The Complexity of How Hunger Is Reduced


SEATTLE — The issue of how hunger is reduced seems almost impenetrable. If it could be solved, why are people still starving, especially now with global advancements in technology and coordinated efforts between nations?

Though nations work hard to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in fighting global hunger, they still face impediments in ending it altogether. Determining the best methods of how hunger is reduced must take into account conditions that can be difficult to control.

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published an article in 2015 commending global hunger reductions in relation to MDGs. However, recommendations and observations throughout indicated some of the most pressing problems for nations attempting to lower the prevalence of hunger.

In the FAO report State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015, it was found that “protracted situations” grew more common in the course of about three decades. Phenomena such as “natural disasters and conflicts, with climate change, financial and price crises” were cited as ingredients for this trend.

The MDG Monitor listed a number of factors that impede global work to bring down the rate of hunger and poverty in general, like recession, drastic weather circumstances, issues in the political and civil sectors, greater costs for food and energy and unemployment.

There are a number of methods different organizations and associations recommend when attempting to address worldwide hunger and malnutrition. Sometimes the goals vary, while in other contexts they overlap.

Recognizing the scope and methods with which they attempt to reduce global hunger often depends on their reach and audience. The World Hunger Education Service’s goals appear to focus on rates of hunger and other issues both within and outside of the United States.

This second component includes donations and on-the-ground service, in addition to focusing on public policy initiatives. Three takeaways from the FAO article, on the other hand, looked at a more collaborative and large-scale effort between nations, listing the following as important in the fight against hunger:

  • Greater efficiency in the agriculture sector
  • Comprehensive development of the economy, which must involve more members in society
  • An “expansion of social protection”, such as food vouchers, cash transfers and health insurance

The FAO also highlighted political stability and will as significant in attaining effective hunger decreases. Though one approach may not necessarily be better than the other, advocating for policies that improve living standards worldwide can be vital. Showcasing favorability for legislation like the International Affairs Budget allows individuals to encourage their congressional leaders in the fight against hunger.

Understanding how hunger is reduced can be overwhelming and intimidating. But collaborative work involving citizens and international governments can be an important way to start.

Maleeha Syed
Photo: Flickr


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