World hunger is one of the biggest problems the human population faces, and it steadily increases year by year. While non-profit organizations (such as feedthechildren.org) and government sanctioned programs seek to tackle growing hunger, the root cause of the problem runs deep into societal inequalities and unequal distribution of resources and opportunities.
It is unclear if a large sum of money could permanently end world hunger (since flawed systems would eventually bring about the same inequality and poverty unless changed), but this article seeks to put a number to the task.
A German research study was able to put a number on ending world hunger. In the time span of the next decade (by 2030), it could conceivably cost around $330 billion. This takes into account global hunger from the Global Hunger Index with over 55 countries, around 700 million hungry people in question.
Why Does it Cost So Much?
Ending global hunger is not the same cost as meals for 700 million hungry people. To effectively end world hunger, you cannot simply feed hungry people as this is not sustainable. You would have to redistribute access to resources and permanently change systems of inequality in order for marginalized people and underprivileged communities to earn fair wages and sustainably support and afford healthy food.
The money goes towards establishing lasting systems and resources for these communities as well as providing sustainable employment that fits into local culture and traditions. Many organizations that travel across the globe to target hungry communities in African countries often do more harm than good, as they bring about temporary changes that only target hunger while ignoring the local systems of power that are previously established.
How Much Does it Cost to End Hunger in the United States?
It is estimated that the price of ending hunger in the United States is around $25 billion dollars. This amount works towards safety net programs that supply healthy and nutritious food to marginalized communities and also setting up systems (skill training and building) that provide employment with increased wages and access to education to break the generational poverty cycle.
Tackling Chronic Hunger
While food insecurity is prevalent in almost every country, chronic hunger refers to extreme hunger and lack of access to food to the point of malnutrition. Communities that face chronic hunger are at increased risk of diseases and other life hazards. Starvation is only one part of the many dangers of Chronic Hunger.
Eight hundred twenty million people die from chronic hunger around the globe. This includes people who die from starvation but is mostly the many individuals who suffer from increased risk of diseases and lower standard and quality of life due to undernutrition. Undernutrition results in stunted growth and stunted cognitive development, rendering these populations vulnerable to system injustice as well as paralyzing them from rising in any sort of social mobility.
Obesity as a Part of Food Insecurity
A big percentage of people suffering from food insecurity are actually obese. Many people think of obesity as the opposite of food insecurity, when in fact, they stem from the same root cause — lack of access to quality nutritious food.
Obesity is a result of over-consumption of cheap and low-quality food that is high in calories but low in nutritional value. As many families can only afford highly processed junk foods, they over consume these foods and feed them to their children. This results in obesity and poorer health since they are not able to access fresh produce and wholesome organic ingredients that are necessary for muscle growth, cell regeneration, and gut health.