Hunger and Malnutrition
Poverty refers to a situation in which one has an insufficient amount or is inferior in quality. In other words, it refers to the inability to meet basic needs such as shelter, food and clothing. Poverty can be exhibited in social, economic and political states. Hunger and malnutrition are forms of poverty that specifically refers to the inability to meet food and nutritional needs. According to scientific sources, hunger can be felt by all the human senses and thus can be classified as eye, ear, mouth, and nose hunger. When eyes see food, ears hear the sound of utensils used in food preparation, mouth tastes the food, or the nose smells food, hunger is triggered. Malnutrition manifests itself in form of insufficient nutrients in foods. In any case, the lack of food means that the body cannot meet its nutritional needs. Thus, hunger and malnutrition are interdependent. Hunger and malnutrition are caused by several factors according to the World Food Program (WFP) and can be stopped through several interventions.
Firstly, hunger is caused by weather and climate. Weather and climate cause natural disasters such as tropical storms, floods and long droughts. For instance, in 2011 long droughts caused loss of crops and livestock in parts of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia thereby causing hunger and malnutrition to the populations. To stop it, people should adopt practices that conserve the environment and thus lowering the effects of climate change. Planting trees, better farming methods and conserving forests are some activities that help reduce the effects of climate change. By alleviating effects of climate change, hunger and malnutrition are kept at bay.
Secondly, hunger and malnutrition are caused by war and displacement. It is quite evident that all places that experience conflicts consistently disrupt their farming and food production. War causes millions of people to flee their homes and in turn, render them unable to feed themselves. For instance, Somalia and Syria frequently experience internal and external conflicts thereby resulting in displacements and hunger. Currently, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo experience internal conflicts as well as hunger and malnutrition as a result. Hunger and malnutrition can also be addressed by enhancing peaceful coexistences among communities and countries. Peaceful coexistence gives room for business activities, farming and livestock rearing. As a result, people grow and harvest crops, engaging activities that benefit the whole community and in extension the country. For example, after the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007, peaceful coexistence returned the country to a prosperous hunger-free state.
Additionally, hunger and malnutrition are caused by unstable markets. Unstable markets are responsible for frequent price changes that make it difficult for poor people to afford foodstuff. When prices rise, many consumers prefer cheaper, less nutritious foods that risk them malnutrition. For instance, Kenya had an artificial price rise in 2017 that led to a shortage of maize and it caused hunger in some parts of the country. Market stability can also address hunger and malnutrition. A stable market ensures that even the poorest person can afford commodities. For example, the American market ensures that high, middle- and low-income citizens afford food commodities in all their stores. Market stability is fixed by government policies, which are made in consultation with the people. In doing so, the country becomes hunger free.
To wrap it up, as poverty in form of hunger and malnutrition is prevalent in most parts of the world, it can actually be stopped. Stopping hunger and malnutrition is possible because the causes can be identified and solutions formulated.