I went out for a mind stroll on a sunny day, when I saw the children crying while their mother watched. I approached her and asked why she watched her kids crying so much without intervening. They are simply hungry, she replied with lots of sorrow that betrays the calmness in her eyes. I walked up to the children to pacify them seeing that there was a pot on the fire not quite far from them. Alas! There was nothing in the pot, just stones, this was all that was said before the last string holding me together snapped and I broke down in tears. The kids have gone for days without food, while their mother lures them to bed each day with deception. What hunger can do……
What is the true definition of hunger? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Hunger is a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient. An uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food. A weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food.
“Being hungry means more than just missing a meal, it’s a debilitating crisis that has more than 700 million people in its grip, it is a perilous cycle that passes from generation to the next” – Mercy Corps.
Every day, too many men and women across the globe struggle to feed their children. it is only shocking that in a world where we produce enough food to feed every man, woman and child every single day, 1 in 9people still go to bed on empty stomach each night. Even more 1 in 3 people suffer from malnutrition. That is enough to sadden the heart. 795 million people do not have enough of the food they need to live an active/ healthy life.
Now, 98% of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries; most of them live in Asia. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 22 Million people face hunger in arid countries like Ethiopia, Niger and Mali. 47 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean are struggling to find enough to eat. 60% of the world’s hungry people are women and girls. This shows how far hunger has stretched it’s palm, crushing the world in its hand.
There are various causes of hunger: Poverty, Conflict, Gender inequality, Seasonal changes, Natural disasters, Unstable markets. These circumstances lead to a lot of consequences:
Health effect: Malnutrition, Vulnerability to diseases and infection, Mental instability, Emotional instability, Death
Social effect: Poor educational status, Family disorders/ chaos/separation, Migration, Unemployment, Increased level of miscreants in the society
Economic Effect: Wrong frame of mind towards work, low work input, low produce for consumption and exportation, low profit/ interest, little/ no investment in wider economy, Governments are forced to spend more on food aids and care rather than education, health etc
Political effect: Leaders that take advantage of the vulnerability of their subjects are eventually elected and hunger keeps soaring.
Hunger if properly analyzed eventually affects every aspect of the economy.
Eradicating hunger and malnutrition is one of the greatest challenges of our time, not only does the consequences of not enough or the wrong food cause suffering and poor health, they also slow progress in many other areas of development.
What can be done to curb/ eliminate this “monster“?
The war against this “monster” is for everyone. Its high time we stopped waiting on the government to do everything. Little do we know that the power to change the world lies in our hands. We need to be the change we seek. Until we learn to stop being lazy and work together in unity to fight against this menace. Until we understand that the government is not responsible for our lives, this monster will keep on tormenting us till we cease to exist.