Global Poverty Lecture

Global Poverty Lecture - Global Poverty Extent of the...

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Unformatted text preview: Global Poverty Extent of the Problem Thirty percent of the world population (1.2 billion people) lives on less than 1.00 per day what is considered to be absolute poverty. Associated with such poverty is persistent hunger and malnutrition, squalor and lack of sanitation, high infant mortality, high rates of infectious disease, low life expectancy, high illiteracy, high unemployment, . One person in seven goes to bed hungry each night Hunger According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, humans currently produce enough food to provide every person with at least 2,720 kilocalories each day (68). If everyone ate a vegetarian diet, current food production could actually feed 10 billion people. Despite an ample food supply, 14% of the worlds population is malnourished 9 million people die of malnutrition each year (Cain 2004; 69) 33% of the worlds population is food insecure Why? Undernourishment and malnourishment are not a result of food shortages, but rather a result of poverty and other factors. In many places, due to economic and political policies, jobs are difficult to obtain and are poorly paid so purchasing food is difficult. Additionally, world food prices are kept artificially high for reasons that will be discussed below. Problems within In countries in which high rates of hunger and malnourishment exist, agriculturally productive land is typically controlled by a relatively small elite. In such cases, inequitable land control policies result in lower productivity of agricultural land: decisions lead to low yields per acre and land being taken out of production. Also land is often used for crops that are valuable as exports, typically exported to wealthier nations, instead of being used to grow food for the local population. The elite who control the land arent particularly concerned about the hungry of their nation. Problems within (continued) Also, economic and political turmoil in less developed nations contribute to starvation and malnutrition. For instance, civil wars and political turmoil disrupt food production and inhibit the distribution of food by humanitarian organizations. Problems from Outside In wealthier nations in particular, food surplus is often discarded or tilled under to maintain high prices. Land is taken out of production to maintain high prices, thanks to subsidies to farmers, called price supports, by governments such as the U.S. for not growing food. Additionally, much of the grain produced in our world today is used to feed livestock. Eating high on the food chain (eating beef, pork, lamb) rather than low on the food chain (grains and legumes, vegetables, fruits) requires more resources in terms of grain, water, and land. Problems from Outside In short, in wealthier nations, both norms, such as dietary customs and eating patterns, as well as political and economic policies, such as subsidies for taking land out of production or growing certain crops, compromise the availability of food for people of impoverished nations....
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Global Poverty Lecture - Global Poverty Extent of the...

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