The pain of hunger affects more than 805 million people worldwide, and traps them in a vicious poverty cycle

While you’re reading this, you’ll know that you will have enough food to last you the month, the week or at least just for the day. While we are here complaining about the food that we already have, more than 805 million people in the world do not have enough. Unlike the common misconception, “You should finish your food because of all the starving people in Africa”, the World Food Programme (WFP) has gathered that the Asia-Pacific region has the greatest number of hungry people.

Being hungry is beyond an empty stomach for those affected. It changes people’s lifestyles, health and even their mental capabilities. All of these things require sufficient food to work to the best of your abilities. An average person requires 2100 kilocalories per day to function, those who go hungry get significantly less. Without enough food, their bodies and minds eventually break down to death.

Hunger is not widely spoken about. But it is the number one cause for so many deaths per year compared to any other illnesses. Life-threatening weather conditions, economy, or prolonged political unrest are among many reasons as to why people go hungry. Unfortunately it is the stomachs of the poor that suffer. In the 2013 Global Hunger Index report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) together with Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, found that over 2 billion people “have to live on less than two dollars a day”. Any crisis, whether big or small, makes a huge impact in their lives and they succumb to the easiest route for survival. That could be selling their livelihood such as their livestock, or children being taken out of school for extra money.

The 2013 Global Hunger Index report has called “for greater resilience-building efforts to boost food and nutrition security”. As cliché as it may be, it is crucial to teach rather than to just feed. However, less fortunate communities to learn, they need to be fed for energy in the first place. They need to be taught how to adapt, change and make better what they already know from the shocks that they are experiencing and might experience in the future.

Awareness is key. The word must be spread and more attention must be given to this alarming issue of hunger. WFP states, “The poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty.” It is a vicious cycle and action needs to be taken. An easy step would be to use social media to get the message out. Over at WFP website, they have simple yet informative quiz and games for users to take part in, and in return WFP feeds a child, or rice grains are to be given out. Being 100% voluntarily funded, help out WFP by making donations that suit your means.

This world has enough food to feed everyone, and yet not everyone gets fed.

Benazir Parween, Correspondent (Our World)

Image Courtesy: M M (https://www.flickr.com/photos/43423301@N07/4053910786), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic | Flickr