90 per day is how much 1 in 10 people worldwide live on.
- 303, 000 mothers and 2.5 million newborns die every year due to improper care during pregnancy and delivery.
- 19% of births around the world occur without a qualified professional.
- Discrimination plays a role in the increased maternity mortality rate, the spread of HIV/AIDS, and lack of access to basic health care.
Women account for almost 50% of the agricultural industry in impoverished countries, yet they are affected by food poverty the most. Discrimination disallows women from having access to the same resources that men do. This causes lower crop yields and food sold at lower prices.
Empowering women to generate their own income will allow them to go to school, afford healthcare and feed their families a nutritionally balanced diet.
Water and Sanitation
785 billion people around the world don’t have essential drinking water services. If nothing changes, by 2025, half of the world’s population will live in water-deprived communities.
Rural communities are disproportionately affected by inadequate water supply, so they need to be assisted in developing new water sources, giving them access to reliable, clean water.
Since freshwater supply relies on agriculture, communities need to learn effective water conservation techniques. Having clean water helps to improve sanitation, combat diseases, and save the lives of millions.
Conflict worldwide plays a prominent role in causing hunger. Social cohesion teaches that diversity is a strength and not a weakness. Working in harmony reduces violence and allows all participants to work peacefully on their journey to living a healthier lifestyle.
Indigenous People Weren’t Hungry.
Hunger is not natural; it’s a manufactured catastrophe! Pre colonization, indigenous people didn’t suffer from extreme food shortages. They were master farmers who sustainably preserved biodiversity and provided an abundance of nutritious food for the entire continent.
Today, people are suffering unnecessarily because of the broken system. The governments, multinational corporations, and other people in positions of power have implemented policies and practices that only benefit themselves to the detriment of 690 million children and adults worldwide.
People in powerful positions can end world hunger today, but they won’t. So, it’s up to us to make the change!
Simple little habits like being mindful of your water consumption or donating spare change to charities and buying your regular groceries from ethical business will contribute to ending world hunger.
How You Can Help
There are many simple ways you can directly or indirectly help to end world hunger.
Regardless of how simple or insignificant the ways to help out seem, every contribution adds up and makes a difference!