World Hunger and Poverty

April 29, 2011
By Andria Maurice BRONZE, Royal Oak, Michigan
Andria Maurice BRONZE, Royal Oak, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The images of a child’s bloated stomach or of a mother searching through garbage trying to find food for her family are ones that have long haunted our world and that should be quickly forgotten. That’s what comes to mind when you think of world hunger, right? Hunger and malnutrition affect a majority of the people in the world and many die every day from these dangerous diseases, 25,000 to be exact, but what you may not know is that three-fourths of these deaths are children under the age of five.

Young children have been proven to be the most visible victims of malnutrition. Those children who are impoverished also suffer from hunger and experience, on average, up to 160 day of illnesses each year of their life, in the words of the Food and Agriculture Association. Every six seconds, a new child has been found dead due to malnutrition. Within those minutes it takes you to eat a meal, think of how many children have died. And when you don’t like the food that you’re served for dinner, think of the children who would love to eat that meal but can’t afford it.

According to the Food and Agriculture Association, in the year 2010 alone, there were approximately 925 million people undernourished, which is 13.6 percent of the world population. However, in 2009 it reached an all-time high of 1.02 billion.

Many people believe that there isn’t enough food to support the world; however, they’re wrong. It’s not that there isn’t enough food; it’s the fact that so many families are in poverty around the world. When people become sick from malnutrition, that makes them even more ill causing them to not be able to work, which then leads to them becoming even poorer and weaker. This downward spiral almost always continues until death for them and their families. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, in spite of a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 calories per person per day, again said by the FAO.

People don’t realize the situation that these harmless families are in until they see many disturbing pictures of children and adults laying on the ground dead with expanded stomachs with protruding ribs. Because Africa and Asia are such beautiful countries, people don’t believe that there is anything wrong with their population. Many think of the homeless people in our country and picture the lives in Africa or Asia to be similar to that. But they’re not, they’re far different. Families over in those countries work long hours, mostly in agriculture, to be rewarded with a low wage, causing them to have a shortage of food. Too many Americans take everything that they have in the states for granted and won’t stop to help one single person in those deserving areas.

Take a moment to realize how lucky we are and how we don’t deal with as much poverty as those families across seas. Remember the meals you take for granted and picture the children who are lucky to have one single piece of fruit or vegetable. Hunger and poverty has been an issue for many years and it’s time for people to take a stand, because everyone is equal and has the right to life.

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