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Ending World Hunger: Understanding Causes and Effects

World Hunger's Causes and Effects
The causes of world hunger are directly related to those of poverty. Close to 795 million, or one in nine, people living in the world today do not have enough food. Ending world hunger requires an understanding of the causes and effects.

  1. War causes communities which are dealing with crumbling infrastructure, violence and fleeing refugees to be largely unable to maintain stable food systems. Declining income levels during times of war significantly impacts the supply of food and food security.
  2. Agricultural practices such as deforestation, over-grazing and over cropping combined with drought and the effects of soil erosion can often destroy farm and grazing land.
  3. Climate change is a huge factor in causing world hunger as it has been increasing the number of droughts, floods and tropical storms. These often unexpected, rapid natural disasters destroy the small plots of land that farmers count on for their food and livelihood.
  4. As the global population continues to increase, especially in developing countries, the demand for food will invariably continue to rise as well. As food prices rise, it is becoming harder and harder for developing countries to match production rates with the population growth rates.

Poverty and hunger more often than not go hand in hand. Poor people just do not have the resources such as tools, money, land and even physical energy  to combat hunger.

World hunger itself causes roughly 146 million children to be underweight while one in three children in a developing country have their growth stunted. Approximately 66 million primary school age children go hungry every day and between 2 to 3.5 billion people have micronutrient deficiencies. Over nine million people die worldwide from hunger and malnutrition. Five million of those people are children.

In the world right now there is enough food to feed every human being on the planet. Yet according to globalissues.org, concernusa.org and many other organizations and sources, a shocking amount of food is wasted in first-world countries and even in third-world countries.

Drusilla Gibbs

Sources: Concern USA, Freedom from Hunger, WFP, Global Issues
Photo: Flickr