The world produces enough food to feed all 7.5 billion people, yet 1 in 9 people around the world go hungry each day. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, an estimated 793 million people worldwide are undernourished at this very moment.
The coronavirus pandemic worsened hunger around the world. As the New York Times reports, quarantine, travel restrictions and social distancing measures have put a pinch on income, and disrupted agricultural production and supply routes.
The 2020 Global Report on Food Crises maintains that at least 135 million people had been facing acute food shortages before the pandemic, a number which nearly doubled in 2020.
“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Arif Husain, chief economist at the World Food Program. “It wasn’t a pretty picture to begin with, but this makes it truly unprecedented and uncharted territory.”
This global hunger crisis was prompted several factors, including unemployment and loss of income, oil and tourism industry collapses and continuing issues like climate change, violence, population dislocations and humanitarian disasters.
World Food Programme data shows an estimated 368 million children have lost the nutritious meals and snacks they normally receive in school. Meanwhile, protests and looting are breaking out in impoverished communities from Honduras to South Africa to India.
“Conflict and hunger are mutually reinforcing. We need to tackle hunger and conflict together to solve either…We must do everything we can to end this vicious cycle. Addressing hunger is a foundation for stability and peace”, writes UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Groups working under the the UN World Food Programme (WFP) have found that that the worst-affected countries were Burkina Faso, South Sudan and Yemen. Across these countries, around 133,000 people required immediate action, “to avert widespread death and a collapse of livelihoods”, the Network’s report said, while another 28 million people were “one step away from starvation.”
It’s not just a lack of food malnourished people face, but emotional and physical distress.
There is hope for solving the golbal hunger crisis in the idea of “The Right To Food.” This idea originated in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food…”
The world today does not reflect this universal right. Modern society has attempted to address hunger by simply producing more food, but this has not been effective as a long-term solution. It demands alternate approaches to production and distribution.
“The Right to Food” means that it is not enough for food prices to come down and food production to rise. An increase in food production must also benefit the world’s poor and vulnerable populations. It must be environmentally sustainable and conceptually far-reaching; The Global Humanitarian Forum estimates that 45 million people are suffering from hunger due to climate change. And it must allow communities to do for themselves what no outside force has been able to do for them: to lift its members out of poverty and create a society that is self-sufficient and strong.
We cannot allow so many to go hungry when there is enough to share. Ask the U.S. President and U.N. Secretary-General recognize “The Right to Food” and help end the Global Food Crisis forever. Click below to make a difference.Whizzco