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Ending World Hunger

June 15th, 2017 | by Richard Paul
Ending World Hunger
Business and Finance

Research Question:


Is ending world hunger and food insecurity throughout the world an inherent human right? A minority of countries with the economic power to help nations affected by food deficiencies on a humanitarian basis is a start, but a majority of countries need to fill this void to end world hunger globally, and domestically. Therefore, this paper will first analyze pertinent causes of world hunger throughout the world. To do so one must dig into this human rights issue of food insecurity further by assessing the top three issues that will be a topic of discussion in this paper, as it will be covering the instability of political systems during these times, which push the citizens of the state to become violent as a survival tactic. Second, look at the notion that famine is not caused by crop failure, but rather by a breakdown in entitlement to goods. Crop failure is not a major contributing factor to food insecurity and world hunger, however the distribution of who is entitled to goods is what causes widespread starvation. Third, being economic poverty, which fosters an inability to nurture livestock for food security. These fluctuating factors are essential elements of famine, which tend to be highly volatile due to severity. Thus, leading us to examine how governments used food as a weapon and therefore brought about international reactions demanding food be treated as a right. One will comb through the reform that stemmed from the band aid reaction that steered the country of Ethiopia towards overcoming famine, which Ethiopians were fighting against in hopes of conveying the ideology that food is and should be regarded as an inherent human right.

Thesis Statement: In addition, this paper will argue that ending world hunger and food insecurity is an inherent human right, protected by international bodies such as the United Nations, NATO, charitable organizations, and world powers. As outlined above, the factors that contribute to the violation of human rights include instability of political systems, entitlement to goods, governments using food as a weapon, governments failing to acknowledge food security to be a protected human right and economic poverty. In order to have any successful attempt at thwarting world hunger and famine the operational aspect of charities and world organizations such as the United Nations must explain where public donations and funding are being used. In addition, accountability and transparency will be crucial in this paper because not only will one examine the positive attempts at ending world hunger, but also the setbacks that result in trying to end food insecurity globally. Therefore, corruption will also be another aspect of the paper because public funds are not always used on the people that need them most, and in most scenarios they lack necessary resources that could better be provided if they had vital information on foreign settings that they encounter.

There is a major role to be played by international institutions and charities such as the United Nations when it comes to the down to ending world hunger and food insecurity worldwide on the basis that food and water are inherent human rights. Much like the African Union which is comprised of 54 countries and was created in 2002 to play a vital role of support to impoverished nations with help from NATO and the United Nations. That being said, food security is an inherent human right based upon the premise of ending and alleviating world hunger throughout the globe. Moreover, international and domestic world hunger and food security issues are critical in deciphering what issues the United Nations must handle first before they deal with other human rights issues. International bodies such as the United Nations, NATO, charities, and world governing powers have utilized various resources to analyze positive and negative gains and setbacks in the journey to end world hunger and food insecurity, but the task is ongoing and will take many years to end this crisis.

Political instability is a recurring theme in the continent of Africa and contributes to world hunger and famine as a result. Food availability is provided through various non-profit organizations, charities, and government agencies but dispersion of the food does not reach out to over populated areas that need it most. Corruption in Ethiopia has resulted in food being used as a weapon to meet the demands of government officials that are not in accordance with the best interest of the nation nor the population but the survival of themselves in power. The Ethiopian drought specifically resulted in crop failure and farmers were reluctant to sell their stock for a reasonable price and without adequate funds food outsourcing was reduced to a level of scarcity. Political instability is an interwoven fabric of government, when responsibilities that institutions lay out are not being acknowledged or created as is the case with infrastructure where roads and highways are not built properly, food cannot be dispersed to populations in rural Ethiopia for example in the city of Wollo. Governments are also responsible to ensure food inflation does not drive up the cost of providing nourishment in times of dire need such as a famine but as a result of increased production of food, those who had it in abundance rose the cost of selling it resulting in more deaths.

Food entitlement is very important, in analyzing who suffers from starvation and what groups are omitted. This is all based upon entitlements and what one has to offer in order to get food. For example, a barber has some skill in one’s profession which earns him/her income but does not equate to obtaining food which is a requirement to live. Food entitlement demands that one trades a skill for the necessities of life such as food and water. Starvation can be caused by not a lack of food necessarily but a lack of income and purchasing power in buying the food. Entitlement is not just about access to resources but the ability to command any commodity he/she wishes to obtain within a society. It is difficult to compare the rich and poor in a society when there are different aspects such as who has land, an occupation, or even a business that may also classify these groups as being poor, even though that classifies them in the same category as a homeless peasant that lives off little to no income. However, they are not of the same essence of impoverishment to such groups. Once an immense portion of individuals lose their ability to command an adequate amount of food then famine will start to take place. One must understand the distinction between the two famines that may occur to better understand the entitlement issues that exist, as this understanding brings one to better interpret the causes of famine, resulting in solutions towards the matter opposed to labelling the cause of the famine in a manner that does not progressively advance society from the situation as a whole. As indicated above, famine can stem from a very extreme scarcity level of food or it can stem from a lack of purchasing power and the distinction between the two allows one to fix the specific problem. Entitlement to food stretch’s the idea that purchasing power can affect the vulnerable groups in society based on their income and knowing this will permit the government to design the right set of interventions for those living and dying under the constraints of famine. Now, the scarcity of food changes the perspective of entitlement, as there must be an intervention designed and imposed to make more food readily available, but the question then becomes how can this be done in a way all individuals receive their right to food and freedom of being threatened by starvation in countries that are experiencing economic poverty.

Economic poverty stems from a deficient government and in many ways lays the conditions for famine to re-occur. A lack of economic productivity is a strong indicator towards a country’s state of poverty. Starvation and famine differentiates in the sense that people are starving although the country may have an abundance of food whereas famines there is food availability decline and an overall notion that scarcity of goods will lead to premature death for various groups such as in Ethiopia. Economic poverty is gradual with starvation first, being lowness of food levels, second, declining trend of food consumption, and thirdly, what categorizes famines, sudden collapse of food in levels of consumption. Even in widespread areas where famine has been hit the hardest not all groups are suffering because of their ability to command food through their economic power thus demonstrating their impoverishment is not the same to those who are actually suffering. Even in the 1973 famine in Ethiopia where famine was hit the hardest in the province of Wollo, food shortage was not the problem whereas purchasing power and transportation of goods to this area resulted in a bottleneck failure to get resources to those that needed it most. Farmers were producing goods although at a lower level than previous years but an economic collapse was the resulting factor that prevented food dispersion in the hardest hit areas. The manifestation of economic mismanagement is the impetus to a large degree of poverty and unless things change in Ethiopia it will be impoverishment that will continue to increase exceeding the current decade and half. As the entire world sees it, the genesis of famine conditions is a result of the flaws in the governance Ethiopia has been under for quite some time. Although one has been analyzing the impact of economic poverty, certain groups relied on consumption of animals and as a result of the droughts that occurred many animals died and people were starving to death without the prospect of using their own resources to purchase food for themselves. This can be seen as direct causal link to the drought that propelled the famine in North-East Ethiopia, so economic poverty was not the only reason the populace starved to death but rather their main sustenance of food was affected by the environment that caused such deprivation to all living mammals in these areas.

This paper will highlight the role of corruption and also argue how it has severe effects on not only the condition of poverty the country is in but the burden it places on the people of the state. Corruption is a widespread problem in the Horn of Africa where business dealings often favour those with close links to government officials, with dispersion of land not being equally divided but granted to those with the greatest purchasing power. A mere 6% of the Ethiopian population and their families control more than 70% of the modern economy, including communications, transport, agriculture and the defense industry. Key political institutions, including defense, intelligence and foreign affairs, are similarly owned and operated by and for the benefit of the ruling ethnic clique, with as many as 98% of the top echelons of the military and security forces being staffed by ethnic Tigrayans. This demonstrates the problem that many countries must face in which a local oligarchy controls virtually all of society and its governing institutions to the benefit of their own accord with the majority populace fighting back, literally, to get rights granted to them to make society more egalitarian.

In conclusion, NATO & the African Union needs to come together to off set the abuse of freedom in the context of using food as a weapon to starve the citizens, entitlement in light of food being a right to all individuals, and political stability by means of intervening with the right policies that not only correct the checks and balances of the state but also reduces the incentives that lead to corruption. The Ethiopian famine of 1973 was a vital example of how famines spread externally, with food being used as a weapon, and entitlement to food being a problem especially in cases of starvation when food availability decline is so low. Political stability starting with infrastructure and corruption would help alleviate the problems of food insecurity, world hunger, and famine while also diminishing internal conflicts that result because of an unequal purchasing power between groups, especially those with ties to the government in contracts.





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