Hunger in Third World Countries

Topics: Poverty, Malnutrition, Famine Pages: 5 (1841 words) Published: November 10, 2011
Hunger is a serious question that affects many countries in the world, especially in developing countries. A recent report states that “925 million people do not have enough to eat and 98 percent of them live in developing countries.”(FAO,2010) “Hunger is not just the need to eat; but can be defined as “the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite, [or] the exhausted condition caused by want of food” (Oxford English Dictionary), which means a continuing deprivation in a person of the food needed to support a healthy life. Over time, people in third world countries who suffer from hunger have slower physical and mental developments than well fed people and are vulnerable to illness and disease. Poverty is the condition of having insufficient resources or income. In its most extreme form, poverty is a lack or deprivation of basic human needs, such as adequate and nutritious food, clothing, housing, clean water, and health services. In developing countries, people are faced with extreme poverty, because there are almost no jobs, a near complete lack of public services, and lastly, because of weak and corrupted central governments. The consequences of this situation are staggering. Millions of people are homeless, disease is rampant, and starvation is a common occurrence. “Extreme poverty remains a daily reality for over 1 billion people who live on less than US$1 a day and 800 million people who suffer from acute scarcity of food.”(MDGs, 2005). More third world countries, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia and Eastern Asia, have more poverty-related ills. These regions are also the most adversely affected by hunger because poverty is rising at a rapid rate. with the ”hungry representing 33 percent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa, 22 percent in Southern Asia and 13 percent in South East Asia.”(MDGs, 2005), Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia were the worst affected regions in terms of the number of hungry people during the period 1990-2002. Most of the hungry people are from rural areas depending "on consumption and sale of natural products for their income and their foods" (UN, 2005, p. 8). Poverty became the fundamental cause of hunger. “At the end of 2005, more than enough food [was] produced to feed all of its 6 billion inhabitants, but there are still 842 million poor suffering from chronic undernourishment, including 798 million in developing countries” (FAO,2007) . “Farmers in developing countries are unable to compete with the uncompetitively priced well-developed agricultural products dumped onto poor countries, and are forced to sell their land leading to the mass exodus to urban slums.” With less food produced domestically, poor countries are losing the struggle to achieve food sovereignty, thus becoming less ability to feed their own.

Overpopulation is a term that refers to “a condition by which the population density enlarges to a limit that provokes the environmental deterioration, a remarkable decline in the quality of life, or a population collapse.” “Each day 200,000 more people are added to the world food demand. The world’s human population has increased near fourfold in the past 100 years” (UN population Division, 2007), it is projected to increase from 6.7 billion (2006) to 9.2 billion by 2050. “More than 850 million people worldwide are classified as undernourished”, many of whom suffer from food insecurity. Rapid population growth is intensifying food insecurity in parts of the developing world where populations are increasing fast in a short term, the number of chronically hungry people increased by nearly 4 million per year in the mid- to late 1990s. (world bank,91 ) Rapid population growth is greatly straining already fragile food supplies in the country, with more people facing chronic food shortages. Furthermore, most of the least developed countries with the highest rates of poverty and hunger also have some of the highest rates of population growth,...
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