What Causes World Hunger is Exactly: Jaw-dropping 811 Million People Go Hungry and Let’s Ask Why

What Causes World Hunger is Exactly: Jaw-dropping 811 Million People Go Hungry and Let’s Ask Why

Food is all around us, it grows on land, some of it are walking among us, some swims in the ocean, but somehow world hunger happens. Food is everywhere, but somehow, some people on the other side of the earth couldn’t get their hands on foods, this is clearly an inequality. Perhaps they’re so poor that they can’t afford food, of perhaps the environment of where they live were incapable of food cultivation, we’re still unsure at the moment. So in this article, we would like to find out what is world hunger and why does it happen exactly.

So What Happened?

According to United Nation’s Hunger Report, the word “hunger” has an alternate meaning. It is a term used to define periods when populations are experiencing severe food insecurity. meaning that they go for entire days without eating due to lack of money, lack of access to food, or other resources. It’s a distress associated with lack of food, such as food deprivation or undernourishment, it’s happening globally, and we call it world hunger. The world should have food security, where food is available, and accessible.

Truthfully, there are more than enough food is produced to feed the global population, and yet world hunger happened as 811 million people still go hungry. World hunger is affecting 9.9% of people globally, and from 2019-2020, the number of undernourished people grew by as many as 161 million (which made worse by conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic). Hunger has been a global issue set by the UN in year 2000, and later on in 2015, the second Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) is dedicated to end world hunger.

World hunger hurts children the most as they grew up unhealthy without proper nourishment. An estimated 14 million children under the age of five suffer from severe malnutrition worldwide (and only 25% of them have access to treatment). Children experience poor health, low energy levels, and reductions in mental functioning due to hunger. In fact, undernourishment causes 45% of all children’s deaths, every year there is about 3.1 million children die from hunger-related cause (malnutrition and diarrhea).

World hunger caused malnutrition to children who need food to grew up

Photo is taken from: UNICEF Innocenti
World hunger caused malnutrition to children who need food to grew up
Photo is taken from: UNICEF Innocenti

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused disrupted economies, job markets and supply chains and inflated food prices, the impact of world hunger increases. Small farmers, herders, and fishermen produce about 70 percent of the global food supply, and yet they are especially vulnerable to food insecurity. There is more than enough food produced in the world to feed everyone on the planet, and yet 811 million people worldwide go to bed hungry each night, what exactly happened here that prevent so many people from getting their bellies full?

Why Does World Hunger Occured

There are a couple of factors that douse the oil to the fire of world hunger, like poverty, conflicts, food scarcity and even climate change. Hunger is strongly interconnected with poverty, if you are poor, you’re must unlikely able to afford food. People living in poverty frequently face struggles such as household food insecurity, inappropriate care practices, and unsafe environments that have low access to quality water, sanitation, and hygiene, in which contributes to world hunger, and rising global food prices just putting salt on the wound.

Speaking of unsafe environment, you might interested in: The Harmful Water Pollution in India: 80% of the Entire Water are Extremely Filthy

Poverty is perhaps the biggest contributor to world hunger

Photo is taken from: Richmond News
Poverty is perhaps the biggest contributor to world hunger
Photo is taken from: Richmond News

These rising prices are a result of the increase in demand for food by the continually growing population and underinvestment of agriculture. Unfortunately, this demand takes away the only food source for those in need, contributing to food shortages around the world and, therefore, rampant famine in the world. Conflict is also a key driver of severe food crises, including famine a fact officially recognized by the UN Security Council in May 2018. In 2020, conflict was the primary driver of hunger for 99.1 million people in 23 countries.

Hunger and undernutrition are much worse when existing conflicts are prolonged and institutions are weak, if conflicts are prolonged then so does world hunger. The number of conflicts is on the rise, like coup d’etat in Myanmar or Talibans taking over Afghanistan, and some were worsened by climate-related shocks. Therefore, people and organizations who were working to combat world hunger must take conflict-sensitive approaches, much more so than in the past, hunger is both a cause and effect of war and conflict.

Climate change that leads to drought can be very harmful to agriculture, worsening world hunger any further

Photo is taken from: Lowy Institute
Climate change that leads to drought can be very harmful to agriculture, worsening world hunger any further
Photo is taken from: Lowy Institute

Even climate change is contributing to world hunger, by giving an impact to food availability in many countries and thus contributed to the rise of food insecurity. Feeding everyone on earth is already a challenge to begin with, the climate change came in and damaging food and water security in significant ways, making it harder. Climate change can be a nuisance for countries that rely on agricultural sectors, in which agricultural production must increase by 70% to keep pace with population growth.

We did mentioned that there are more than enough food is produced to feed the global population, but apparently, food shortages in developing countries are common. The people most affected are smallholder farmers and their families who depend on their own supply to survive between harvests. The period leading up to a harvest is known as the “hungry season”, when food from the previous harvest runs out and families cut back on meals. The hungry season may last for months depending on the size of the previous harvest.

Sources: World Hunger: Key Facts and Statistics 2021, By Action Against Hunger

What Causes Hunger, By Bread for the World

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