Why Is World Hunger A Problem?

We’ve landed on the moon, connected the world through a web of information, and held the sum of human knowledge in our pockets. 

Despite these innovations, a persistent question echoes: Why is world hunger still a problem?

In a world overflowing with potential solutions, millions struggle with empty plates.

Hunger is not merely a feeling when you skip a meal, rather it is a lasting phenomenon during which populations can no longer access sufficient food, in terms of both quality and quantity.

According to a United Nations report, 783 million people worldwide suffer from hunger in 2022.

This means that about one in 10 of the over seven billion people on Earth suffer from hunger regularly.

World hunger is a problem because the lack of food and nutrients will have a direct impact on individuals’ health, and if the situation continues, they may suffer from malnutrition, sometimes known as undernutrition.

Here is a more detailed discussion of why world hunger is a problem.

Devastating Effects Of World Hunger

The issue of world hunger is a matter of great concern due to its severe effects on both health and the economy. Every problem has its consequences and this one is no exception.

1.    Effect Of Hunger On Child Development

Children, especially those under the age of 5, have a weaker immune system compared to adults and are therefore at a higher risk of illnesses.

Sadly, an estimated 45 million children under the age of 5 are suffering from severe malnutrition, which can be fatal.

According to the Global Health Index 2023, the following problems are prevalent among children:

  • One in every 6 children is affected by stunting, which means they have a low height for their age due to chronic undernutrition.
  • One in every 6 children is affected by wasting, which means they have a low weight for their height due to acute undernutrition.
  • One in every 3 children dies before their fifth birthday, partly due to inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments.

With these alarming statistics, it can be easily understood why world hunger is a problem!

2.    Effect Of Hunger On Child School Performance

Have you ever had the experience of going to school or work without having breakfast in the morning?

It can feel quite awful, can’t it? Not only does it leave you feeling low on energy, but it can also make it difficult to concentrate and learn effectively.

Unfortunately, this is a reality for many people around the world who struggle with hunger on a daily basis.

The constant feeling of hunger can have a devastating impact on their cognitive abilities, making it difficult for them to learn and perform at their best.

They may also miss out on school due to chronic health issues that arise from their bodies not developing properly during the critical early years.

3.    Effect Of Hunger On Physical Health

Hunger is still a problem for one’s physical health. Prolonged periods of starvation can lead to malnutrition, a condition caused by insufficient nutrients in one’s diet.

Malnutrition can cause severe physical changes, including significant weight loss, weakness, fatigue, and an increased risk of developing infections and illnesses.

Hunger significantly and directly affects the body’s ability to fight disease.

As a result, a weakened immune system makes a person more prone to infectious diseases such as pneumonia, influenza, etc.

Poor nutrition can also lead to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals, making it more difficult for the body to combat infection.

4.    Effect Of Hunger On Mental Health

Long-term effects of hunger are more serious, as malnutrition can lead to significant mental health issues, including increased depression and anxiety symptoms.

When an individual is not receiving enough food, they may become overwhelmed with fatigue, hopelessness, and worthlessness.

These feelings often lead to symptoms of depression, such as low morale, social withdrawal, lack of interest in activities, difficulty concentrating, and lack of good health.

So, in the context of all these issues, one can easily relate to why world hunger is a problem.

5.    Effects Of Hunger On Society

Hunger’s effects go beyond individuals and families. Communities and even entire countries can suffer more during a hunger crisis.

Escalate Violence And Conflict

When people are hungry, they become more desperate and may resort to violence to get the food they need.

This can lead to conflicts and disputes between individuals or even entire communities.

In areas where food is scarce or inaccessible, hunger can exacerbate existing tensions and increase the likelihood of violence.

Threaten Local Infrastructure and Public Health

When a region or country experiences severe hunger, the resources required to deal with the emergency usually exceed the capacity of that country’s infrastructure.

This is particularly true for health systems, which are often inundated with nutrition-related cases, as well as other illnesses.

World hunger is a problem because it affects social and economic development.

It can decrease productivity, lower educational attainment, and increase healthcare costs. Additionally, hunger can perpetuate poverty and inequality, creating a cycle of deprivation.

Final Thoughts

It is truly heart-wrenching to learn that millions of individuals are facing the deadliest form of malnutrition, preventing them from growing up healthy and strong.

As a compassionate and responsible society, we must come together to support these vulnerable children and their families.

We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to their suffering and must take urgent action to address this pressing issue.

Let us all pledge to do our part and contribute to efforts that help ensure that everyone who is a victim of hunger has access to the basic necessities of life, including nutritious food, clean water, and good healthcare.

Our Aim Foundation is a nonprofit organization that connects donors with grassroots projects around the world. Donate to the eradication of hunger and see your impact with regular updates. No contribution is too small. Your every penny counts! Donate here.