Image to the right was used in 2004. It reads “1 child dies every 5 seconds as a result of malnutrition”. By 2011, It has been 7 years since this campaign came out. However, world hunger continues. What has been accomplished?
It is said that War is such a complex event that it is beyond a human’s capacity to bring peace. Is the same true for World Hunger? Every year 15 million children die of hunger. For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years. The crisis of world hunger has been installed in the world since early times, along with conflict, it has been part of human history. Famines and post conflict food shortages have had devastating effects on world populations. Today, by 2011, world hunger continues to be a major problem of the century.
Billions of people suffer from this world hunger crisis. On the other hand, thousands of government organisations, NGOs (non-government organizations), activists, volunteers and professionals continue to work in different programs aimed at ending the World Hunger Crisis.
Information on the web is always changing. From the outside, the reality of the situation is unclear. More than 100 million children will die from illness and starvation. Those 100 million deaths could be prevented for the price of ten Stealth bombers, or what the world spends on its military in two days.
Where does the World stand at beginning of 2011 in World Hunger and Agriculture programs? The World Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says, “Global Hunger is declining but still unacceptably high.” They estimate 950 million people are currently undernourished. Of those numbers 578 million belong to Asia and the Pacific, 239 million to Sub-Saharan Africa, 53 million to Latin America and the Caribbean and the rest is divided among other countries.
But, what about population density? Do numbers like these show the day to day life on the ground and the world crisis?
Environmental scientists say that the World´s total food output is more than enough to feed everyone, so malnourishment is caused by an inability or unwillingness to distribute food more evenly. What are the biggest blocks for food distribution?
The answer: Political and international regulations, blockades and cost of transport, agriculture and livestock government programs and blocks on import and export.
But why are the main challenges acting as obstacles? Are there opportunity-plans for major investors to play an effective and positive active role in World Hunger and Agriculture?
When the general public is informed they act through organizations, government programs and NGOs. They are mobilized and make donations. Billions of dollars have been given in donations.
The established programs on World Hunger and Agriculture programs continue their work. But, can they cope with the situation?
The total world population is 6.8 billion. According to Stop the Hunger, 1 billion are undernourished. That means approximately 1 in 6 are suffering world hunger. The United Nations has estimated the cost of ending world hunger at about $195 billion a year. Twenty-two countries have pledged to donate this money by contributing 0.7% — less than 1% — of national income to international aid, but the goal has yet to be reached.
Every day thousands die due to world hunger. The Russian Federation is a United Nations [anti-hunger program] member. Russia gives financially and makes voluntary contributions to the program.
Every day thousands of dollars are spent on world hunger but it is only a fraction of what is needed. Stop the Hunger powered by Real Time Statistics said (at the time this article was being written) that more than 3 million US dollars were allocated daily in an effort to stop World Hunger. More than 21 million would be needed.
Are there new innovations in the field of progressing and solving World Hunger? If there are, why is the world’s general public not aware of them?
Global society is a world of contrasts. When strong economic sections of society are affected by a “crisis” the world community is swiftly taxed to effectively bail out the “crisis”, however, world hunger as a crisis has been neglected in the background for a very long time. How is the international community and the general public coping with that idea? Many questions remain unanswered.
A program that effectively manages, money spent versus money on return or value on return (measured in results) is the only program that will end World Hunger.
Many people are working on it. Have they found the answers?
The Mercy Corps (www.mercycorps.org), the United Nations World Food Program (www.wfp.org/hunger), the Global Network (www.globalnetwork.org), Action Against Hunger (www.actionagainsthunger.org), Charity Watch (www.charitywatch.org), Freedom from Hunger (www.freedomfromhunger.org), and thousands of other organisations and NGOs work daily with the situation.
Muslim Aid called for a global alliance of governments and NGOs to fight poverty, “radicating poverty is crucial in providing millions their basic human right to live a life without hunger, disease and lack of education.”
Transport, supply and demand is all met with strong legislation. Nearly half the world arable crop production is fed to livestock, which in turn produce smaller amounts of food. Countries are catalogued and masked behind tags of Least Developed Countries and Developing Countries. The mismanagement remains unexplained.
The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed and one-third is starving- Since you’ve started reading this article at least 200 people have died of starvation. Over 4 million will die this year.
How does politics influence world hunger and agriculture programs? How does economics influence agriculture programs? Is world hunger a crime?
One in twelve people worldwide are malnourished, including 160 million children under the age of 5. United Nations Food and Agriculture. The Indian subcontinent has nearly half the world’s hungry people. Africa and the rest of Asia together have approximately 40%, and the remaining hungry people are found in Latin America and other parts of the world. Hunger in Global Economy.
Free trade, imports and exports, laws and regulations, growing world population, migration, land conflicts, environment, unsustainable developments, energy developments chosen over food programs, surplus of food, and the list goes on and on.
Is today’s politics capable of tackling these issues to bring solutions to World Hunger by installing Agriculture programs or are private companies fundamental? What role does investment and the generated debt play in the issue?
People around the world die every hour due to malnutrition and world hunger inflicted diseases. How seriously are World Hunger and Agriculture NGOs collaborating with Health and Education programs? Why has science and technology not given solutiosn to world hunger and agriculture programs? Is a big solution the answer or are several small solutions more able to take on the task? Still we await for these answers.
Water is a major problem in the areas most affected by world hunger. Water is essential for agriculture programs to work.
“Food scarcity, global warming, and rocketing food and fuel prices have led to a dangerous global food crisis, plunging an extra 100 million people into poverty. Global food prices have risen by 75% since 2000 while wheat prices have increased by a staggering 200%. The cost of other items such as rice and soy bean has also hit record highs, while corn is at its most expensive in 12 years.” (Islamic Relief)
In the Sukabumi District, villagers now have access to clean water. Water is taken from wells dug by Islamic Relief to the water tanks near the village using bamboo pipes.
Society is changed through education. From individuals to family, from family to communities, from communities to the greater society. Schools and outreach programs are a key issue in this process. Can global awareness and education on every level of society make a difference?
Population Density, Geo-politics, and Governments
Domestic issues take up great parts of any country on a day to day business. Is there a general mistaken conception brought forward by countries that put out an image to the international community of “willing to help, open for business” when in fact they are dealing with domestic issues?
The Islamic Relief works with different campaigns. In world hunger they work in Somalia, Ethiopia, sub-Saharan Africa and other countries.
They reported on the domestic question raised above, “Most people associate hunger and poverty with the developing world, but it is a problem in the developed world as well. Recently, President Barack Obama pledged to end childhood hunger in the United States by 2015. As part of this effort, Islamic Relief USA is participating in the Food and Nutrition Service’s mission to work with community organizations and individuals to increase access to the federal food programs.”
Millions of dollars are spent every year on programs that do not work and that generate loss or debt. Experts say that if governments suffered the latest “world crisis” they are up for a real shock when these ineffective programs pile up to be paid.
Is there a vanguard movement on Agriculture and World Hunger that has considered this?
Is microfinance the way out? Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunas constantly speaks about the beneficial sides of strengthening micro economic systems.
He believes they can increase the growth process in countries like rural India. Muhammad Yunas also considers poverty and education as equal challenges for the developing economies.
The Times of India reported that India has been ranked 67, way below neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan, in a new global hunger index by the International Food Policy Research Institute.
Did world hunger, the uneven distribution of goods, and ineffective programs of energy over food, or livestock over agriculture play a part in the latest economic world crisis?
Investment, Loans, Credits, Debts and the Value of Human Life
What are the boundaries and limitations when analyzing the past? What should never be repeated? What would an honest and critical analysis reveal?
Are world wide numbers and information representatives of the world’s situation?
Does the solution to world hunger require a global participation of all levels of society or can a difference be made locally?
Many people are willing to donate or help but have lost faith in NGOs. They find NGOs to be sometimes inefficient in delivering goods or unable to cope with mechanisms of local governments. There are numerous documented examples of this occurring, from corruption in aid to misuse of donations and ineffective timing.
Examples range from Haiti’s Earthquake, to Cyclone Nargis, or the Pakistan floods of 2010, to name just a few.
Some programs, NGOs and organizations have solved these issues by implementing technology, accountability, transparency and efficiency. So, is food not a basic human right?
Prof. De Schutter teaches at universities such as the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and New York York University. He also works at United Nations. Prof. De Schutter stated that, “The right to food is not the right to be fed. It is the right to access the means to produce food or to obtain an income that enables the purchase of adequate food. Political will is needed to tackle the structural flaws in the global food system. “
(Cover Photo: FAO.org Public Domain)