The Current Status of the World in Hunger

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Where does starvation exist in the world today? What are some causes of hunger in the world? Citizens of developed countries donating monetarily to the ongoing relief efforts? In this article I will address these issues with the hope that by creating an understanding of the current situation of hunger in the world, people morally conscious on their part to help eradicate this unseen suffering.

It is well known that there is enough food in the world to feed every human being on earth. Unfortunately, malnutrition and hunger still affecting one in seven people in the world today. Or, from a slightly different statistical perspective, the current world population is 4,712,200,000. The number of malnourished is 797,900,000. Therefore, 17% of the world population is currently malnourished or starving. No matter how you consider the matter, the current crisis is at hand. Why is this so?

The causes of starvation are complex, but there are some commonalities that seem to be associated with this problem. First, hunger is caused by poverty. To address the problem of hunger in the world, then the problem of global poverty must be addressed. Therefore, the question we must analyze is what are the causes of poverty. A thorough discussion on the causes of global poverty is beyond the scope of this article. Entire books have been written on the subject. For our analysis, is sufficient to say that one of the main causes of poverty are governments implement policies that impede self-sufficiency.

Famine areas are also characterized by persistent problems in cultivating food for lack of seed, arable land, and tools. Those who can grow food, must deal with insects, drought, floods, and war, which can result in complete destruction of crops. Historically, parts of Africa have experienced periodic locust infestations, which can completely destroy crops.

Other causes of hunger are related to the system of globalization of food production. The global system of food production and trade in favor of a reliance on export crops, while discrimination against small-scale farmers and subsistence farming. Many third world countries export food to much but not concomitantly keeping enough food to feed its own people.

AIDS is a major cause of hunger. In societies affected by AIDS, famine is more deadly and difficult to combat. Why is this so? AIDS attacks the most productive individuals in society. Less productive people in society means fewer people to work jobs that involve food production. This is a contribution to the famine that is taking place in Africa.

Weather plays an important role in terms of the prevalence of hunger. Drought areas leads to unusable land with famine. This is well known. Less known is that floods can also lead to starvation. Crops can be flooded and destroyed so that essentially the same result of drought. In both cases, time can produce a complete lack of self-sufficiency.

Military conflicts, both internal and between neighboring countries can lead to starvation. These conflicts can lead to destruction of crops. Government money goes to fund the conflict at the expense of starving people. Funds are diverted from social and economic development. Military conflicts can also result in the displacement of large groups of people out of their lands and way of life. People can end up in refugee camps, totally dependent on relief aid.

The factors responsible for world hunger are numerous, and some factors change from year to year, therefore at any given time, some areas may be more sensitive then others. The extent of drought, floods, civil conflicts and war with neighboring countries can vary over time. Therefore, incorporating these factors affect a variable in the degree to which the inhabitants of the countries likely to suffer from hunger.

A combination of these causal factors in a particular region is a recipe for disaster. When this occurs, large scale starvation can take place. An example of this. The Horn of Africa has experienced a severe drought, coupled with internal conflicts. This is leading to the development of a tragedy. In this region, currently 11 million people are on the brink of starvation.

Historically, certain areas of the world have a high prevalence of hunger and starvation. These areas include the central South America, large areas of eastern, central and southern Africa and South Asia regions. In 2006, the current hot spots, areas experiencing the greatest degree of hunger, are:

This area of Central Africa has been struggling to cope with the devastating effects of drought and locust invasions.

In this region, extreme poverty has been exacerbated by a political crisis, floods, tropical storms and hurricanes.

Horn of Africa:
An estimated 11 million people in the Horn of Africa "are on the brink of starvation" because of the severe drought and war. Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia need food aid, water, new livestock and seeds. This is a major food crisis in development.

Poverty in Afghanistan, exacerbated by drought, has contributed greatly to their hunger problem.

The recent earthquake, with a severe winter have produced starvation conditions. Recently, landslides have hampered relief efforts.

North Korea:
Food insecurity caused by the country's economic problems are exacerbated by unpredictable and severe weather conditions. To date, the North Korean government has failed in its duty to provide for their people starve. The North Korean government has actually refused foreign aid.

A 40-year civil conflict and the illegal drug trade have caused massive displacement and poverty.

3.4 million people have been displaced as a result of an ongoing internal conflict.

They are struggling to cope with the devastating effects of a recent drought.

South Africa:
Erratic weather, lack of seeds and fertilizers, chronic poverty, and AIDS have been factors contributing to starvation.

These are the areas of the world are currently suffering the highest levels of malnutrition and hunger. With this understanding that relief efforts are needed, we must address the question of individual response. Are individuals in developed countries donating to relief efforts? Most morally conscious individuals donate to relief efforts when the problem is presented to them.

A major problem in the relief efforts is the general population in developed countries do not know about the ongoing hunger crisis. News organizations, and particularly television news, are not giving enough attention to the situation of hunger in the world. While a full discussion on the reasons for this is beyond the scope of this article, some points can be made.

Obviously, news organizations of America TV, do not believe that world hunger is a great story and that hunger is a daily occurrence. I suspect that from the perspective of these news organizations, that 24,000 people a day die of hunger is not great news enough. When 1,386 were killed by Hurricane Katrina, the news coverage was enormous. Five months after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans news organizations were still squeezing TV all I could get out of this story. Granted this was a tragedy obviously, but an even greater tragedy much larger is going on in Africa and the general public even knowing it.

I've seen little to almost no coverage given by news organizations of America TV in the devastating hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. I only learned of this crisis through RSS feeds on the Internet. The television news organizations including CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC are so far not reporting on this crisis. Hopefully this will change.

It is clear that news organizations of America TV news does not really provide full and complete, but the events screen and only offer what they feel may be of interest to your audience. News organizations should present the news and, simultaneously, maintain high standards of journalism. Maybe these news organizations need to incorporate a higher level of moral obligation in their decision making when deciding which stories to cover. In any case, people can not donate if they know the problem exists.

We have addressed some key issues in order to characterize the current state of the state of world hunger. We have examined where hunger is most prevalent in today's world, and have identified some of the causal factors that contribute to malnutrition, hunger and starvation. We have concluded that most morally conscious individuals would contribute to the elimination of hunger, if they knew of the crisis. Finally, we observed that the degree of coverage of world hunger by news organizations of television is much to be desired.

While the television news organizations have not been covering the ongoing crisis of hunger in the world by reading this article have developed an understanding of the extent to which hunger is prevalent in today's world. If you're reading this in a developed country, which is very likely since you're reading on a computer that has Internet access, have a moral obligation to donate time or money to assist in the elimination of suffering invisible. Winston Churchill once said, "we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." We must all do our part to end hunger in the world.

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