Population and Feeding the World

By: Emily Morris

Hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

The Debate

Food scarcity in the population debate is interesting because the reason people are hungry is they cannot afford food, not because the population is growing so fast that food is becoming scarce.


International trade and economic policies are what has lead to poverty and hunger, not food scarcity because of over population. This is now a political problem, not a food shortage problem. People have been arguing that when populatioin increases, food shortage increases but that is not the case. It has been proven that food production has been able to keep up with increasing population for decades.


  • This year, nearly 9 million children younger than five years old will die needlessly, more than half from hunger-related causes.
  • Few of these deaths are related to outright starvation, but rather to common illnesses (such as diarrhea, malaria and measles) that move in on vulnerable children whose bodies have been weakened by hunger.
  • In the developing world, more than 1.4 billion people currently live below the international poverty line, earning less than $1.25 per day.
  • Undernourishment negatively affects people’s health, productivity, sense of hope and overall well-being. A lack of food can stunt growth, slow thinking, sap energy, hinder fetal development and contribute to mental retardation.

Story of Nancy Lomwai

Sweat drips down Nancy Lomwai’s face as she unties a thin sheet from her shoulders. She unstraps a little baby girl from off her back and then a little head pops out from her front and she unstraps another baby.

It took Nancy, 22, six hours to get to the Chesta health centre in West Pokot, Kenya. For the whole journey she has carried her twin girls, seven-month-olds Joyline and Belinta, strapped to her front and back.

Little Joyline and Belinta are both suffering from severe acute malnutrition and Nancy travels with them to the centre once a week, so Action Against Hunger’s community health workers can monitor their progress and give them a week’s supply of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods, for their at-home treatment.

Nancy says: “I try to give my baby’s breast milk but I never have enough and so I feed them porridge and Ugali instead, which they do not eat so well.”

My Call to Action

No one deserves to go hungry. We, as a global power, need to come up with ways to support those suffering. Whether it's just to donate a small amount each month to raise awareness, or to lower the prices of food around or in countries that are poverty stricken.

Works Cited/Consulted