Opinion: Within the Realm of Possibility

by Cougar News Staff 309 views0

By Nilam Saimi – Cougar News Contributor

Why is it that if a child mutters, “When I grow up, I want to save the world and end world hunger,” the first thing that comes to one’s mind is, “Yeah right! Like world hunger is ever going to end!”? When the topic of world hunger is raised, people automatically label it as a cureless epidemic; however, although alleviating world hunger may not be within the range of probability, it is, nonetheless, within the realm of possibility. The people and governments, of developed and industrialized nations, as well as the governments of underdeveloped nations, should all work together in making an effort to put an end to world hunger.

A web article from Los Angeles Times claims, “The United Nations estimates that it would take at least $30 billion per year to solve the food crisis, mainly by boosting agricultural productivity in the developing world,” which would result in approximately $300 billion over the time of a decade, which would save and sustain hundreds of millions of lives. We should not make these nations dependent on developed nations, by merely supplying them with money or resources, which the governments of underdeveloped nations would probably use to their own personal voracious benefits. Rather, we should focus on initiating a plan to teach the common people of underdeveloped nations to be independent, by implementing direct agricultural growth, and further teaching them how to autonomously sustain this growth.

As $30 billion, annually, may indeed seem like an endless amount of money, one may think, “Well, where would we come up with that kind of money?” Strikingly, governments of developed nations “play” with large sums of money, as such, on a daily basis. In fact, according to the article, “The Price of Hunger,” from Los Angeles Times, $300 billion is “less than half of 1% of the world’s combined gross domestic products, not an unreasonable sum to invest in ending the misery and degradation of hunger.” The article from the Los Angeles Times continues, by indicating, “The U.S. spent $340 billion in 2006 alone on public and private research and development.” Furthermore, according to David Stout of The New York Times, the Wall Street bailout cost $700 billion. Although the bailout funds came from taxpayers, the government was still interested to frantically find a solution to the Wall Street issue, since, apparently, it was more important than dying children.

We ought to work together in ending world hunger without expecting to gain power, but merely to altruistically save the lives of helpless people. Also, each nation within the United Nations, should contribute their share of financial donations. And as for taxpayers, if small sums of money were to be collected from taxpayers of developed nations, on behalf of ending world hunger, would it be so bad? After all, the money would be going to good use. Unfortunately, we would rather spend that money on luxuries. If you were asked to give up your MP3 player, or your fancy laptop computer for an old used computer, and in doing so, you could save one hundred children from starving to death, would you? If one were to be personally confronted with this question, I am sure he or she would answer “yes” to assisting in saving lives from the effects of malnutrition. But then why is it that it is easier said than done? Most people, even with humble incomes, in developed nations, such as the United States of America, spend money on luxuries, such as name-brand clothing and accessories, video games, electronics, etc., and not once bother to think about hungry, suffering people around the globe.

Some people may argue that ending world hunger would increase the potential issue of overpopulation. My response would be that overpopulation can be prevented by administering population laws, rather than preventing overpopulation by neglectfully allowing the poor to starve to death. In the process of ending world hunger, developed nations should educate the people of underdeveloped nations on birth control methods, in order to prevent increases in population rates. Also, the governments of underdeveloped nations should create and enforce population laws, as China has. This approach would be much more humane and efficient to control population, rather than just allowing defenseless people to die. Allowing these people to die from starvation is as morbid as using abortion as the primary means of birth control, rather than preventing conception altogether, using preventable methods of birth control. Unfortunately, the governments of underdeveloped countries also desire money and power, and therefore, sometimes deliberately preserve the high poverty rates of their nations, in order to have power over the impoverished population. The people and governments of developed nations and the governments of underdeveloped nations are equally to be blamed for the continuance of world hunger.

Every year, there are millions of people around the globe, whose death is derived from malnutrition. According to bread.org, “Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That’s one child every five seconds.” Diarrhea, a direct effect of dehydration, kills an estimated 5,200 children, daily, of ages ranging from birth to five years, as written by Stuart Rachels, author of The Elements of Moral Philosophy. Children who are dehydrated can be cured so effortlessly, with just a small amount of water, sodium, and glucose, which would equal to only about 30 cents per child; 30 cents to save a life. The question is: why do we, nations who take almost everything for granted, not make it a commitment to save the lives of these innocent people? Well, for starters, “Americans waste an astounding amount of food — an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study,” as indicated by Andrew Martin of Los Angeles Times.

My claim is that developed nations, as well as the governments of underdeveloped nations, should put into effect a plan to end world hunger. My grounds for this claim are that most of the people and governments of these nations can financially afford to end world hunger, if they truly desired to make it a priority. My warrant, then, is that many people and governments of nations around the world, not helping to end world hunger, must indicate that the majority of people of developed nations and underdeveloped nations’ governments are self-absorbed, egotistical, hungry for money and power, and desire to behave in only manners related to self-interest. We do not realize the value of what we have until it is no longer in our possession. We cannot comprehend another’s agony, until we are physically put into his or her situation. It seems that either we are arrogant and neglectful, or just too uninitiated to introduce and implement a solution, so long as it does not affect our lives, in developed nations. As a result, People in developed countries tend to view starving, helpless people merely as statistics, rather than real-life individuals, who just as we do, feel pain, love, and have the common desire and right to live.