Did you know that the world doesn’t actually have a food shortage? Enough crops are produced every year to provide an adequate diet for every person on the planet today. The problem is that we do not have a system in place to get that food to hungry mouths. This means food gets wasted, even though people go hungry.
1 in 9 people are believed to be suffering from severe, chronic undernourishment in the world today.
Almost all of the hungry people in the world today are living in the developing nations. Only 14 million people in the developed world are chronically undernourished. 1 in 5 kids in the United States might miss a meal per week, but from a world standpoint, more kids have just one meal per day than kids who miss one meal per week.
- 67% of the world’s food shortages occur in the Asia-Pacific region.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, 25% of the total population does not have enough food to eat on a regular basis and is undernourished.
- Undernourishment from a lack of food causes 45% of the deaths in children under the age of 5 every year.
- 100 million. That’s the number of children in developing countries who are chronically underweight. That means 1 in 6 children isn’t getting enough food to eat.
- 25% of the world’s children are experiencing stunted growth because of food shortages in their area.
- Just $3.2 billion per year is needed to reach the 66 million school-aged children with the food that they need.
If the United States can spend over $600 billion per year on defensive purposes alone, then why cannot this economically prosperous nation spend 0.5% of that lone budgetary line on resolving a food shortage crisis? If Europe, the US, and other industrialized nations all worked together to solve this problem, it would cost households in those countries less than $1 per year to solve world hunger on a permanent basis. We already have the food. Instead of wasting it, let’s get it to the people who need to eat it.
Are Food Shortages Only Going to Get Worse?
- A 70% increase in food production is estimated to be necessary to feed the up to 10 billion people that are expected to be on the planet by 2050.
- At the same time, global warming and climate change issues are expected to drop crop yields by at least 25%.
- US, agricultural productivity has averaged less than 1.2% growth per year between 1990 and 2007.
- 20,000 children currently die every day because of food shortages, which is more than the wars that have occurred in the last 50 years.
- Since 2007, there have been more than 60 known food riots around the world.
- When food shortages are present, less than 0.1% of available resources goes into new food production. A majority of the resources are used just to purchase food.
If we aren’t willing to make changes, then the status quo is just going to continue. That means more people are going to be hungry every year because there are more people to feed. Programs have been implemented to help improve agricultural opportunities in developing nations, but only $22 billion over a multi-year period has been committed to the program. Imagine what would happen if we could distribute existing resources more efficiently then trying to spend more to grow less.
Are You Ready to Stop Hunger Now?
- The direct medical cost of hunger and malnutrition is estimated at $30 billion each year.
- 1 in every 15 children in developing countries dies from hunger.
- 17 million children are born undernourished already due to their mother’s lack of nutrition before and during pregnancy.
- The number of women who die during a pregnancy simply because they don’t have enough food to eat: 315,000.
- Food shortages kill more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
- 80% of the world’s children who are stunted in growth because of food shortages live in just 14 countries.
The average person needs to consume about 2,100 calories per day to have a proper weight and good health. The world produces 17% more food than it needs right now. Although we may need to produce more in the coming decades to provide for the increases in population that are expected, the time is now to fix our system of distribution. By working together, we can solve this problem to end the war on food shortages that are occurring.