The world produces sufficient food to feed the whole global population of about seven billion people. Why does hunger still exists? According to the World Food Programme (WFP), there are six reasons why and how hunger exists:
Poverty trap. People who are poor to sustain their body’s regular nutritional needs cannot afford to buy their own food which makes them more vulnerable to hunger. Children who suffer from malnutrition will more likely to get affected by hunger and poverty.
Farmers who live in developing countries cannot afford to buy seeds for their planting. With this, they cannot grow the crops that would provide them daily food for their families. Other people do not have their own land, water, and education, which makes the poor trapped in poverty and consequent hunger.
Lack of investment in agriculture. There are too many developing countries that lack key agricultural infrastructure. Lack of agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation and farm-to-market roads results to lack of storage facilities, high transport costs, and unreliable water supplies. All of these results can obstruct the agricultural limits and access to food.
Regular and simple investments in improving land management, efficient use of water, and creating more resistant seed types available can cause significant improvements. According to a research conducted by UN Food and Agriculture Organization, allotment in agriculture is five times more helpful in alleviating poverty and hunger than any other sector development.
Climate and weather. Natural disasters can bring negative impact to food security. Natural disasters like flooding, drought, and tropical storms can cause negative consequences for the hungry poor in developing countries.
One of the most common causes of food shortages in the world is drought. Recurrent drought causes heavy livestock losses and crop failures in some parts of Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, in the year 2011. In 2012, there was a similar event that happened in the Sahel Region of West Africa.
What makes the natural disaster more destructive is the deforestation. Deforestation could accelerate the erosion of land which could be used for growing foods.
War and displacement. War affects millions and millions of people around the world and consistently disrupts food and farming operations. It forces millions of people to flee their homes, which leads to hunger. The conflict in Syria is a recent example of this.
Food can sometimes also be used as a weapon in war. Soldiers will starve their opponents into submission by destroying their food and livestock which affects and systematically wreck local markets. Farmers abandon their land because their fields are often mined and water wells contaminated.
Unstable markets. Poor people cannot afford to buy their food because of unstable markets prices. The poor needs enough food to consistently sustain their health and price spikes can prevent the poor from buying food which can have a negative and lasting consequences especially to small children.
Consumers often shift to cheaper and less nutritious foods when the price rises, thus, increasing the risks of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.
Food wastage. About 1.3 billion tons of food is never consumed and wasted. With all that amount of food that is never consumed is a missed opportunity to improve global food security and defeat hunger.
Take a look and observe how hunger affects the population. Remember that hunger is caused by numerous conditions which may affect almost everyone in the world.