Recent reportage suggests that world hunger, one of the most pressing (and – arguably – preventable) humanitarian crises of today, is on the increase. The UN has said that over 820 million people worldwide remain hungry, and that its current target of zero hunger by 2030 will be ‘an immense challenge’. 

The increase in hunger is due to a number of factors, including rapid population increase, economic instability and income inequality. The UN says the increase jeopardises achieving other sustainable goals including climate action, as this hunger impacts all from farmers to newborn babies.

The increase in hunger is being mainly blamed on the general decrease in the level of aid deployed from richer areas to poorer areas, and specifically to certain African countries. According to Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, humanitarian organisations are currently receiving only 27% of what they need to provide relief to those affected by the hunger crisis. In 2018, this included a 3% decrease in overseas development assistance than in 2017 – including a 4% decrease in African aid, and 8% decrease in humanitarian aid.  

Speaking in the Guardian, Egeland says: “It is a question of priorities. The world’s total military expenditure has increased to a whopping $1.8tn. The cost of closing the humanitarian funding gap and providing people with basic support equals to just about 1% of this”. 

It appears that if political will matched the sense of humanitarian duty, much of this hunger could be easily prevented. 820 million adults and children across the globe would not go hungry tonight. If hunger is eradicated, in tandem would be less illness, increase production in agriculture, and a monumental increase in the quality of life for many. The (perhaps chosen) inability to prevent this hunger is one of the great tragedies of our age.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Browse more news below or sign up to our newsletter to get our top news straight to your inbox.

Remembering Hoden Naleyeh

With her creative videos, Hodan Naleyeh showed the world another side of Somalia, far from the war cliches. Last month, she was killed in a terrorist attack. On international day for the remembrance of victims of terrorism, our editor Cassie tells us her story.

A year of Greta

A year ago, Greta Thunberg staged her first school strike for climate in front of the Swedish government buildings. Little did she know that she would spark a worldwide movement and mobilise millions of young people around the issue of climate change. Criofan Morrison tells us her story.

Book Review: The Milkman

Tommy Gilsenan reviews the Man Booker Prize story set during the Troubles.

Why Are World Hunger Levels Increasing?

Rising inequalities and decrease in foreign aid funding are to blame for a rise in world hunger, writes Amyrose Forder.

Indie film or blockbuster: how you can support films that make a difference

The public influence the entertainment they get, and we should use this to promote films that give a voice to people who are usually denied a platform to share their opinion, writes Priscilla Obilana.

Review: Madonna’s God Control video

With a thought-provoking and graphic video for her new song God Control, pop star Madonna set herself on a mission to raise awareness about gun control, but found criticism on the way.

Share This