TED Conversations

Tambra Tice

This conversation is closed.

What is the REASON behind world hunger?

I understand that there is poverty in the world, and I understand that in some of these places there is no water and the soil is not very good. But it seems incomprehensible to me that with all the wealth and excess food stored up in developed countries, and boats and planes and trains and automobiles to transport the stuff, WHY is it not being done? And how can we MAKE it happen? Please help me to understand this.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 6 2011: there are a lot of reasons, which, added to the fact that it's so widespread, is why it's such a difficult issue to fix. The fact that food costs money is among the biggest, because extreme poverty makes it impossible to get food for most people where starvation is most prominent. plus, when you've got areas like somalia where there's an incredibly harsh drought, and you can't grow crops locally on a large enough scale to feed everyone, then of course starvation is going to follow. One of the closest we can get to a solution would be to teach locals how to grow crops and have donations to the area directed at irrigation and other agricultural needs for beginning farmers.
    • thumb
      Sep 6 2011: Thank you for your thoughts Dema. I'd like to comment on a couple of things you said.

      1) " The fact that food costs money is among the biggest, because extreme poverty makes it impossible to get food for most people where starvation is most prominent."

      I don't see why those who HAVE money do not/can not spend it on getting the food to the 'have nots'. The fact that 'food costs money' is really 'no object' to those who have the money to begin with, so why is it so hard to GET IT to them?

      2) While there are harsh droughts in such places, I would think that with our modern day technology, we could come up with a way to grow plants & raise animals in those harsh environments...I mean we put men on the moon, mapped the human genome, and have cloned animals...and yet we can't figure out how to grow food in drought stricken areas? Seems something is terribly amiss.

      What about drilling wells? Surely if you dig deep enough you can find water there, right? And irrigation systems for when it DOES rain, or what about building a great pipeline? If the gas companies can do it to get gas from one place to the next over thousands of miles, why couldn't they do it to get these people water? And I can hear people who are reading this say, "Where is the money coming from to do all this?" To that I say, "From all those who HAVE it!" And even as a last resort, if all else fails or cannot be done (which I find preposterous) why don't we relocate these people to places that DO have food and water? (I'm fairly certain that if you asked the parents of starving children if they would be willing to leave their 'home' and move somewhere else if they knew it would save their children, that they would say yes.)
      • Sep 7 2011: you made some very good points, but unfortunately the people making insane amounts of money in the world don't usually donate a lot, especially not enough to completely solve hunger, or even on a wide scale. You're absolutely right, though, they SHOULD be donating their money, and when you make as much money as some people do it seems absurd to not to give it to those who have nothing at all. In terms of the droughts, I thought maybe teaching that sort of harsh-conditions agriculture and developing and irrigation system would be a great idea but it's also a huge project that would not only require money but many, many volunteers. Any way you put it, it seems, it costs an enormous amounts of money to implement a project on a scale that would significantly impact those in need. As for relocation, it would be very difficult to relocate those people to places with sufficient amounts of food, because the vast number of people who are starving is staggering. And if we really did manage to move all those people, it might cause food shortages in the towns we move them to. As I said before, hunger is a deeply complex problem made worse nowadays by the worldwide economic issues we face even in the U.S. But I'm sure any solution we have for hunger would be found agreeable by anyone suffering from something so terrible.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.