Money Can’t Buy Love but It Can Buy Food for the World, Right? Wrong! Here Are 15 Reasons Why It Can’t
The world hunger stats are frightening. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that around 2 billion people are not able to eat regularly and can’t access safe and nutritious food.
Almost 1 billion people are experiencing chronic undernourishment and the hungriest country in the world now is the Central African Republic.
Aluxers, do you think throwing billions of dollars at Central Africa will help feed the people?
Let’s uncover the truth about the link between money and hunger, and why money can’t always solve everything.
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If you can’t wait to get to the 15th reason and would like to absorb the info quicker, here’s our YouTube video on this topic:
With that provided, let’s look at the first reason why exactly money cannot solve the global hunger epidemic.
What Causes Hunger?
Currently, 1 in 9 people go hungry every day.
Hunger is caused and influenced by bad weather, disease – like we’re experiencing now with Covid, climate change, pests, falling prices for crops, rising prices of food, low wages – so food is unaffordable, unemployment, and migration.
Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian lawyer who used non-violent resistance to successfully secure India’s independence from Britain once said, “There’s enough on this planet for everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s greed.” Let’s find out what he meant by that quote.
What Really Causes Hunger?
Unfortunately, Aluxers, a lot of people go hungry because of the greed of those in power. Corrupt governments are part of the socio-economic problem that fuels malnutrition in developing countries.
Without an ethical government in place, the need to feed the hungry is not a priority. The desire to line one’s own pocket takes preferential treatment. Systematic corruption inhibits anyone willing to assist, because why should they? They already know their investment is going straight to those that are causing the problem!
So, while all this corruption is taking place, the people are starving.
War and conflict also play a huge role in world hunger. For example, South Sudan’s civil war led to mass displacement and abandoned fields. Crops fail to produce and what little they do manage, hikes the prices up so it’s unaffordable.
In the words of the late Jacques Diouf, “hunger is not an issue of charity, but an issue of justice.”
Who Struggles the Most With Hunger?
The Global Hunger Index reports that the Asia and Pacific region have roughly 516.5 million malnourished individuals living there and Sub-Saharan Africa has in the region of 239 million.
Globally, there are 821.6 million people starving and malnourished.
The 10 hungriest countries in the world are Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Timor-Leste, Haiti, Liberia, Zambia, Madagascar, Chad, Yemen and Central African Republic.
Former Irish President, Mary Robinson, wrote the introduction to the 2019 Global Hunger Index. There she writes, “it is a terrible global indictment that after decades of sustained progress in reducing global hunger, climate change and conflict are now undermining food security in the world’s most vulnerable regions.”
Does the World Produce Enough Food to Feed Everyone?
The short answer is, yes.
We have enough food to feed up to 10 billion people, but various factors limit the ability to grow and distribute the food to where it needs to go.
There is no scarcity of actual food. Over the past 20-years, global food production has increased faster than population growth, and produces 1 and a half times enough food to feed everyone.
The bulk of industrially produced grain crops are used on biofuels or sent to animal feedlots. If priority is continually given to livestock and biofuel, then with time, we will not have enough food to feed everyone. We have a lot more information on our video, How Are We Going to Feed 10 BILLION People. Be sure to give it a watch.
So, why can’t money fix these problems?
Inequalities in the Distribution of Food
Aluxers, money doesn’t buy common sense. So, if you’re throwing billions of dollars at a country that is unable to equally and honestly distribute its food supplies, then the money is wasted. This is pretty sh*t for the person who is starving and unable to access proper nutrition.
In Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation by Amartya Sen – Sen indicates that famine occurs mostly because of inequalities built into mechanisms for distributing food. He calls it “entitlement failure,” and challenges the concept that famine is caused only by the food-availability decline, or FAD.
Until the FAD way of thinking is unlearned, money will not solve world-hunger. And here’s another reason why money alone, can’t solve the problem.
Food and Agricultural Policy
Thanks to globalization, agricultural production has increased substantially. For example, Canada consumes 3 billion bananas every year, and bananas don’t grow naturally there. Well, if you had to coddle one – it might – so they need to import them.
Obviously, they get bananas from a country that does grow them – leaving that country a little low on their own natural resources. However, that country makes more money from exporting the bananas then selling them locally, leaving the locals with even fewer resources then what they started with.
The country is making money from selling bananas to Canada and not to their own people, so it’s working for a select few and not the masses.
People need to be educated on how to control supply and demand and how to counteract market instability.
Aluxers, think of a place like Zambia. It’s a pretty peaceful country with political stability but the climate is harsh and extreme. The country either has too little rain, or too much rain – both of which damage crops.
Climate change affects the food quality, reduces the availability of food and limits access to food. Reduced water, extreme weather and changes in weather patterns are not going to change regardless of how much money you pump into it.
Experts predict that climate change will see a 20% decline in corn production in the US’s Midwestern region, Brazil will experience a 16% drop in corn production and Indonesia will suffer a 20% reduction in corn production.
The World Bank predicts that climate change will negatively influence as many as 100 million people, within the next decade.
As Greta Thunberg so aptly puts it about, “This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. This is not something you can like on Facebook.”
Desertification of Land
What do we need to grow agriculture? Soil! And what happens if we have no soil? Well, nothing happens – that’s what creates world hunger. Soil is part of the process and no amount of money is going to make soil magically appear out of nowhere.
Desertification of land occurs when fertile land becomes unusable or desert. Several factors contribute to this, like over-farming, drought, or deforestation.
The effects of desertification go far beyond just affecting crops. Desertification takes place in drylands worldwide and a lot of dryland is in developing countries. The people living there are vulnerable and have little input in decisions that affect their health.
With the loss of vegetation, dust clouds often occur, causing a myriad of health problems on top of hunger! When people migrate to “better” areas, more pressure is placed on the new destination with more people needing water and food. It leads to political and economic instability.
Giving Away Money Could Enable People to Rely on Handouts
There’s a big difference between helping and enabling. Helping is the act of doing things for people that they’re not able to do for themselves. Enabling is the act of doing things for people that they can and should be doing for themselves.
Handing over money to help people buy food could enable them to not try grow their own or work to buy for their own food.
Many believe a better investment would be to educate people on how to farm and grow crops of their own, and to do so as efficiently as possible. This will hopefully ensure that people can rely on government as little as possible, especially with the kind of corruption we have already mentioned.
The UN said the following in their Sustainable Development Goal 2, “If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.”
In impoverished countries, its women doing the growing, harvesting, preparing, and selling of most of the food, and they’re doing that with far less than what is made available to men. Despite this, they’re rarely taken into account when important decisions are made on policy and resources.
60% of the world’s hungry are women and girls. This impacts their children severely. A mother who is malnourished is more likely to have complications during birth, premature and underweight babies, and there could be other defects that are irreversible.
Until there is gender equality, world hunger will continue, and gender inequality is rife throughout the world.
As the late Kofi Annan said, “Gender equality is critical to the development and peace of every nation.”
Infrastructure includes electricity, roads, irrigation, and telecommunications – all of which are needed for successful farming and the distribution of goods to take place effectively.
In rural areas, all these factors are limited and getting this type of infrastructure in, is exorbitantly expensive with little to no return for investors.
Aluxers, deficiencies in rural infrastructure has an adverse impact on agricultural productivity. Rural countries don’t have easy or cheap access to things like electricity or tarred roads. If they do have electricity, its often unreliable. Remember what we told you about loadshedding in South Africa, as an example.
Whatever small crops are yielded, the prices are far too expensive for the community to afford and the cycle continues while people continue to starve.
If you’re tired of reading about the countries that still have a long way to go, here’s a list of 30 Most Beautiful Cities in the World.
Wastage Needs to Be Eradicated
Changing people’s idea that they can just go and buy more, must change, and no amount of money can do that.
Globally, between 30 to 40% of food is wasted every year!
It’s easier to understand in less developed countries where there is a lack of resources and knowledge to keep food fresh for longer. India loses about 40% of their produce because wholesalers and retailers can’t keep it cold enough. However, in more developed countries, there are no excuses.
Leftovers account for most of the food wastage, and that’s partly because we dish up too much food and throw out what we don’t eat. In the US, the value of food thrown away each year amounts to $48.3 billion.
Experts believe that $30 billion a year is needed to solve world hunger, and there’d still be $18.3 billion left to do other amazing things!
Countries Don’t Want to Loan Money to Corrupt Governments
It’s that simple. Aluxers, you wouldn’t loan money to someone if they had a reputation for not paying back. Same goes for governments.
Governments are not going to continually be bailed out if the money isn’t being used appropriately. And sadly, the misappropriation of funds means that the hungry suffer the most.
Throwing Money at the Problem Is Temporary
“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats his whole life.”
Pouring money into the crisis may help initially, but it’s only temporary until the problem resurfaces. Money can be used for training and teaching, but again, temporary.
As you can see by this list, Aluxers, things like gender equality, corruption, and views on climate change, cannot be altered with mere money. Money can’t eradicate civil unrest, it can’t make water miraculously appear, it can’t make people honest, and it can’t make people stop wasting food.
It’s safe to say that money alone cannot solve world hunger. So, what does?
What Can We Do to Solve World Hunger?
A good place to start is to stop wasting food. Acknowledge there is a problem and only eat what you need.
On a long-term scale, government support for struggling families should be paramount.
Sustainable food availability
Introduce a variety of crops if possible
Improve land and water management
Cash alone cannot make these changes; we need to work together to solve this crisis. Like lead singer of U2 Bono said, “If you want to eliminate hunger, everybody has to be involved.”
Aluxers, what would you do to solve world hunger? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!