Though it is shocking, it is a naked truth that global hunger and hunger deaths are increasing rapidly in the globalized world. FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) warns that urgent, resolute and concerted action is required to save human existence on the earth.
Today, the world is hungrier. Hunger deaths are on the rapid increase. It is the statistical picture given to us by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The Director General of FAO, Dr. Jacques Diouf, says that the combination of global food crisis and economic recession has pushed the number of hungry people beyond the billion mark. Millions are dying of hunger and the number of these dying people is increasing by leaps and bounds every day.
What are the reasons for recent increase in hungry people and hunger deaths?
Ten Reasons for growing number of hungry people
1) Increase of hunger a shocking fact
Dr. Diouf has stated that the number of hungry people in the world is “unacceptably high”; it is higher than the number that existed when the heads of states and governments in 1996 and committed themselves to reducing hunger by half. It has increases even in developed countries. FAO has also stated that most of the world’s hungry people live on developing countries, where they account for about 16 % of the population in 2010. it has warned nations of the world that the fact that nearly a billion people remain hungry even after the recent food and financial crises have largely passed indicates a deeper structural problem.
2) Economic crisis
The unsteady economic condition in the world has caused increase in hungry people all over the world. The increase was caused by the economic crisis and high domestic food demand in developing countries.
3) Sharp spike in food commodity prices
Spike in prices has affected the poor people very much. Due to globalization and instability of food markets, prices of commodities have gone too high to be reached by poor people. Dr. Diouf has pointed out that the increased instability in commodity markets as reflected by ‘more volatile prices’ is required to be tackled urgently.
4) The presence of widespread hunger
As a result of globalized marketing, rich are becoming richer and poor are becoming poorer. World level statistics reiterate this fact of growing hunger. If the ‘global capitalism’ proceeds in this selfish way, it will bring more fearful consequences than doing any good to society.
5) Increase in malnutrition
Malnutrition tragedies of Somalia, in Africa, are still lingering in our memories. Global warming is set to bring back malnutrition and its tragic scenes into developing world with a great force. UN report says that twenty-five million more children will go hungry by the middle of this century due to food shortages and soaring prices for staples such as rice, wheat, maize and Soya beans. International Food Policy Research Institute for the World Bank and Asian Development Bank says that all regions of the world will be affected and South Asia and South Saharan Africa will be hit hardest by failing crop yields.
6) Inability to protect ‘vulnerable people’
Inability to protect the vulnerable people from the effects of shocks worsens the problem of hunger more. Developed countries have a bounden duty to share their prospects with less privileged countries since it has become clear that if one country is affected it will affect the whole world.
7) Declining growth of agricultural productivity
Agriculture production has undergone a new dimension when profit became the only motive of agriculture. Agriculturists all over the world calculate which would bring them more money than utility. Even food grains and major cereals have met with decline in production. The scarcity of commodity naturally increases prices causing increase in the number of hungry people.
8) Failure in agriculture and exodus to urban areas
Due to globalization, climatic changes, instability in market and government policies, agriculture has failed in developing countries like India and people have to abandon their hereditary profession of agriculture. Consequently, people shift to urban areas in search of jobs or finding ways of survival. Suicides are on the increase because of these problems.
9) Food security problems
This year the attention of the whole world has been turned to food security methods since it is as important as food production. Land tenure, equipped structures for food security, expanding safety nets and social assistance programs and international investment in agriculture may help for better food production and security.
10) Explosion of population
Last but not the least is the problem of population explosion. Ignorance and illiteracy are the results of uncontrolled population problem. It automatically leads to poverty and hunger. The advantages of advancing economy cannot reach the lowest rungs of the society if it is ignorant.
A timely warning
If this precarious situation of world becoming hungrier is not checked in time, it will affect the very existence of humanity. A society that cannot take care of its poor will not be able to save its rich also. That is history.