World Hunger: A Vicious Cycle
Hunger is the feeling one experience with a lack of food, the
“persistent gnawing condition resulting from a lack of adequate food intake,
which prevents one form working of thinking correctly.”
Starvation is the most severe case of the condition of hunger.
Starvation and hunger, if not combated, lead certainly to malnutrition.
Malnutrition is the condition resulting from a lack of life sustaining
vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Up to one billion people worldwide consume less than the
minimum critical daily caloric intake needed to avoid hunger.
Hunger is most severe in the poorest parts of the world.
Africa, India, Pakistan and Indonesia have the largest percentage of
hungry people of all the countries in the world.
In Africa in particular, hunger and disease are a vicious
cycle. Hunger, along with many
other effects causes the immune system to weaken, making the body more
susceptible to other diseases. These
diseases, including AIDS,
kill the older generation of people, the ‘bread winners’ and those who work
in the fields to grow the food. When
those people die, only the younger generations of children are left to fend for
themselves and because they lack the care of a parent or adult, they are unable
to sustain themselves with sufficient food intake. Also, because the infant mortality rate in third world
countries is so high, families have large numbers of children to increase the
chance that some will survive. By
doing this, however, there are more mouths to feed and subsequently more hungry
people in the world. Furthermore,
malnutrition slows the intellectual development of children and young adults,
and therefore, the problems of hunger and disease in third world countries
cannot be solved internally but need outside influence and aid.
The UN and other world hunger organizations offer significant economic
and medical aid to these countries to help stamp out hunger.
Hunger is not a problem because the world food production is
not enough to feed all of the people in the world; it is a problem because the
food is not distributed equally among all of the countries and people in the
world. Third world countries that
have a great percentage of the population starving do not have the resources to
obtain or grow food. These
countries also have a lower standard of living than second of first world
countries, as well as a non-existent economic infrastructure, or it one does
exist, it is unstable. These
factors also have an impact on a country’s technological capabilities. See
hunger map for world starvation figures and estimates.
If all the food in the world were divided equally among all
the people in the world, each person would get three times the minimum amount
needed to survive. If there was a
feasible way to accomplish this enormous task, the solution to world hunger
would be found. Until then,
charities and donations must aid the organizational fight against world hunger.
– a witness reporter’s account of their stay in Zimbabwe, where the need
for food aid is very great
Key People, Events, Places
Starvation.net, to-the-minute information on the starvation crisis in many third
world countries worldwide, including to-the-second statistics
– National Association for the Prevention of Starvation home site containing
information of how to aid in the cause to eliminate starvation
Action against Hunger site for efforts to save millions of people a year from
– a site for statistics about world hunger; also, donate here towards the
starve out hunger cause
– site that investigates the question, “What can one person do about hunger?
– World Food Programme site