My view on poverty and world hunger
My view on poverty and world hunger
World hunger and poverty are very closely related. Poverty is the bigger problem of the two, because we create enough food to feed everyone on earth, but the food is just not distributed properly. Also, some people don’t have enough money to buy the food. You don’t see many millionaires walking around begging for food, do you? Pretty much world hunger is caused by poverty. So, if we solve poverty, we solve world hunger.
Food aid is sending food to countries to help those in need. However, it is NOT the way to solve the problem in the long run. It often just makes things worse. Once the free food is readily available for the citizens, they only eat that food, making local farmers, ranchers, fishers, and other food producers go out of business. This just makes the economy worse in that country, causing the entire country to become more dependent on the host country for food. This can be an accidental side effect, or it could be an intentional ploy by the host country to make the developing country under their control. If the host country wants something from the developing country, all they have to do is threaten to stop sending food.
Every single country in the world, except for Sweden, Mau, Taiwan, and Liechtenstein have major national debt. The debt ranges from Niue with only 400 thousand dollars debt, to the U.S, whose debt goes up that amount every ten seconds. The U.S. debt is currently peaking at 16 trillion dollars, which is 2 trillion more than last year. In some cases, national debt can contribute to the poverty of its citizens.
Poverty is a MAJOR issue. Today, 80% of the world lives on less than 10 U.S dollars a day, with the bottom 10% living off less than 88 U.S cents a day. 88 cents a day is less than some U.S kids make in allowance. (How does it feel to be considered rich by some grown adults?) The U.S minimum wage is over 7.25 dollars an hour, more than most people in other countries make in a day. Even one dollar is a day’s paycheck to some people, but it could barely buy anything in the U.S today.
What can solve both world hunger and poverty is a more even distribution of wealth. This can be done by the rich giving away all their money to the poor (which could never happen), or by giving aid. Developmental aid is money, instead of food, sent to developing countries for them to spend on schools, roads, recreation, bettering the environment, farms, businesses, and many other things. This is MUCH more helpful than food aid, but it does have its own problems. The main problem of developmental aid is that there is very little actually being provided to poverty stricken nations. In 1970, the world’s richest countries agreed to spend 0.7% of their annual income by 1975 on developmental aid. This promise is still not fulfilled. Only the four countries of Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, and Denmark actually made the goal. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway even exceed the goal by 0.3%. The rest of the countries fell flat on their promise, spending on average only 0.3% of their income on developmental aid. The U.S spends the fifth smallest percentage on developmental aid by spending only 0.2% of its income. In actual money, instead of percentage, the U.S spends the most by spending 15 billion a year. This is double the amount of money spent by the second place country. This shows the range of international wealth versus poverty. The U.S is so rich that they spend only 0.2% of their income and it is still 15 billion in aid.
If all the richest countries had kept their promise, developing nations would have received over 4.4 trillion dollars over the forty years since 1975. This sum is larger than the actual 3.7 trillion received. There are more than just country contributions though, there are also private contributions. Fifteen percent of the money for developmental aid comes from charity organizations, small businesses, and individual people.
Simply spending 5% of all the money spent on warfare each year on developmental aid could end poverty. (Sad but true) Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen. (Wait, if I spend 5% percent of the money I spend on warfare helping others, then ______ will find some way to get out of this agreement, and will attack my country with an advantage of 5% more money invested in warfare. So, why would I want to help people when I could blow people up?)
If the world DID spend 5% of the money spent on warfare each year on developmental aid, then it would almost completely eliminate poverty. The country that spends the most on warfare each year is again, sadly, the U.S. The U.S spends more than 41% of the worldwide amount of money that is spent on warfare costs. It spends more than the other top 15 countries that spend money on warfare, COMBINED. It spends more money on warfare than any of its potential enemies, which are many. The U.S spends 10% of its income each year, 700 billion dollars, on warfare. Isn’t it nice to know that that’s where your money goes? I think this is juuust great.
There are some problems with developmental aid in general. Host countries can’t blackmail developing countries like they could with food aid. However, they can still influence developing countries by sending them more money if they help the host country. France sends money to countries if they adapt some of France’s culture. The U.S sends money to the Middle East to try to keep people from joining terrorist groups. Japan sends money to countries that buy their products, and Sweden sends money to progressive societies. In fact, only 25% of the developmental aid money goes to the countries that need it the most. The rest is simply used as bribes. The 25% of “used for intended purpose money” is much smaller after you take phantom money into account. Forty-seven percent of the money sent as aid never gets put to any use. It’s spent on transportation, salaries of transporters, and fuel. The aid organization may be a scam and steal the money or the host country may send less than promised. Sometimes the developing country’s government may take some of the money for salaries to itself, shipping taxes, and more.
Something else of interest, besides the government being in debt, the U.S population in fact owns ONE FORTH OF THE ENTIRE WORLD’S WEALTH. In the U.S., 20% of the citizens control 85% of the wealth, making that 20% richer than the countries of Japan, the UK, and China COMBINED.
Well, on that note, I hope you realize the severity of poverty and world hunger. There is a HUGE range of income and wealth throughout the world, some making a million dollars a day and others making 88 cents a day. There are also a multitude of problems with trying to solve these issues. Poverty and world hunger are in large part a result of greed. Realistically, because greed is in human nature, it can’t be solved forever. So, therefore, poverty and world hunger are not likely to be solved in the long term. However, that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to help balance the scales.