World Hunger and Poverty Sara White I. Introduction: Statement of the issue to be discussed. World hunger and poverty concerns certainly are no new issues in our society. We often hear about people’s desire to solve world hunger, or to be able to feed the world and help alleviate the suffering associated with it. There are many organizations that collect money to help feed children and their families in poor, undeveloped countries. We are subjected to commercials on television that show us children all over the world that are suffering from hunger.
We see their pain and our emotions take over; we then want to help feed the world by sending our monthly donation. How much more do we really think about the issue of world hunger after the commercial goes off? The United States is such a developed and plentiful nation, that it is so hard for me to imagine why are there so many hungry people still in the world today.
There are many reasons we can think of why world hunger may exist, but poverty is the number one cause of hunger.
Poor people cannot afford to buy food so they are the ones that suffer from hunger that leads to deficiencies, diseases, and death. People are not hungry because the population is growing so fast that food is becoming scarce, but simply because they cannot afford it. Food may be scarce, but it is international trade, economic policies and the control of land that have lead to immense poverty and hunger and therefore less access to food, not the growth in population leading to a lack of food.
The majority of the world’s people and nations are in a state of poverty. Over 9 million people worldwide each year die from hunger and malnutrition. Over 5 million of those are children. So why are there so many people in poverty and starving today and what can be done to help overcome the situation? II. Description of more than one side of the issue supported by relevant and multiple sources of information. Poverty and hunger are a concern to many people in the United States and in other countries.
It is hard to understand why there is still so much poverty and hunger in the world today with so many organizations trying to help fight it. I have defined some of the reasons why poverty and hunger still exist in our society today. In our society, food is seen as a commodity. Farmers are just like anyone else in business, they need to make a living, so they sell their product for money. Their crop is their livelihood so they cannot be expected to give it away. To the farmers growing the product, food is a commodity; they expect payment for the food they grow.
We would not expect Old Navy to manufacture clothes, Reebok to manufacture sneakers, or Dell to provide computers for those people that do not earn enough money to pay for these items. (Shah, Anup, Causes of hunger). The issue of land rights and ownership is another reason that could contribute to poverty for non-land owners or ones that may be dictated to by the government exactly what they can plant on their land. The ones that own the land get to control what is grown on it and can get their share of the production through rent or crop.
This can be extremely devastating to the farmer because it can keep him in poverty even though he is doing the work to grow the crop. This is especially a problem in third world countries because they are used to supply wealthier countries with cheap agricultural products. The wealthier countries are therefore controlling the fate of poverty in these other countries. If the workers in the less developed countries are not paid fairly they will continue in poverty. The wealthy are the ones with the power.
Some wealthier countries have purchased land in poorer countries to grow produce but it is not to offer assistance for the poor but to retain their own food security. The wealthy are also the greedy ones. (Shah, Anup, Solving world hunger). The diversion of land that is used to grow non-productive crops is believed to be a contributor to poverty because this land could be used to grow more crops to help feed hungry people. Instead much land is used to grow non-productive crops such as cotton, sisal, flowers, tea, tobacco, sugar cane, and cocoa.
These items can be profitable for farmers but take away from the food production. Also much farmland is used to grow grain to feed livestock. In a wealthy country, as the United States, beef is a big market, so half the water and half of the grain grown is used to feed the livestock. The grain would be much more beneficial for feeding humans and help to solve hunger, but wealthy people prefer meat and will continue to buy it as long as they can afford to. (Shah, Anup, Solving world hunger). The growing of crops for biofuels is often blamed for a food shortage that is also linked to the hunger problem.
Even though using biofuels is a way to help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in our environment they may be harmful to our food and water supplies. Growing biofuels requires a lot of land and water. We already have a shortage of food and water so by diverting land use and our water supply to grow biofuels it is believed that this will lead to biofuels being the largest competitor of food causing an increase in global food prices. (France- Presse, Agence). The United States offers assistance to many countries in need of food through the design of four different programs.
These programs offer assistance through donations and have certain guidelines that the recipient countries must adhere to including not being involved in any kind of civil or international conflict, have positive plans for freedom, political and civil rights, and objectives for sustainability. Food aid shows a good gesture in caring and helping the poor and hungry but food aid, when not for emergency relief, can actually be very destructive on the economy of the recipient nation and contribute to more hunger and poverty because they become dependent on it. USDA). Global change is still another reason blamed for lack of food. The frequent climate changes we have been experiencing and the expected effects from climate change in the future can have a large impact on crops. Scientists have predicted that due to global warming in our environment there will likely be more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, leading to an increase in pollution that can make our soil and water harmful. This will lead to the impact it will have on crops and on animals that in turn have an impact on the food source for humans.
With the climate change can bring more droughts, hurricanes, tornados, and other odd weather scenarios that can cause an in increase in hunger and poverty due to a poor crop yield. (U. S. Global Change Research Information Office). Some people believe that by increasing the food production through growing genetically modified foods that it is possible to produce enough food to feed the world. It is believed that by increasing the amount of crops grown on existing farmland it will help the farmers grow better crops and increase their income at the same time.
This is believed to help feed the world and bring poor farmers out of poverty. (Balkin, Karen, pgs 189-194). These genetically modified crops are engineered in a laboratory to create rapidly growing plants that are drought resistant, produce their own pesticides, and can be produced to contain adequate nutrients needed for a healthy diet. This sounds like a great solution, however this process can be very lengthy and costly to start and the effects that these genetically grown plants will have on humans is unknown at this time. (Whitman, Deborah, B. ). III. Clear, concise statements of your position of the issue.
I believe poverty mainly comes from poverty; the poor stay poor. The poor have no money to buy food and usually little or no resources in order to grow their own food so hunger is also caused by poverty. There are many other things that may contribute to the hunger and poverty situation, but when you start at the bottom it is hard for your situation to change without something drastic happening to help pull you above the poverty line. I believe that families try to pay first for their home, or place of shelter, and their utilities and use the remainder of their money, if there is any, to buy food.
They buy the cheapest foods possible and usually do not get the correct nutrients they need in order to stay healthy. I believe that there must be a worldwide acceptance and implementation of food as a basic human right. It is my Christian belief that it is my responsibility to help others in need. People that have plenty and more than plenty should feel the need to share with others. I cannot imagine my children being hungry and no one helping me to get them food. I do believe that food aid is only a temporary solution though.
I believe that education is definitely the answer to solving poverty and world hunger, especially, for third world countries, and in any place in the United States that does not have adequate food to feed their communities. I strongly believe the way to educate these people in poverty is through mission work. It is the best alternative rather than trying to get the government to give aid for supplies. The U. S. has given much food aid to other countries, but those countries need education on how to grow their own food so they can continue to eat.
Many of those countries will need wells dug for them and someone to teach them farming techniques. These poverty-stricken countries will continue in poverty if they are not given the adequate supplies and skills needed in order to produce the food themselves. Tackling hunger by providing charitable food aid and increasing food production are just not the answers for solving either of these issues. Many people buy the cheapest foods possible in order to feed their families. This often results in foods that do not provide the nutrients and vitamins needed in order to keep them healthy.
So, I believe we should also be conscious of the health care costs that arise due to malnutrition. In the United States this alone can raise health care costs tremendously. In many third world countries, health care is a luxury that would probably not even be available to the poor. If they cannot afford to buy food, they certainly could not afford health care. IV. Discussion of your position supported by relevant and multiple sources of information. Poverty is when someone lacks adequate income and lacks the resources and means of feeding their families and providing them with the basic human needs.
Poverty can be contributed to by many different means but poverty is the number one reason of hunger. People simply cannot afford to purchase food and do not have the means to grow their own food. (World Hunger Education Services). “Poverty is the ruin of the poor. ” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 10:15) Being of Christian faith, I believe that the Bible is the word from God and that we should obey it. There are many passages in the Bible that give us guidance about helping those in hunger and poverty.
In 2 Corinthians verse 9 and Proverbs 22:9, God talks about being a cheerful giver and by giving to the poor it is taking care of his people and the giver will be blessed for his generosity and compassion for the distribution of food and other resources. In Proverbs 31:9, he tells us to “speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. ” In Psalms 37:25, he tells us “yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. Psalms 26, “They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.
In Ezekiel 18:17, he talks about what a righteous man does, “gives his food to the hungry and provides clothes for the naked. ” In Acts 9:26, it tells about Dorcas and how she made an enormous impact on her community by “always doing good and helping the poor. ” We as Christians should obey God’s word and help those in hunger and poverty. Our help really can make a difference to these people. (Life Application Study Bible) Even in our Government, we have people that have shown faith by wanting to create programs for those in hunger and poverty based on God’s word.
Former Senator of North Carolina, John Edwards, and current Senator of Kansas, Sam Brownback, both have shown a strong sense of compassion for the poverty-stricken. They both have made it known that by their faith they feel that Americans should focus on helping the poverty issue in desperate regions of the world. They have both sponsored programs that give second chances including educating people to help them rise above poverty. Edwards knew that Americans could unite in times of desperation when they showed compassion for the gulf coast community after being hit by Hurricane Katrina.
His vision was to eliminate poverty within thirty years, but it could cost billions to do it. He stated, “How we respond to the fact that millions among us live in poverty says everything about the character of America”. Brownback is a strong supporter of a faith based program on rebuilding the culture and the family and believes in finding solutions for poverty for the dignity of the people. When we have people in our government that are believers in faith, I think it will help our country to help others.
When we stop helping others and let them suffer from hunger and poverty, I believe it will be the demise of our wonderful country. (Roush, Margaret, pages 19-22). We know that our government offers many programs that help feed the hungry and try to administer solutions for poverty and hunger, but in many countries Americans are limited to what they can do to help. That is when missionaries can step in and offer solutions to the poor and hungry. Missionaries are able to teach people how to become more in dependent, teach farming techniques, and how to use the resources that are available to them.
Missionaries can change the lives of people in poor third world countries by teaching them about God and this can change their outlook and attitudes and then help them gain a way out of poverty. When they are able to grow their own food, they will feel less dependent on other countries. (Anderson, Kerby). The effects of poverty and hunger on the health of people can be devastating. Malnutrition can lead to an increase in infections and common illnesses. It can also lead to high mortality rates in infants and impediments in development for children that lead to problems beyond food and income.
The condition can affect generations of people in these communities. That is why it is so important to help get them educated about ways to become independent and not rely on other people to feed them. Once they are able to grow food to feed their families and make adequate income to live they can become a sustainable community. (Kates, Robert, W. ). V. Questions that have arisen as you researched the issues and information you need to understand this issue better. As I was researching hunger and poverty I came across a few topics that I had not thought of before.
A global food crisis? It is quite unbelievable, yet scary, to think that we could actually ever experience a global food crisis, especially in the United States. I had believed that the food and hunger situation would get better with time, not worse. Since I have been researching I have discovered predictions on a food crisis in the near future, and which may have already begun. (The American Dream). I also discovered that scientific evidence shows that we need to commit more to sustainable farming methods, called agroecology. We need to support local farmers.
I was beginning to believe that genetically modified foods were the best method of producing better food more quickly. (US Working Group on the Food Crisis). I also discovered that it is bad enough the amount of food that is wasted, but also what the environmental impacts are from food waste that can lead to harmful effects on the soil. Spoiled foods can create, methane, one of the most harmful greenhouse gases, that contributes to climate change. Food waste can also lead to an increase in our landfills, and an increase in trash delivery trucks that uses more gas and causes more pollution in our environments.
Wasted food also means wasted water, chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides that was used to grow that product. I never imagined the impacts that wasted food had on our environment. We should definitely clean our plates! (CBC News). VI. Concise summary statement restating the issue, your position, and the essential evidence that supports your position. I believe there is hunger and poverty all around us. I believe that many people are truly concerned about people that are hungry and do contribute to different organizations to offer help, but I think very few really take the time to consider solutions to actually solving the problems.
We do need and can appreciate the food aid that is offered to people in poverty but we can see that it is not the answer to solving the problem; it is only a temporary fix. We must work together to provide the people in need our support in educating them in sustainable farming methods so they may become independent in supporting their families with food and adequate incomes in order to live a healthy sustainable life. The more people we educate on sustainable farming methods, the more food there will be on our planet. I believe Christians should pray about the situation and do as much mission work as possible to help others in need.
We should show compassion for those that are hungry and not able to purchase food for their families. I believe we should think more about the food we waste and the things we purchase, such as cigarettes, that are made from crops grown on land that could be used to grow food. We need to pull together so that we can try to prevent an unwanted food crisis in our environment. VII. Literature cited. “2011 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics. ” World Hunger Education Services. 4 Nov. 2011. . Anderson, Kerby. “World Hunger. ” Leadership University. 29 Oct. 2011. . Balkin, Karen. Poverty Opposing Viewpoints.
Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2004. “Can Sustainable Agriculture Feed the World?. ” US Working Group on the Food Crisis. 3 Nov. 2011. . “Food Aid. ” United States Department of Agriculture. 26 Oct. 2011. 10 Nov. 2011. . “Food Crisis 2011? 14 Disturbing Facts That Make You Wonder If The Coming Global Food Shortage Has Already Begun. ” The American Dream. 28 Oct. 2011. “Food waste has environmental impact: scientists. ” CBC News. 25 Nov. 2009. 3 Nov. 2011. . France-Presse, Agence. “Water for biofuels or food?. ” COSMOS Magazine. 17 Aug. 2007. 3 Nov. 2011. . “Hunger Information. ” Freedom from Hunger. 2000. 29 Oct. 2011. .
Kates, Robert W. “CONSEQUENCES. ” U. S. Global Change Research Information Office. 1996. 25 Oct. 2011. . Life Application Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale Publishers, Inc. , 1991. Roush, Margaret. The Reference Shelf U. S. National Debate Topic 2009-2010 Social Services for the Poor. New York, NY: H. W. Wilson Company, 2009. Shah, Anup. “Causes of Hunger are related to Poverty. ” Global Issues. 3 Oct. 2010. 20 Oct. 2011. . Shah, Anup. “Solving World Hunger Means Solving World Poverty. ” Global Issues. 24 Oct. 2010. 20 Oct. 2011. . Whitman, Deborah B. “Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?. ” ProQuest. Apr. 2000. 3 Nov. 2011. .