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World Hunger - Essay Example

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Based on the study conducted by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), about 850 million people throughout the world suffered from acute hunger or undernourishment ("FoodWatch"). Due to the magnitude of the effect of this global problem, it is imperative for us to be aware about what actually causes hunger and realize the extent of its outcome…
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World Hunger
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World Hunger Based on the study conducted by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), about 850 million people throughout the world suffered from acute hunger or undernourishment ("FoodWatch"). Due to the magnitude of the effect of this global problem, it is imperative for us to be aware about what actually causes hunger and realize the extent of its outcome. Despite the rapid technological advancements that may substantially help to increase global food supply, world hunger persists and there are myriad reasons for this.
World hunger is mainly attributed to poverty ("World Hunger Facts 2006"). The destitute are apparently are apparently deprived of the resources that would enable them to address their basic needs including food. Poor people do not have ample resources such as land, tools and money that are needed for growth and consistently purchase food for regular nourishment ("Hunger Facts").
Another reason cited for world hunger is the persistence of drought particularly in the African region. According to the UN Chronicle, drought is the single most common cause of severe food shortages in African developing nations that experience the driest seasons. This condition is compounded by the prevalence of poverty and political turmoil in these countries.
As mentioned, political strife or armed conflicts are also regarded to cause world hunger. Wars disrupt agricultural production, which is the primary source of food ("Hunger Facts"). It should be noted that based on studies conducted by Food First, there is sufficient agricultural capacity on earth to feed the all people ("Wikipedia"). However, problems relative to hunger arise because of the disruption in distribution networks. For instance, should there be wars the distribution of food aid and imports is restricted, thus, hunger results. Moreover, countries with political turmoil often witness their governments engaged in war spending rather than on social programs funding that could have facilitated hunger reduction ("Hunger Facts"). These have been seen in conflicts in Ethiopia, Somalia, Iraq and Yugoslavia ("The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia").
Environmental overload leading to over-consumption is also cited as a cause of world hunger ("Hunger Facts"). Some countries such as China and India may have rapidly increasing population growth that potentially strains available food supply. This may result in food scarcity that may cause and aggravate world hunger.
Racial/ethnic and gender discrimination also lead to world hunger. This is because those discriminated may lack access to education and employment ("Hunger Facts"), factors which could have been instrumental for alleviation of poverty and therefore hunger. As they are denied access to school and work, they do not acquire sufficient knowledge and have earning capacity that are needed to address poverty and hunger.
Chronic hunger adversely affects the health of sufferers. Those who suffer from starvation do not consume sufficient nutrients become vulnerable to infections and illnesses as their bodies are not strong enough to battle sicknesses. Specifically for women, those who experience chronic hunger are more prone to illnesses and bear weak offspring. Moreover, hunger serves as a barrier to development and economic growth since children deprived of the essential nutrients are unlikely to have the mental capacity to finish school so they end up having low earning potential. This brings about the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty.
In light of the above, it is evident that world hunger is one of the major problems confronted by many people. To address this, global organizations including the UN are engaged in various initiatives that would promote the improvement in agricultural productivity especially in poor rural communities as well as the expansion of rural infrastructure and market access to enhance food distribution networks. Furthermore, collaborative efforts between such institutions and governments of various countries endeavor to strengthen capacity for knowledge generation and dissemination regarding hunger and ways to prevent this from occurring.

References
Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Columbia University Press. 2003.
"FoodWatch." UN Chronicle. 2003. 19 March 2006 "Hunger Facts." Freedom from Hunger. 19 March 2006 Wikipedia. 19 March 2006 "World Hunger Facts 2006." World Hunger. 19 March 2006 Read More
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