Many of us take food for granted. When hungry, all we have to do is open the refrigerator and make a sandwich. Or visit the nearest deli. Did you know more than 925 million people around the world are without food? Do you know they have not had a meal in two or three days? 65% of the world’s hungry live in India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia. According the World Food Program, there is enough food to feed the world population of 7 billion. So, if there is enough food to feed the entire world, how are people going hungry?
This, of course, has a multitude of reasons. The most outstanding are natural disasters. These are floods, storms and droughts. These natural disasters can cause dire repercussions in the world’s food supply, especially to the poor people living in third world countries. Currently, drought is the most prevalent natural disaster faced by many countries. Drought results in crop failure and the death of livestock. Many people living in the third world countries depend on these two commodities for their daily existence. Drought and the inability to grow crops and the death of livestock, result in the failure to sell vegetables and livestock, to cover their costs and pay for food. The lack of funds for the purchase of foods, for daily living, results in many farming families going hungry. Poverty resulting from lack of funds due to drought conditions can also result in hunger. People in the third world countries spend more than 50% to 80% of their income on food. Lack of funds results in poverty, inhibiting their purchase of foods which in turn results in hunger.
Hunger is extremely prevalent during times of war. Loss of lives and homes, loss of jobs and farmland due to war conditions also result in hunger. Displaced people have no money to purchase food. For example, Sudan went through a major food crisis in 2004, because of the war. Ironically, this occurred in an area of Sudan that generally sees good rainfall and an abundance of crops. Systems that deliver food supplies to displaced persons are also disabled and this means these people are unable to deliver foods to the hungry. Farming and food production comes to an almost standstill during war because of the unsafe environment. Sometimes, heavy military spending can also take away funds that are usually reserved for food, healthcare and education.
Food supply can also be interrupted due to the growth of the population. The rise of the population guarantees the rise in demand for food. This is a serious problem in many developing countries. This is compounded with the rising cost of food prices. The fast pace of the growth in population makes it extremely difficult to increase food supply accordingly. Land is being used for homes and this reduces the land available for growing crops. This, in turn, causes a food shortage. The increase in population also leads to lack of jobs that result in poverty which results in hunger. The lack of land available for farming and the lack of money to feed a family can cause major problems for farmers.
There are many more causes for world hunger. However, these are the most outstanding factors. Although it is an issue that requires considerable thought and requires an almost immediate solution, very few governments are doing anything about it. So, the next time you decide to throw away excess food, consider the people who are hungry around the world