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  • Jeffrey Ram

World Leaders Urged to End Hunger

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

The world leaders should do the right thing and act resolutely to end hunger. The developed nations should focus not only on international poverty and hunger but also on domestic poverty and hunger.

Written by: Jeffrey Ram, Toronto, Canada, November 3, 2020

The United Nations World Food Program was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, 2020, in recognition of the immense effort made by the world's largest humanitarian organization to combat hunger. In June, the U.N.WFP increased the number of people it helped from 97 million to 138 million due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This increase was "the biggest humanitarian response in its history."

About 815 million people go to bed hungry every day because they do not own land to produce food or have money to buy it. Today hunger prevails not only in the developing countries but also in the advanced nations. In many cities of the western world, the number of food banks operated by the churches and non-profit organizations provides ample proof of pockets of poverty and hunger. The economic difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have made the situation worse globally.

2020 Global Hunger Index Report Findings

According to the 2020 Global Hunger Index Report:

• 37 countries will fail even to reach low hunger status by 2030

• 40 countries have serious levels of hunger

• 11 countries have alarming levels of hunger

• 690 million people are undernourished (whose caloric intake is insufficient).

• 144 million children suffer from stunting (low height for their age), a sign of chronic undernutrition

• 47 million children suffer from wasting (low weight for their height), a sign of acute undernutrition.

• 5.3 million children died before their fifth birthdays in 2018, often due to undernutrition (deficiencies in any or all of the following: energy, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals).

Three Human Causes of Hunger and Their Solutions

1. Poverty is the principal cause of hunger. People do not have the land to produce food or money to buy it. Some other reasons are lack of jobs or job skills, low wages, sickness and disability, and lack of basic sanitation and proper healthcare.

Solutions: Education, skills training, workplace safety, and disability compensation laws will help end hunger. Access to water, sanitation, and proper healthcare, especially maternal and child health care, is crucial for keeping people healthy. The availability of micro-credit will enable the poor to start their small businesses.

2. Wars cause death, destruction, and hunger. There are many wars, civil wars, and border conflicts going on in the world. There are more than 40 active conflicts around the world at the moment. Some of the nations involved are Yemen, Syria, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Solutions: Hunger can be halted in some places by stopping wars and conflicts. But this is difficult because wars, civil wars, and terrorism are profitable for the business of the world's major nations. Only public opinion within their own countries can persuade these powers to work for ending the conflicts.

3. Corruption by government leaders, officials, and business tycoons rob development and government funds earmarked to help the people. Panama Papers and Paradise Papers exposed the tax havens and thousands of people involved in such economic crimes. Many western countries also allow investment of ill-gotten wealth in their countries. Every year Transparency International releases Corruption Perception Index Report and ranks countries based on how corrupt a country's public sector is perceived to be by experts and business executives.

Solutions: We should strive for a world where corruption is challenged and accountability prevails. Citizens of all nations should demand that their government leaders and officials provide good governance.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the intergovernmental group that sets the global anti-money laundering standard, should include the names of the major financial centres in its report of countries failing to do enough to crack down on financial crime.

CONCLUSION

The world leaders should do the right thing and act resolutely to end hunger. The developed nations should focus not only on international poverty and hunger but also on domestic poverty and hunger. Reducing global poverty will not only decrease global hunger, but it will also boost the number of consumers of goods and products. The consumer demand after the reduction in poverty in India, China, and many other parts of the world should convince the developed countries about the benefits of gaining new untapped markets for their businesses.

Blessing: May God Bless You, Your Family and Friends, and Make You A Blessing to Others.

(Reform Advocate/ World blog is published on the Tuesday of the first week every month)

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