Hunger is a serious problem that’s still haunting humanity – according to the World Food Programme statistics, about 795 million people in the world are malnourished. It affects both wealthy and developing countries, although the situation is way more serious in the latter. The regions with the highest number of hungry people include Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean as well as Southern, Eastern and Southeastern Asia. Of course, the problem can be treated, but it isn’t possible to fix it in a very short time because of the magnitude of the changes that need to be made. That’s why it’s better to carefully plan ahead.

Many impoverished regions could get better if military actions carried out on their territories would stop. Countries currently suffering famine because of conflict include Yemen, Bangladesh, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Central African Republic and Congo. If you add the amount of malnourished people from all these countries, you get 43 million of hungry people. A good example of a way people can help is Poland’s “A Gift for Aleppo” action. The citizens of Wrocław raised about 1.1 million PLN to fund the Aleppo hospital. It didn’t affect the hunger directly, but it still made a difference as the people of Aleppo could focus on gathering food instead of funding the hospital’s expenses themselves. The interesting thing is, poverty and hunger may also contribute to the conflict, so usually external help is crucial. Development of regions touched with conflict is currently more than critical. Huge efforts are required for hunger and war to not reinforce each other.

We often divide existing nations according to their development level. Of course, the problem of hunger is more prevalent in less developed countries, but it isn’t located only in those regions. The developed countries have a percentage of hungry people as well. It’s a situation worth addressing because while treating hunger in wealthier countries doesn’t directly affect hunger in poor countries, it certainly makes a difference. Less hungry people in economically developed regions means more people willing to help out. Instead of spending all their money on necessary expenses, families could donate even a small amount of money to make a difference. The population of USA is about 323.1 million people – if every one of them donated just 5 dollars, together they would donate about 1.6 billion dollars. If they continued to donate this small amount of money every year, it would mean 16 billion for a decade. The number would rise even more if they donated 5 dollars every month – that would make 19 billion yearly and 190 billion for a decade. Donating isn’t about the amount you give to the poor (although generosity is always appreciated). It’s about doing it together as a community. 

A common situation that’s very damaging to the cause of helping hungry people is food waste. According to Food and Agriculture Organization’s statistics, roughly 1.3 billion tons of food gets wasted every year. Even if just one fourth of the food currently wasted could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world. Since 2016, France is the first country in the world to forbid supermarket food waste, as it wasted 7 million tons of food annually. The effects are astonishing, as even a 15% increase of food donations coming from supermarkets means 10 million more meals being handed out to the poor each year. If every country passed a law similar to France’s, the hunger would significantly drop and it would indirectly affect the rest of the world as well.

Of course, there are other methods we could use to help minimalize the hunger problem around the world. The one that’s the easiest to accomplish is getting more people to donate to foundations that provide help to the most needy. If every family cooked one meal more and gave it to a poor person, it would certainly help decrease the overall hunger problem. Instead of literally cooking, they can fund it instead. Donating for charity is becoming increasingly more and more popular, although it always could use some advertising. The other, although harder way to help is to change the food sources to be more sustainable, ecological and ethical. While treating hunger we could also treat animal cruelty. While animal consumption is not wholly a bad thing, gaining more control over the meat production would benefit both people and the Earth. The meat sold in supermarkets is not always healthy and its production doesn’t have a positive effect on the environment. If people consumed more vegetables and for example replaced a part of their current diet with nutritional equivalents of meat, producing the consumed vegetables would be cheaper and healthier than producing the equivalent meat. The cheaper production of food would greatly benefit the hungry people. Cultivation of animals is more popular than planting vegetables these days, but if the situation stays this way humanity might lose many opportunities for fixing other problems like hunger and further damage the environment we live in.

Humanity can treat the issue of hunger with time – we’re already on the good track. We need to focus on advertisement, as getting more people on our side is crucial. With more people willing to help out, foundations will earn the funds needed to carry out other more complex plans.

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I'm a teenager from Poland. I want to study game design and change the world in my free time.

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