One in nine people across the world do not have enough to eat. This is a devastating statistic, especially when you consider that most hunger is preventable. Poverty is the main cause of hunger, as people struggling to make ends meet cannot afford nutritious food. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation, natural disasters, and conflict also contribute to global hunger.
The impacts of hunger are far-reaching. Malnourished children are more likely to get sick and miss school. Adults who are hungry are less productive at work. Hunger takes an immense toll on physical and mental health. It is a leading cause of death worldwide.
What are the Main Reasons for Hunger in the World?
1. CONFLICT INCREASE HUNGER
There are many drivers of hunger globally, but conflict is by far the biggest. In fact, conflict is the main driver of hunger in more than half of the world’s hunger crises. When conflict erupts, food production and distribution systems are disrupted, people are displaced, and livelihoods are destroyed. All of these factors lead to increased food insecurity and hunger.
What’s more, conflict often leads to a breakdown in social cohesion and an increase in violence. This further exacerbates the problem of hunger, as people become even less able to access food and other resources. The good news is that there has been progress in recent years in reducing the number of people who are hungry. However, conflict continues to be a major obstacle to achieving Zero Hunger.
2. THE IMPACT OF THE WAR IN UKRAINE
Food insecurity was on the rise all around the world even before the conflict in Ukraine. According to UN agencies, the world’s hunger hotspots are now seeing escalating gasoline, fertilizer, and wheat prices as a result of shortages and sanctions brought on by the conflict in Ukraine. This might result in widespread famine.
Together, Russia and Ukraine, known as the “breadbasket of Europe,” export 29% of the world’s wheat. Ukrainian exports of wheat, corn, rapeseed (used to manufacture canola oil), sunflower seeds, and sunflower oil were among the top three in the world in 2021. 323 million people may experience severe hunger by 2022 as a result of increased strain on the food system. 36 of the 55 nations experiencing food emergencies relied on Ukrainian imports.
3. DROUGHT AND EXTREME WEATHER
Global hunger is rising as a result of extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts that reduce crops and drive up food costs. Many of the world’s most impoverished nations depend heavily on agriculture and eat seasonally according to their yield. As a result, there is frequently no food when there is no harvest. After several failed rainy seasons, a terrible drought has gripped the Horn of Africa.
4. THE EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC
Prior to the epidemic, fewer individuals were living in severe poverty, defined as making less than $1.90 per day. However, the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, together with the results of armed conflict and harsh weather patterns all across the world, upset that tendency. The World Bank predicts that, compared to early pre-pandemic forecasts, an extra 75 to 95 million people may be living in severe poverty in 2022, however the entire impact is still unknown.
By 2030, the world’s hunger should be eradicated, according to the United Nations’ “zero hunger” Sustainable Development Goal. This objective is made more challenging to attain by the escalation of global disparities brought on by conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic, and adverse weather conditions.
We at Food for life Global are dedicated to pursuing our mission of eradicating hunger, and we are thankful for the progress that has been accomplished while modifying and altering our programs to reflect the realities of the time.
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