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Global Starvation – the Hunger Clock is Ticking

Article by Hsin-Yi Lo for the What Would You Change? Challenge

Submitted 5/23/2011 By actnow Views 4629 Comments 0 Updated 5/23/2011

Photographer : Photo by Zoriah @ Flickr

I guess deep down we all want to change something about our world – my wish is that we improve food security plans.

Mother Nature has blessed us with natural resources for our usage and survival; though we are not the creators of such phenomenon but we are responsible for safeguarding our natural resources.

The world is plagued with many problems such as poverty, conflicts and environmental sustainability. However, I believe there is not enough emphasis on developing strategic plans for food sustainability.

Needless to say, food is the essence to our survival, without them we will not live. If we do not take this seriously, there will be inevitable food shortages and thus set off global starvation.

We may not have witnessed food shortages personally, but it is already at its initial stages. Rise of food prices are already affecting countries such as those in East Africa and Central Asia. According to a report by The World Bank, in the ECA [Europe and Central Asia Region] overall, an additional 5.3 million people could become poor. Five low and lower middle income countries, Armenia, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, and Tajikistan could see potentially high increases in their poverty rates as a result of high food and fuel price inflation.

There are many people suffering from hunger and destitution, if we are still wavering about food sustainability; these people will plunge into further hardships. Furthermore, some countries are suffering from immense inflation therefore making it difficult for civilians to pay for their essential necessities.

Another obstacle is the ever increasing world population; currently we are sitting close to 7 Billion and according to The Emergency Food Supply, around 2040 or so there will be 9 billion people on earth.  By the 2060s, there would be over 11 billion people on earth. 

And here’s another grueling fact; 75% of food biodiversity was lost in the 20th century whilst 80% of the world’s dietary energy is now supplied by just 12 industrial crops .

But it is not too late, there are some possible solutions to this issue:

  • I believe governments should develop population control plans. Since we are facing resource degradation; the more people we have we will extract more natural resources to satisfy everyone’s needs. We need to balance population and food availability.
  • Governments should emphasise on saving water and develop more sustainable and longer lasting food sources. For example Thailand has been interested in finding partners to develop genetic modification technology to improve yields of energy crops.
  • Carbon emissions contribute to resource depletion but we can all play a part in stopping this. We can all use less water, take shorter showers, purchase water storage tanks to collect rainwater, use recycle water and limit washing our cars etc.
  • Not wasting food
  • Save energy such as switching off anything we are not using, use energy saving things or limit driving (take walks if possible)
  • Spreading the world around, raise awareness and tell your friends. The more people involved the quicker we can recover

We need to think for our future generations, their lives and the world depend on our performance to preserve our natural resources and once they are depleted it is impossible to salvage.

The world shares a common peril – a peril that has the capacity to plunge us into a long and cruel cycle of deficiency and hunger. I believe this is our next world goal; we should work hand in hand to eliminate this threat.

The hunger clock is ticking, and every second counts.

How Do I Know?

Pazzano, C 2010, Food shortage ‘the next global challenge’, SBS World News Australia, 18 March 2010,

Retrieved 20 May 2011

Wiriyapong, N, “Greater Emphasis on disasters, food security”, Bangkok Post, 21 May 2011, retrieved on 22 May 2011,

Retrieved on 22 May 2011

‘The Coming of Food Shortages’, The Emergency Food Supply,

Retrieved 20 May 2011

Europe and Central Asia Region The World Bank, Rising Food and Energy Prices in Europe and Central Asia, April 2011, Washington, p. 1- 58,

Retrieved 20 May 2011

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