Global hunger has been rising, with over 821 million people worldwide, not having food to eat. Covid-19 will leave anywhere between 34 million to 80 million people, further facing hunger. These are big numbers, and there is a collective agreement that not enough is being done to ensure we have a sustainable and equitable world.
As we deal with Covid-19, we understand the stress, health, and financial duress a pandemic can bring. However, did you know the world’s biggest health problem is, in fact, hunger, that has killed more people globally than malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS combined? Of the 821 million people living in hunger, the vast majority live in developing countries.
Every 1 in 9 people around the world suffers from hunger. Its claws reach far and deep. Hunger prevents communities from uplifting themselves from poverty. Hunger leads to poor nutrition, poor performance in school, stunted growth, weak immune systems, and brain development.
I have been fortunate not to have gone hungry, not to have my stomach rumbling for food, not to know how my family and I will go through another day without food. And my heart goes out to the teen who has to worry about it. Who has to give up studying, wholly or partially, to help their parents put food on the table for their families and siblings.
No parent wants a future without education for their children; they know it’s the only way out of poverty and hunger. Yet a lot of the times, they do not have a choice.
Being hungry in a rich nation is very different from being hungry in a nation where most people live below the poverty line. Being in an economic situation where every second person faces the same hunger and poverty challenges as you or worse is tough. There are no meals on wheels or charitable or religious institutions on whose doors you can knock so you can get a warm meal for your family. For many teenagers, the only meal they eat is the lunch they get in school organized by a charity.
More can be done to support your fellow youth around the world. And the only thing stopping us from taking our first step forward is usually knowing how stark the problem is and how we can make a difference.
The problem of hunger and constant lack of nutrition is critical as it leads to unhealthy child development over a sustained period. It also leaves adults with low energy levels, making them vulnerable to catching infection faster, and with the body having no resistance to fight, even a simple infection turns deadly. So what can you do about it?
Teenspire Global is a network that connects you to fellow youth. You can follow the network to understand more about the issues and ways you can help further.
And always remember every person and their voice makes a difference, and the only thing preventing a true change is a voice and an idea. Empower yourself to ensure your voice and your ideas are agents of change.