Can we really end world hunger?

11:50 AM Nov 14, 2021 | Shivani Kava |
India slipped to the 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th, and is behind its neighbors Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
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World hunger is a major issue. Let’s say you have a child who is poor. Hunger may be a daily occurrence. When it becomes endemic, it has an impact on their learning, growth, and development. It has an impact on their schooling, and without it, they will be forced into low-paying jobs. This cycle can be vicious because their children may be subjected to the same problems. And, given that 10% of the world’s population still lives in extreme poverty, it’s a massive issue.


Before the pandemic, 2 billion people were already experiencing severe food insecurity. Following the pandemic, between 83 and 132 million people were added to the list. However, a tiny group of people were having the time of their lives elsewhere.

In an interview, David Beasley, the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), indicated that $6.6 billion might help fight world hunger – that $6.6 billion was just 0.36 percent of the net worth of the top 400 US billionaires and a fraction of Elon Musk’s net worth.

To which Elon Musk responded with “If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.”


Did David Beasley actually say $6.6 billion could end world hunger?

According to him, $6.6 billion could save 42 million people in 43 countries from famine this year. A famine is proclaimed when two out of every 10,000 people in a region die of starvation every day. And COVID has exacerbated the situation. But, again, Beasley did not claim that it would “fix” world hunger.

$330 billion, at least according to Ceres2030, which believes that with this amount of money, we could solve world hunger by 2030. Despite their confidence, there’s no certainty that you’ll be able to completely eliminate world hunger. Only half of the difficulty is procurement. You can make food more available by lowering prices or completely subsidising it, but you won’t be able to end world hunger unless you get this food to those who need it. The logistical constraints might be prohibitive in countries with inadequate government, corruption, and warehousing infrastructure.

To make a significant difference in this problem, countries would have to spend an additional $33 billion per year. And when you add it all up, it’s easy to see why even Elon Musk, the most amazing person on the planet, might not be able to cure world hunger.


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