Over the past few decades, world hunger had been on the decline… that is, until 2015, when it began to increase. Today, nearly 9 percent of the global population goes hungry. And, in the coming years, global hunger is expected to keep increasing.
There are many reasons that people go hungry, including physical and economic barriers that limit access to food. The recent upturn in world hunger is mainly attributed to the following:
Hunger is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. Its targets include ending hunger, “[achieving] food security,” and encouraging sustainable agriculture… all by 2030. This SDG implies that hungermeans more than not having enough food to eat. It means undernourishment: when someone can’t acquire enough food to produce the amount of energy they need each day. Hunger can also imply malnutrition, when someone’s diet doesn’t provide the right mix of nutrients to maintain their highest level of health. Food insecurity is also a part of this issue.
Hunger is an uncomfortable feeling that many of us may have felt. Yet, severe hunger has many other consequences including:
Negative effects on kids’ growth/cognitive development
Decreases in productivity
Proneness to disease
Inability to earn more money and improve livelihoods
On the flip side, achieving Zero Hunger has a lot of benefits: it improves our economies and enhances education, equality, and social development. With all of this in mind, let’s take action to make a difference.
Nearly 1/10 people around the world are affected by hunger
Global hunger is on the rise, with shocks like COVID-19 intensifying the issue
Hunger has many consequences, especially for children and the most vulnerable
Here’s how you can help:
Make changes in your own life. Support local farmers markets. Fight food waste. Look into where your food is coming from, and the process it takes to make it. You can start fighting food waste by downloading the app Too Good To Go.
Donate to the World Food Programme: the food-focussed branch of the United Nations, and the world’s biggest humanitarian organization working on food security.
Volunteer. Find your local food bank with the Help of Feeding America. Help out by sorting, packing, assisting, delivering meals, and even volunteering from home.