THE JUSTICE PROJECT | Blog | Hungry: An Economic Injustice Leaving the World with Empty Stomachs

Hungry: An Economic Injustice Leaving the World with Empty Stomachs

One in eight people in the world go hungry every day.  That is 868 million people, more than the population of the United States, Canada and Europe combined. It’s not just poor families in Africa who starve, it’s citizens of the United States, France, China, the hunger is everywhere. We try to combat it and do our best to deliver canned foods to homeless organizations and volunteer at soup kitchens, but all of our efforts just don’t seem to make a dent sometimes.

Let’s take a step back, and look at the situation a little differently. A campaign by Oxfam called “Food for All” has put together some facts that will most likely change the way we see world hunger, and hopefully, allow us to effectively work on it. First of all, in non-developed countries poor families spend 50-90% of their income on food. That’s a whopping 35% more than people spend in developed countries. This shows why most of those families go hungry, how can they afford to spend up to 90% of their income on food? Can you imagine making $100,000 per year and spending $90,000 of that every year on food? I’d starve too. The World Bank has estimated that 44 million people fell below the poverty line in the second half of  2010 due to high food prices…and they’ve stayed there.

Just with these two facts alone, we can assume that one of the main causes of hunger in undeveloped countries is poor harvesting and inability to effectively supply their citizens with food, making their prices much higher than here in the U.S because their food is hard to come by. Wouldn’t it probably help if the United Nations spent most of its money teaching hungry families how to grow their own food so that they can eat forever, rather than dropping off a ration so they can eat for 3 days? I think it’s time that we take a realistic look on the world hunger situation, and come up with some more creative ideas. What we’re doing now is obviously not solving the problem, but I truly believe that it is a feasible goal. “The world produces more than enough food to feed everyone,” says Kate Raworth, senior policy researcher for Oxfam. “Meeting the calorie needs of every person living with hunger would take less than 3 per cent of today’s global food supply.”

What are your ideas to help solve world hunger? What changes would you propose to undeveloped countries to help them feed their people without having to spend too much? 

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