Community Service Learning Project – CARE – World Hunger
COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT 9
CommunityService Learning Project – CARE – World Hunger
CommunityService Learning Project – CARE – World Hunger
Theelimination of hunger and malnutrition among populations the worldover continues to present a challenge to governments and agenciesfighting to address the issue. Hunger affects most people in thedeveloping countries and a significant proportion of those in thedeveloped countries, the US inclusive. Research indicates that globalfood production is enough to ensure everyone can access a propermeal. Despite this, one in every nine people goes to bed hungry eachday. What’s worse is the fact that one in every three persons lacksaccess to proper nutrition and suffers from malnutrition as such. Thefood crisis has a ripple effect on other aspects of life. Currently,there is a high number of hunger-related deaths among the world’spoorest nations. Currently, there is a high number of hunger-relateddeaths among the world’s poorest nations. While some are purelyfrom starvation, a significant proportion of such deaths is fromcommon illnesses that include malaria, diarrhea, measles and malariawhose impact is higher among those who have already been weakened byhunger. During my community service with CARE, I gained a greatinsight into the issue of hunger and its effects on some of theworld’s poorest nations which helped in exploring the potentialsustainable solutions for populations ravaged by hunger. This paperintends to investigate issues behind the problem of hunger, possibleexplanations and the effective methods of handling the crisis.
Thecontributing factors to world hunger include waste of food, poverty,environmental overload, lack of clout, armed conflict anddiscrimination (Zero Hunger, 2017). Concerning poverty, poor peoplelack proper access to the resources necessary for the consistentgrowth or purchase of food. Such resources include money, land and aconducive climate. Environmental overload is as a result ofover-consumption in the developed countries and a rapid increase inthe population of third world countries that puts a strain on naturalresources making it difficult for the poor to afford a decent meal.War has also been seen to disrupt agricultural activities with theconcerned governments spending more money on the conflict as opposedto relevant programs that have the benefit of improving people’saccess to proper nutrition. In some cases, hunger is a product ofdiscrimination when it comes to employment opportunities, and accessto education and credit. Such bias may be based on race, ethnicity,and gender. Powerlessness is another major factor contributing tohunger. When people are not in a position to defend their interests,they tend to face hunger. The most affected in such cases are women,children and the elderly.
TheEffects of Hunger
Theimpact of hunger on the affected populations varies across a range ofaspects. The first effect is vulnerability to common illnesses.Persons who are malnourished lack proper immunity and by extensionthe ability to fight off certain diseases (Child Nutrition, 2017).Another negative impact is a high infant-mortality rate. Women whoare malnourished tend to have a higher likelihood of contractingdiseases and having babies who are smaller resulting in increasedrisk of infant-mortality. Such high rates are also associated withhigh birthrates due to the uncertainty surrounding the survival ofinfants. Hunger also affects children`s growth and is often linked tostunted growth and a weak physic. Such children also tend to recordpoor score in intelligence scores. Children who weigh less due to theeffects of chronic hunger tend to drop out of school (Zero Hunger,2017). The effect of dropping out of school tends to affect theirfuture earnings limiting their economic achievements. During times ofnatural disasters, persons affected by hunger may also be inefficientin their coping strategy and as such bear the biggest brunt of suchevents.
Thestate of hunger in the US is worrying. For every six Americancitizens, one faces hunger. The problem cuts across all counties.The number of people relying on pantries and food banks is growing bythe day. Statistics indicate that 49 million Americans find itdifficult to afford a meal. The twist to the situation is in the factthat hunger is not an outcome of insufficient food in the country. Itis a result of the prevalence of poverty. Increasing unemployment,low household assets, and certain demographic characteristics allcontribute to an inability by many Americans to access propernutrition. The elderly are the most affected in the country. However,the situation in the country is not as dire as it is among the poorcountries especially those in Africa. There are numerous foodassistance programs. The food assistance may come in the form ofsubsidized school lunch, sponsored nutrition that helps ensure abalanced diet for every American, and influencing the price andavailability of essential food products to ensure that they arewithin the reach of Americans.
Costand Delivery versus the Necessity to Eliminate Hunger
FAO(UN`s Food and Agriculture Organization) often gives figures of thecost implications of eliminating world hunger. The costs are high.Countries ravaged by poverty are not in a position to meet such costs(Help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, 2017).However, they are the most affected as hunger tends to prevail wherepoverty levels are high. Given the scenario, FAO has beenconsistently urging rich countries to make a significant contributiontowards meeting the cost of eradicating hunger across the globe. Ithas focused on encouraging the rich nations to take up the role ofmeeting the cost of solving the problem given that the poor countriesare the most affected and yet are not in a position to deal with theproblem. However, most of the developed nations are reluctant todedicate themselves to meeting the cost claiming that they are notwell-endowed financially. FAO views such response as a euphemism foran unwillingness to commit finances to such a course and anindication of a focus on different priorities. Hunger andmalnutrition seem to be the least of their concerns. In 2009, FAOestimated that it would cost $ 44 billion every year to eradicateworld hunger. If such an amount is shared among the rich countries,it is small. However, many of them claim that the figure is highconsidering that they have other obligations to meet. Worth noting isthat the same governments spend about thirty times the same amount onammunition each year, expenditure whose benefits are not felt by amajority of the people. The Olympic Games that most countries arealways fighting to host cost more or less the same amount as it wouldto eradicate world hunger. Clearly, money is not the biggest issuewhen it comes to solving world hunger. The impediments lie in thelack of political will among the relevant stakeholders.
Thenecessity to eliminate the world hunger seems to vary acrosscountries depending on the nature of their situation. The third worldcountries show a greater commitment to eradicating the problemcompared to their developed counterparts. When one does not face thedirect severe effects of hunger, it is common for them to show lesscommitment. The countries that are most affected and wish toeliminate the problem have a hard time convincing the rich ones tocommit to helping them meet their food demands. The push to solve theproblem varies across countries and as such determining the level ofnecessity. Even though the poor find it a priority, they tend to bedisillusioned by their inability to meet and address the challenge(Alter, 2017). Those with the ability do not find the problem to beprevalent in their countries. As a result, they tend to ignore andfocus their attention on other issues that they feel are of greatestconcern to them even though they are less important.
Accordingto the dependency theory, colonialism and neocolonialism areresponsible for the creation of economic relations that are unequalbetween the poor and rich countries. Through colonialism, wealthycountries exploited the resources of their colonies to enrichthemselves further. Their actions served to widen the gap between therich and poor countries. The poor countries today tend to borrow hugeloans from the rich countries to meet their financial needs. Theaccompanying compound interest tends to prevent them from dedicatingtheir resources to development that would in turn help solve some ofthe problems bedeviling them such as hunger and poverty. With foreigntrade, poor countries tend to export their food products to thewealthy nations whose markets offer better prices instead of the samebeing used to assist solve the food crisis problem. They find suchexports necessary in helping them earn foreign exchange that is vitalin helping them acquire imports relevant in enabling productionwithin their economies. The dependency theory applies in the US inrelation to age and the working population as is the case in thedeveloping countries. Most of the people in the US who have an issueaccessing proper nutrition are those who are not in employment. Assuch, they tend to depend on those who are of working age and a partof the labor active labor force. Such dependents include children,the elderly and the unemployed. Their reliance on the few who areworking puts a strain on the resources available for food per head(Clendaniel, 2014). As such, the spread of such income makes it hardto meet the nutritional requirements of each family member. In suchcases, the person upon whom the dependents rely can meet his or herfood needs but has to share out his or her ability with the rest ofthe family members. The same applies at the national level where thegovernment through tax revenue sets in place initiatives that willensure everyone has access to proper nutrition regardless of theirfinancial capacity. Without proper systems in place to address theissues that promote self-sufficiency, there will be a persistence ofpoverty that will ensure the dependents are never in a position tomeet their food requirements.
EffectiveMethods of Addressing world Hunger
Oneof the most effect ways of solving the situation is through greaterinvestment in modern food production techniques in the countries andareas most affected by the problem. Such investment will help inproviding a sustainable solution to hunger as opposed to sendingannual aid that that only avails a temporary solution (Alter, 2017).Development of crops that are resistant to the diseases that affectharvest will boost the amount of food available to the most affectedpopulations. Genetically modified crops tend to be less affected bymany of the harmful pests found in areas associated with poorharvests that culminate into food insecurity.
Anothersolution to reduce the amount of waste in the food production incountries such as the US where there is a surplus that is not put tobest use. Such funds should be diverted to programs that will ensureoptimal outcomes in meeting food requirements (Grover, 2011). The WRI(World Resources Institute) and the UNEP (United NationsEnvironmental Program) have put the worldwide food waste estimates atUS $ 1 trillion, an equivalent of a third of the global foodproduction through ineffective production and consumption systems(Alter, 2017). The US on its part loses almost 50% of its food supplyto waste, a proportion that translates to about 20 pounds per personeach month (Clendaniel, 2014). The organic waste is touted as thesecond biggest component of the country’s landfills. Producers andconsumers can help solve the situation by streamlining theiractivities in such a way that ensures minimum losses. In addressingworld hunger, there is also a need for greater investment ininitiatives aimed at controlling population growth. A major issue hasbeen a strain on the available resources that are not able to meetthe requirements of a growing population serving to worsen the worldhunger situation further.
Clearly,world hunger is severe despite there being practical solutions thatwould not cost too much. The problem affects third world countriesthe most. The developed nations also face the problem. There is awasteful culture among consumers that has served to worsen thesituation further. Rich nations also continue to show lesscommitment in putting an end to the problem. High dependency ratiooccasioned by unemployment, poverty, old age and high birthrates hasfurther complicated the situation. There is a need for the provisionof sustainable solutions that will ensure food sufficiency in themost affected areas as opposed to the recurrent expenditure onpackaged food delivered in the form aid.
Alter,L. (Feb. 8, 2017). Do we have a population crisis or a consumptioncrisis?. TreeHugger. Retrieved 11 April 2017, fromhttp://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/do-we- have-population-crisis-or-consumption-crisis.html
ChildNutrition. (2017). CARE. Retrieved 11 April 2017, fromhttp://www.care.org/work/world- hunger/child-hunger
Clendaniel,M. (Nov. 13, 2014). People Are Starving, But There’s Enough Food.Fast Company. Retrieved 11 April 2017, fromhttps://www.fastcompany.com/1678651/people-are- starving-but-theres-enough-food
Grover,S. (Oct. 20, 2011). The Two Sides of the Food Crisis: Want &Waste (Infographic). TreeHugger. Retrieved 11 April 2017, fromhttp://www.treehugger.com/green-food/the- two-sides-of-the-food-crisis-want-waste-infographic.html
Helpeliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. (2017). Fao.org.Retrieved 11 April 2017, fromhttp://www.fao.org/about/what-we-do/so1/en/
ZeroHunger. (2017). Www1.wfp.org. Retrieved 11 April 2017, fromhttp://www1.wfp.org/zero- hunger
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