How Effective Are International Efforts to Ease the Problem of Global Hunger?

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In many developing countries, destitutes barely have enough to eat everyday. These people die from starvation and malnourishment, having barely enough to feed themselves, and survival is a struggle. In fact, starvation is a significant international problem. Approximately 815 million people are undernourished, and over 16,000 children die per day from hunger-related causes. Fortunately, many developed economies have contributed significantly to international food aid to help alleviate this problem. However, many critics cast aspersions on this notion and highlight many serious problems and limitations that arises from international aid, claiming that the aid is hardly effective at all.

Firstly, many people claim that developed nations have the wealth, resources and manpower to provide food aid to such nations. In fact, USA has commited $3.5billion over 3 years for food aid to developing nations in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. This means that food aid can be given to the poor in large quantities effectively, due to an increase in agricultural producivity and incomes, as well as a decrease in childhood malnutrition. This means more people at the lower-end of the economic spectrum would have access to basic food and have higher income to purchase basic food for themselves.

However, a closer look reviews the problems that comes with food aid. Food aid drives down the prices of domestic food and encourages the consumption of wheat and dairy, which are cheap imports from developed countries like US, UK and Sweden. This actually disrupts the local markets and depresses crop prices. Small domestic producers would be unable to compete fairly and often sell their land, becoming jobless or laborers, or even moving to the big cities. As such economies are encouraged to be exporters of cash crops, and food from food “aid” is so cheap, other work is on the cheap and people struggle to make a living. Inevitably, it also affects the livelihoods of rural populations...
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