World Hunger Opinion Essay

Editorials, Opinion and Letters

Letters to the Editor

Dear Hunger Notes,
Check out my new song and video called “Mommy, I’m Hungry”. Maybe it can be used to help the cause!  Here is the link:

Barry David Butler

Dear Barry,
Good song! Thanks very much for sharing it with us. I hope Hunger Notes readers listen to it too. Excellent lyrics.
Editor, Hunger Notes

Dear Hunger Notes,
I am a student in Connecticut and for our service project (for the end of the year) we must get an interview of someone related to our cause that we are working to help. I have chosen the problem of world hunger, and for my essay, I was wondering if someone might be able to provide a short summary on what they think hunger is, how it has developed, and what everyone can do to help. If you don't do school interviews, that's totally fine!
Thank you,

Dear Anabel,
Here are my answers to your questions:

 1. What hunger is:
Hunger is a term which has three meanings (Oxford English Dictionary 1971):
 --the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also, the exhausted condition caused by want of food,
 --the want or scarcity of food in a country,
 --a strong desire or craving

World hunger refers to the second definition, aggregated to the world level. The related technical term (in this case operationalized in medicine) is malnutrition. Malnutrition is a general term that indicates a lack of some or all nutritional elements necessary for human health (Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia). There are two basic types of malnutrition. The first and most important is protein-energy malnutrition--the lack of enough protein (from meat and other sources) and food that provides energy (measured in calories) which all of the basic food groups provide. This is the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed.
 Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is the most lethal form of malnutrition/hunger. It is basically a lack of calories and protein. Food is converted into energy by humans, and the energy contained in food is measured by calories. Protein is necessary for key body functions including provision of essential amino acids and development and maintenance of muscles.
 For a good insight into "the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food..." see our hunger quiz "What does long term hunger feel like?"

 2. How hunger has developed.
 Hunger is a natural aspect of the world for animals, including ourselves. In the wild, many animals die of hunger or related causes. For humans, Malthus gave the classic statement, saying that human population growth was checked by famine and (often related) disease. ( ).
In addition to population growth, two key other factors in causing hunger are conflict, and a very unequal distribution of income due to the political and economic systems of the world, so that the poor are often reduced to starvation.

 3. What everyone can do to help.
There are two key ways in which you and other people in the United States can help reduce hunger and poverty: understanding-- this implies learning-- and action. Action can take three key forms: influencing public policy, contributing financially, and working directly with poor people. Please see our section "You can help reduce hunger" for further details.

Thanks for asking some fundamental questions!

Editor, Hunger Notes

Dear Hunger Notes,
My name is N.B. and I am a sixth grader at Brookside Intermediate School. I am conducting research on poverty, and I have a question I hope you can answer. Do you the most recent statistics for the world's poverty rate broken down by country? I would greatly appreciate any information you can provide.
Thank you for your consideration, N.B.

Dear N.B.,

I think the best place to start would be the World Bank's poverty page The World Bank is the acknowledged institution for providing poverty estimates. The main information provided on that page is $1.25 a day poverty for all countries (that have the information) but it is not in tabular form. Also see the two links provided on that page, the poverty and equity databank, and the data dashboards. These are somewhat harder to use but do end up with useful information. I didn't find a nice, handy table with the information by country. I hope this is helpful--good luck!

Editor, Hunger Notes

Dear Hunger Notes, I am a junior at Highland Park Senior High in St.Paul MN, USA. I have a few questions to be answered if it's no problem:
1. Why is there such a thing as World Hunger?
2. Is there not enough food to go around?
3. What is one way to solve this issue?
4. What countries have the highest rate of hunger?
5. Is poverty sort of a combination with Hunger?
Thank you very much for your time.
Sincerely,  F.B.T.

Dear F.B.T.,
Here are my answers to your questions:

2. Is there not enough food to go around? There is enough food to go around. See our the section on "Is there enough food to feed everyone" in our World Hunger Facts .

5. Is poverty sort of a combination with Hunger? Poverty is the main cause of hunger. See the section "Causes of poverty" in our World Hunger Facts.

1. Why is there such a thing as World Hunger? See the section "Causes of poverty" in our World Hunger Facts. I would say also that people do not care enough to address the problem fully in their own nations--this for various reasons such as pursuit of their own self-interest, and because many governments  are ill-suited to address a major problem such as hunger.

3. What is one way to solve this issue? I think that at bottom the issue will be solved when very poor people have jobs that lift them out of poverty and thus hunger. China has done a very good job of lifting many of its people out of hunger and you might look more closely at what China has done.

4.What countries have the highest rate of hunger? Look at the latest FAO edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2011. It can be downloaded at  At the end (p. 48) , there is a technical annex which gives the proportion of undernourished in the total population and you can see which countries have the highest rate of hunger.

Thanks very much for asking these useful questions.
Editor, Hunger Notes


2012 Opinion and Letters    Hunger Notes Home Page

Every day we wake up, take a shower, have our breakfast, drink the cup of tea or coffee and do other everyday things without realizing that a lot of people suffer from everyday cravings. They feel hunger and thirst on the everyday basis.

According to 2015 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics, the most suffering countries are the Asia: with 525.6 million people starving, Sub-Saharan Africa with 214 million, and Latin America and the Caribbean with 37 million deprived of food. It is nearly 780 million people, and according to media, the biggest part of undernourished people are women and children people (“Know Your World: Facts about Hunger and Poverty”, 2015).

Almost half of the children’s deaths under five are caused by malnutrition. The devastated small bodies cannot resist the infections which are especially active in hot countries.

According to Oxford English Dictionary the hunger is a term which has three meanings:
– The uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also, the exhausted condition caused by want of food
– The want or scarcity of food in a country
– A strong desire or craving (Oxford English Dictionary, 1971).

The regular deprivation of nourishment has dramatic results for the body, especially for the children’s body. The malnutrition results in hair loss, teeth loss, fatigue, stomach upset, indigestion and other awful diseases. As the biggest part of those who crave is the women, there are a lot of miscarriages and deliveries of dead babies. Moreover, there are incidents when people overate after a long period of starvation and died.

The main causes of such situations are:
– The poverty which is the result of bad economic system and the lack of the infrastructure and unemployment;
– Weather hazards, like droughts, floods, and tropical storms, which result in desertification, deforestation and soil erosion, which has the ominous consequences for crop species.
– The growth of the population. The scientists had warned people long ago that the resources of our Earth are running out, and soon we will face the shortage of food.
– Poorly planned and an unbalanced budget. There are people who are dying from the hunger, and there are people who throw money around.
According to The World Bank more than 1.4 billion people in the developing countries, live below the international poverty line, earning less than $1.25 per day(“World Bank Updates Poverty Estimates for the Developing World”, 2010).

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The first step must be a significant increase of the salaries so people could provide for themselves and for their families.
If due to some serious weather conditions, there is a lack of food or water, it has to be delivered to such areas in sufficient quantity.
Governments in other countries have to contribute to the development of the industrialization of the developing countries to make them independent in the future.

Some efforts have already been made and have improved the situation.

According to the data provided in 2015, 72 countries have achieved the Millennium Development target of halving proportion of the chronically undernourished, the number of hungry people in the world has dropped to 795 million – 216, the proportion of people, who are unable to consume enough food for an active and healthy life – has declined from 23.3 to 12.9 percent. The proportion of hungry people in Latin America and the Caribbean has dropped from 14.7 percent to 5.5 percent since 1990 while the share of underweight children (below 5 years of age) also declined sharply (“World hunger falls to under 800 million, eradication is next goal”, 2015).

Unfortunately, the number is still huge, and there is a lot to be done. There are a lot of women, who cannot work and provide for the families because they are not educated. They have to gain the right to get the education and a job.

As the level of education is poor in developing countries there has to be more programs that allow school leavers enter universities in the developed countries until the level of education in their countries is at least satisfactory and gives the opportunity to find a good job in the future. There are a lot of problems with hunger in families that live in poverty and have a lot of children. They are not aware of the presence of contraceptives and special education program has to be conducted in these areas.

Nevertheless, the fact that politicians are aware of the hunger in the world and do their best to eliminate this problem is rewarding. Without their contribution, the number of starving people would be much higher.

Works cited

1. “Know Your World: Facts about Hunger and Poverty”. The Hunger Project. 2015. Web. Accessed 31 Jan 2016 at poverty/
2. Oxford University Press. 1971. Oxford English Dictionary. Definition for malnutrition.
3. “World Bank Updates Poverty Estimates for the Developing World”. Research at the World Bank. 2010. Web. Accessed 31 Jan 2016 at
4. “World Hunger Falls To Under 800 Million, Eradication Is Next Goal”.World Food Programme.2015 Web. Accessed 31 Jan 2016 at

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