Currently, around 1 billion people live in hunger around the world. That’s the same amount as the total populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union combined.
Nearly 98 percent of hunger around the world exists in developing countries, and 62.4 percent of people living in hunger live in Asia and the South Pacific.
However, the number of people living in hunger is not caused by a lack of food. The world produces enough food to feed the entire global population, but the people living in hunger have neither the land nor the money to acquire food.
Poverty is the main cause of hunger, just as hunger is a cause of poverty. When people go without food, it causes the brain to lose functionality so that they cannot contribute to their economy and allow it to grow. Providing the additional calories needed by the 13 percent of the world’s population living in hunger would require just 1 percent of the current global food supply.
There has been some development in terms of reducing hunger — the governments of Brazil and Ghana have significantly cut the number of people living in hunger by providing aid to their poor, raising their minimum wage and investing in small farms, especially those owned by women.
There are ways that global hunger can be stopped, though. One way is to prevent land grabbing. One of the negative aspects of the uncertainty of future food supply are wealthy yet small nations, like South Korea or the Gulf countries, gaining land from developing countries to use as additional farms.
Another way to prevent global hunger is to block out speculators from the global market. Since the financial crisis of 2008, money from investment funds have flooded the commodities market. The automated trading systems make it difficult for traditional traders to keep the prices of food stable and prevent spikes.
Producing less biofuel allows for sugar, maize and other food crops to be used as food, thus increasing the amount of food available to the global population and reduces the price on those items allowing for more people to access them.
However, those solutions mentioned above are short term and also hard to regulate. The most surefire way to end global hunger is to increase education. Less than 1 percent of what every nation in the world spends on developing weapons could put every child in the world in school.
An increase of education does not just help to put food in the stomach of one person, but also helps to increase the economy of the town or city the educated person is living in.
An educated person from an underdeveloped town would then have the means to open their own business and then employ others in their town who could then use their pay to invest in furthering their own education.
Education also provides children access to a stable food source and is a “strong incentive to send children to school and keep them there.” By sending children to school, it also allows families in underdeveloped countries to increase their food security in times of famine.
– Monica Newell