Identifying the underlying causes of hunger and malnutrition

The members of the United Nations appreciated the content you provided on population growth. Now they are asking you to expand the whitepaper to include global food security as it relates to population growth and poverty. Read the Case Study and provide an assessment based on the questions below.

(For a brief list of resources for this assignment, please see the end of the course guide.)

Overview

We can view global food security as the effort to build food systems that can feed everyone, everywhere, and every day by improving food quality and promoting nutritional agriculture.[1] That said, there are certain practices that can advance this project:

  1. Identifying the underlying causes of hunger and malnutrition
  2. Investing in country-specific recovery plans
  3. Strengthening strategic coordination with institutions like the UN and the World Bank
  4. Developed countries making sustained financial commitments to the success of the project

We must bear in mind that more than three billion people, nearly one-half of the global population, subsist on as little as $2.50 a day and that nearly 1.5 billion are living in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 a day. According to the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and other relief agencies, about 20,000 people (mostly children) starve to death in the world every day, for a total of about seven million people a year.

In addition, about 750 million (twice the population of the United States) do not have access to clean drinking water, meaning that some one million people die every year from diarrhea caused by water-borne diseases.

The population of Earth is expected to grow from 7 billion in 2010 to 8 billion in 2025, 9 billion in 2040, and 11 billion by the end of the 21st century.[2] If the demand for food is predicted to grow by 50% by 2030 and 70% by 2050, the real problem is not necessarily growing that much food. Rather, it is making that amount available to people.

Moreover, foodborne illnesses are prevalent, with nearly 600 million reported cases of foodborne diseases each year. These affect mainly children, but also negatively impact the livelihood of farmers, vendors, trade associations and, ultimately, the Gross Domestic Product (national income) of a country. These issues can impose tremendous human, economic, social, and fiscal costs on countries Addressing them allows governments to devote more resources to making desperately needed improvements in infrastructure that raise the quality of life for everyone.

It is not enough to have adequate supplies of food available. Policies that focus exclusively on food production can exacerbate the problem, particularly if, to satisfy the need for quantity, the quality of the food is left wanting.

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