Poverty: WTF Is It?
Imagine you are hungry but the fridge is empty, the shops are closed, imagine you are thirsty but you don’t have any water. One of the biggest problems associated with poverty is world hunger. In just the last three years, the price of the world’s nutritional backbones (rice, wheat, corn) have risen by about 84 per cent worldwide, making global food prices skyrocket to 30 year highs. Over 1/6 (about one and a half billion) of the world’s population are chronically hungry, some of which are just having the bare minimum to keep themselves from dropping dead. The world was created with the idea that it will produce enough food to sustain its inhabitants, we need to really look at how all this food is distributed to everyone.
World hunger does not stand alone as a problem. Since people who are chronically hungry simply cannot get the amount of energy they need to lead an active and productive life (which then leads to poverty) and that some people who are too hungry become so desperate that they start stealing and committing other petty crimes which then leads to increased crime rates around the world, so if you think about it, once world hunger is somehow eradicated, some of the other connected issues wouldn’t be much of a problem anymore. World hunger is surprisingly, one of the issues that whole world has brought upon itself because the primary reason that the world is starving because the vast amount of the food that the world has produced goes to the much wealthier nations of Western Europe and North America instead of going to the much more “desperate” nations of Africa and Asia.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) “The State of Food Insecurity around the World Report” (2009), over 1.02 billion people in the world are undernourished. This means that more people are hungrier now than ever, even with the introduction of various programs designed to alleviate world hunger. At this rate, we will not be able to reach the World Food Summit’s goal of cutting the number of the world’s hungry by half to no more than 420 million by 2015. This means that the countless measures we currently have in place are clearly ineffective and we need to try other and more innovative methods to effectively help reduce world hunger.
One reason that we still haven’t reduced the number of people that are chronically hungry to noticeably lower levels is that we keep on underestimating the true extent of this problem, one example of this is that at the end of the Second World War, most scientists and various experts in the field predicted that with the advances in modern technology and thinking, it would be possible, by the end of the 21st century to end global problems like world hunger and poverty. The impoverished countries of South America, Africa and Asia will have a new lease on life and will go down a road of great prosperity and overall, national harmony. Sadly, nowadays, these idealistic thoughts have been replaced by feelings of hopelessness as more than one and a half billion people are simply not having enough to eat.
As the world’s population continues to grow at an ever increasing rate, great amounts pressure is being placed on the availability of suitable farm land, water, and energy to provide an adequate supply of food for all of us. According to the World Bank and the United Nations, from 1 to 1.5 billion humans are now malnourished, indicating a combination of insufficient food, low incomes, and inadequate distribution of food. This is the largest number of hungry humans ever recorded in history. In China about 80 million are now malnourished and hungry. Based on current rates of increase, the world population is projected to double from roughly 6 billion to more than 12 billion in less than 50 years as the world population expands, the food problem will become increasingly severe, conceivably with the numbers of malnourished people exceeding 3 billion.
World hunger is one of those problems that are affecting a large number of people around the world. The world was created in mind that it will produce enough resources to sustain the vast amount of people living on it, but nowadays the unequal distribution of food is becoming increasingly widespread, this is based on the fact that 36 out 40 countries that have a large majority of malnourished people are exporting a large quantity of their annual food production to wealthier countries in Western Europe and North America. So with no evidence on the supposed inability of even poorest countries around the world to sustain themselves with locally grown food and food products, the question of “Why people are still unnecessarily starving in the midst of so plenty?” People who argue that some countries in the world simply do not and will not have sufficient resources and materials to sustain themselves are simply wrong because Asia, the largest continent on Earth has more arable (land suitable for growing crops) than other regions’ of the world, and yet, Asia has one of the biggest, if not the biggest percentage of chronically malnourished people in the world, so it again begs the question “Why are so many starving in the midst of plenty?” So if we all do our part, by pressuring our government representatives, we can all help each other end world hunger.