Reducing Hunger in Third World Nations

The Challenge

“Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

Everyone should have access to food.

Even with modern technology and a greater awareness in developed countries, men, women, and children still die as a result of hunger every day. Societal awareness is not enough, though people may post online or tell friends of the problems faced in parts of the world, more needs to be done to reduce hunger in the real world.

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Reducing Hunger in Third World Nations

Proper Nutrition

“We know that a peaceful world cannot long exist, one-third rich and two-thirds hungry.” Jimmy Carter

Several major challenges are faced in ensuring proper nutrition in developing countries, those being access to food, education on nutrition, and sustainability.

The National Research Council stated that world hunger refers to hunger aggregated to the global level. Related terms include food insecurity and malnutrition. Food insecurity refers to limited or unreliable access to foods that are safe and nutritionally adequate. Malnutrition is a condition resulting from insufficient intake of biologically necessary nutrients.

One in nine people globally — a total of 815 million — go to bed hungry due to conflict, natural disasters, or extreme poverty. The World Food Program (WFP) feeds 80 million of those people in 80 countries around the world. The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency, with an annual budget of US $6.8 billion. But this is only solving 10 percent of the problem, and hunger continues as a persistent issue for families worldwide, causing malnutrition and death.

According to UNICEF there are two types of acute malnutrition. Wasting (also called marasmus) is having a very low weight for a person’s height. Nutritional edema (also called kwashiorkor) is swollen feet, face or limbs. Stunting is being too short for a person’s age. It is a slow, cumulative process and develops over a long period as a result of inadequate nutrition or repeated infections, or both. Stunted children may have normal body proportions but look younger than their actual age.

What Is Happening Now

“There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.” Sir Winston Churchill

Hundreds of organizations are working to address these issues and work toward goals of reducing hunger. Donating food solves a symptom but does not get to the root of the problem of global hunger. Food donation is sustainable and can take some of the stress away from those in developing countries. Several organizations around the world work to address the issue of hunger through donations.

Humanitarian aid is also a large force in combating hunger. NGOs help countries in need of the most aid and respond in emergency situations. These charities are extremely helpful in times of great strife, such as civil wars.

The most effective work being done for developing countries involves improving infrastructure and agricultural sustainability. Teaching local farmers sustainable techniques gives them the tools they need to keep food on the table. Global aid organizations also work to give local farmers access to markets, increasing the likelihood that they will make money and put resources into improving their crops and farms.

What Needs to be Done

“There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry.” Ed Asner

The primary problem being faced in developing countries is not access to food but ensured development through agriculture. Aid can be given as much as there is to offer, yet the problem will persist if it is not stopped at the source.

Another issue faced is how we provide aid. A large concern is that countries will begin to rely on aid from the developed world. This can be rectified and as the adage goes “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” Sustainability comes through continued agricultural and food supply development.

Aid and sponsorships can help, but most important for developing countries is the need to be self-sustaining. Organizations are already working on this issue and a focus on sustainable agriculture does the most good. More people and organizations need to travel to developing countries to teach better and more advanced methods.

A Better Future

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Mother Teresa

Hunger is not a problem that should be faced in the modern day, especially not by so many. With further advancements and different forms of aid the problems of hunger can be a thing of the past. The strife in developing countries will be eliminated as the world heads for a brighter tomorrow. Suffering and deaths caused by hunger will be done for as the world comes together for the betterment of everyone.

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