World Hunger

The countries included in the list compiled by World Food Programme, of countries facing massive food deficit and consequent malnutrition or starvation are:

All these countries are or were engaged in civil war or civil war like situation. The second striking point is that  these countries, except Nepal, Zimbabwe, Haiti and Central African Republic, have high population growth rates of over 2% per year against the world average of about 1.2%. Population growth rates would have been higher in Nepal and Haiti also if there is no emigration of people from these countries to other countries. Most of  the food deficit countries in Africa have high incidence of HIV. Conversely, high rate of HIV may also be one of the reasons for food deficit.

If the hungry people in the food deficit countries are to be saved, the international community should come forward with adequate supplies of food (supplies from foreign countries could only be a temporary relief.) However, there should be a  condition that the warring groups agree to end the civil war and that the people would be educated to adopt family planning methods i.e. methods to reduce births. They should also change their social values so as to minimise the incidence of HIV.

If  the warring groups do not agree to end the civil war, UN should debate whether it would be desirable or possible to establish international civil, police and military presence to effectively suppress civil war, bring in lower growth rate of population and higher life expectancy  by reducing HIV. The international community should also ensure that the people are provided work in the irrigation and agricultural sector so that food grain production increases leading to elimination of hunger.

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