poverty has been further exacerbated by a political crisis, floods, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
Horn of Africa:
An estimated 11 million people in the Horn of Africa "are on the brink of starvation" because of severe drought and war. Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia need food aid, water, new livestock and seeds. This is a major hunger crisis in development.
Poverty in Afghanistan, made worse by drought, has contributed greatly to their hunger problem.
The recent earthquake coupled with a severe winter have produced starvation conditions. Recently, mud slides have hampered relief efforts.
Food insecurity caused by the countries economic problems, is compounded by unpredictable and severe weather conditions. To date, the North Korean government has failed in its duty to provide for it‘s starving people. The North Korean government has actually refused foreign aid.
A 40 year civil conflict and the illegal drug trade have caused mass displacement and poverty.
Democratic Republic of Congo:
3.4 million people have been internally displaced as a result of a continuing internal conflict.
They are struggling to cope with the devastating impact of a recent drought.
Erratic weather, lack of seed and fertilizer, chronic poverty, and AIDS have been contributing factors to starvation.
These are the areas of the world which are currently suffering the highest levels of malnutrition and hunger. With this understanding of where relief efforts are needed, we must address the question of individual response. Are individuals of developed countries donating to relief efforts? Most morally conscious individuals donate to relief efforts when the problem is presented to them.
A major problem in the relief effort is the general population of developed countries not knowing about the current hunger crisis. News organizations, more specifically television news, are not giving enough attention to the global hunger situation. While an in depth discussion as to the reasons for this is outside the purview of this article, a few points can be made.
Evidently, the American TV news organizations, do not think world hunger is much of a story since starvation is a daily occurrence. I suspect, from the perspective of these news organizations, that 24,000 people per day dying from hunger is not a big enough news story. When 1,386 people died from hurricane Katrina, the news coverage was enormous. Five months after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, TV news organizations were still squeezing all they could out of this story. Granted this was an obvious tragedy, but an even bigger tragedy, much bigger, is going on in Africa and the general public does not even know about it.
I have seen little to almost no coverage given by American TV news organizations on the devastating hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. I have only learned of this crisis through RSS feeds on the Internet. Television news organizations such as CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC are thus far not reporting on this crisis. Hopefully this will change.
It is evident that the American TV news organizations do not really provide total and complete news, rather they screen the events and only provide what they feel may be interesting to their audience. News organizations should present the news and concomitantly maintain high journalistic standards. Maybe these news organizations need to incorporate a higher level of moral obligation into their decision making process, when deciding which stories to cover. In any case, people can not donate if they do not know the problem exists.
We have addressed some key questions in order to characterize the current status of the world hunger situation. We have examined where hunger is the most prevalent in the world today, and we have identified some of the causative factors which contribute to malnutrition, hunger, and starvation. We have concluded that most morally conscious individuals would contribute to the elimination of hunger, if they knew about the crisis. Finally, we have observed that the degree of world hunger coverage by TV news organizations is very much lacking.
Even though TV news organizations have not been covering the current world hunger crisis, by reading this article, you have developed an understanding of the degree to which starvation is prevalent in the world today. If you are reading this in a developed country, which is highly likely since you are reading it on a computer which has Internet access, you have a moral obligation to donate either time or money to help in the elimination of unseen suffering. Winston Churchill once said "we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." We must all do our part to eliminate world hunger.
Thomas Sullivan is a Search Engine Optimizer, Webmaster, and activist in the area of world hunger elimination. He has built and currently maintains several websites. A relevant website he currently manages is Hunger Relief Portal
. He also maintains the blog World Hunger News
. For questions or comments his email can be found on his website.