Hunger is a major issue facing the world today. According to the United Nations’ definition, it is “the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite”. Hunger affects people of all ages and backgrounds, but particularly those living in poverty. It is estimated that over 820 million people around the world are chronically hungry, meaning they do not have access to enough food to lead a healthy and active life. The scale of this problem is immense and understanding its causes is essential in order to take meaningful steps to address it.
Interviews with People Suffering from Hunger
To gain an insight into the reality of hunger, interviews were conducted with several people who are struggling with food insecurity. All of them spoke of their daily struggle to find enough food to eat and the challenges of living in poverty. One interviewee described how he often goes to bed hungry, as there is not enough money to buy food. Another said her family has to choose between buying medication and buying food, and sometimes has to go without either. These stories demonstrate the human cost of hunger and how it can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.
Statistics on Global Food Insecurity
According to the World Food Programme, 821 million people around the world were suffering from chronic hunger in 2018. This number has been increasing since 2015 and is projected to continue to rise. The vast majority of those affected live in developing countries, particularly in Africa and South Asia. Over half of all hungry people live in just seven countries: India, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria.
The Effects of Poverty on Access to Food
Poverty is one of the main drivers of hunger. Those living in poverty often lack the resources to purchase food, and may also be unable to afford transportation costs to access markets. Poor nutrition can also lead to health problems, making it more difficult for people to work and earn money. This creates a vicious cycle where poverty leads to hunger which, in turn, leads to further poverty.
Politics and Economics in Food Security
Government policies and international trade agreements can also have a significant impact on food security. For example, some countries impose tariffs on imported food, making it more expensive for those in need. Others subsidize certain foods, making them cheaper and more accessible. Trade agreements can also affect the availability of food, as some countries may impose restrictions on imports or exports.
Food Waste and its Effect on Hunger Levels
A significant amount of food is wasted across the world every year. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, around one-third of all food produced is never consumed. This amount of food could easily feed the 821 million people who are currently suffering from hunger. Reducing food waste would help to alleviate the problem, although it is only part of the solution.
Climate Change and Its Impact on Hunger Levels
Climate change is having a major impact on food production and crop yields. Rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns are making it harder for farmers to grow crops, leading to food shortages in some areas. In addition, extreme weather events such as floods and droughts can cause significant damage to crops, making it even harder for people to access food.
Hunger is a major global issue that affects millions of people around the world. The causes of hunger are complex and involve a range of factors including poverty, government policies, food waste, and climate change. To tackle this problem, we must address each of these issues and strive to create a more equitable and sustainable food system. Only then will we be able to reduce the number of people who are suffering from hunger and ensure that everyone has access to enough food to lead a healthy and active life.