The real causes of World Hunger.
In minds of modern society, there are many stereotypes, related to hunger and undernourishment. A lot of people are deeply convinced that it is caused by overpopulation in developing countries. It is truth, that the rapid growth of population number was incredible. In 1960, there was 'only' 3 billion people on the Earth, and within next 14 years it has risen by 4 billion. At the moment, our population reached over 7 billion. However, it is not the reason of World Hunger. After analysing a history of geography and demography in particular region, you will find that the high number of inhabitants does not instantly bring the hunger. What starts it in most cases, is extreme poverty – phenomenon, which happens when a household cannot provide a fulfilment of basic needs.
The causes of poverty are:
Geographical location (lack of natural resources, no access to sea side, difficult weather conditions),
Cultural barriers (racial discrimination, women discrimination)
International trade (often economical sanctions against local dictators, have negative effect on regular people),
What has to be mentioned, is that food deficiency often leads to early death, not only from hunger, but from illnesses related to it. There are various estimates regarding the scale of this problem. Some researchers say, that every 5 seconds, a child dies from undernourishment. Others say that there are 76 human deaths every minute. Only in the Far East, 100 000 children a year, lose sight, because of hunger related illnesses.
How many hungry people can count on some help? It is shocking – just 8%. How is that even possible, in such rich and developed world? There world, where in universities, we are taught about ethics and our sublime, intellectual culture?
The persistence of hunger problem is surely a result of poor and flawed society's ruling systems. We are living in the world, where governments (often chosen by the public) are aiming mostly at fulfilling financial aspirations of specific parts of society, forgetting and dismissing fundamental, dramatic issues.
Homo Sapiens is characterised by species chauvinism – rivalry with animals for territory and survival on the Earth. Unfortunately, this chauvinism is also growing within human population, making people with different race or religion, feel left out and rejected. Some of them go through unthinkable suffering, all their life.
Shall we then be proud of our society and culture, which we have helped to build, when we are missing simple, basic empathy towards another human being? Black Africa does exist and it is dying only few hours away, by plane, from Paris or London. In addition to that, there is growing number of large, international corporations, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which are trying to spread myths about causes of World Hunger. Those include:
The Earth is not able to feed all of its inhabitants,
Overpopulation is a major reason of hunger,
Overpopulation is hitting people leaving in poverty and increases undernourishment,
Hunger is caused by lack of farmlands,
We would not have enough money to feed all people. It is too costly.
However, scientific research proves, that our planet is not only able to provide enough food, but to produce an excess of it! There is also no connection between population density and hunger within a region. Good examples are Brazil and Senegal, that are known to have very low population density. In those countries, there are huge social differences, dividing people into rich and poor. They are also regions where we see an occurrence of absolute poverty.
Sadly, the myths mentioned above, are spread within Western society, also through scientific publications. It is done in order to protect egocentric interests of individuals. The rich West often agrees to hunger and poverty, to not to allow change of international economy, by making up stereotypes that this problem is unsolvable. The fact is, that it cannot possibly be, for example a lack of farmlands, which causes hunger. In developing countries, huge farms are often left out, because of human migration (due to e.g. military conflicts). Vast lands are being used for production of luxury ingredients, like coffee, tea and tobacco. Poor food economics are aggravating the problem. To feed a single person for a year with meat, you would need 12ha of land, but to feed him with grain products, only 1ha.
Unbalanced and ridiculous food distribution around the world, is another enormous difficulty. There is enough food to feed everyone, but in rich, developed countries, the excess of it gets destroyed. This is often done due to cruel politics of food producers, for whom it works out cheaper to throw the surplus away. Otherwise, there would be too much and its prices would drop down on the global markets.
Inefficient economies can be observed globally, as well as on a local scale. For example, in 1943, in Bengal, they have experienced rapid economical growth, which increased the food production by 9%. Even so, 3 million people died from starvation. It was because the boom has brought an inflation, which resulted in increase of prices.
In our modern, rich society, people’s priority is mostly to fulfil the dream about wealthy life, surrounded by expensive, new-fashioned gadgets. We are losing a sense of being human and dismissing empathy.
We have to admit, sadly, that world elites are frequently lying to themselves and to others, about their interest in solving the hunger. We are being told about large number of conferences, discussions and meetings focused at it. Participants are known to emphasise their compassion, showing their emotional engagement. Well, apart from their empty declarations, there are no significant actions and decisions being taken. The real accomplishment (reorganisation of farmlands, building wells) are often the achievements of little charities, run by passionate individuals.
What has to be mentioned as well, is that recently, several billionaires are starting to realise the problem and they are taking substantial actions. Also, there are few large foundations that aim to develop innovative solutions for World Hunger.
On 6th of September 2000, Millennium Summit has taken place in USA. It was the biggest international meeting in history, attended by 147 presidents and prime ministers. They all have expressed a great will to fight hunger and poverty. The United Nations Millennium Declaration got ratified, outlining improvement objectives, as well as everybody’s commitment to reduce the hunger before the year 2015 by half, compared to 1990.
At the moment, it is the year 2016. Were the world’s leaders aims fulfilled? Well, it has again ended on declarations.