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Can humans end world hunger?

According to
"The UN system spends some $15 billion a year, taking into account the United Nations, UN peacekeeping operations, the programmes and funds, and the specialized agencies, but excluding the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Around half of this amount comes from voluntary contributions from Member States, the rest from mandatory assessments on those States."

According to
United States population is 312.8 million.

From this information I conclude:
15 billion divided by 312.8 million = just shy of 50 bucks per person from the US.

It seems that if the people (of the US alone) committed to 1000 dollars per year per person, equaling $312,800,000,000 (312 billion dollars), we should be able to do some good.

The problem is not that we cannot do this, the problem is we don't.

What do you think?

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    Jan 13 2012: If not us then who else?
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    Jan 12 2012: I agree with Edwin, we can if we really want to. It's said that in the usa on christmas alone, americans spend between $435 to $450 billion dollars. Now imagine what that money could do for our hunger problem..Thats just 1 Holiday.
    • Jan 13 2012: Thanks for joining in Tyrone. I hope your doing ok.

      I feel exactly the same way and this year I specifically asked that no one buy me a gift for that very reason.(Even cards)

      It surprised me when I received two cards stating that $100 dollars had been donated on my behalf for Christmas.

      It was a good sign for me.
      • Jan 13 2012: Stephen, just like you, but I did it many years ago, I stop buying gifts, flowers and cards and this counts on for birthdays and other events.

        You might be surprised that I don´t buy a flower for a female, but believe me, I DON´T.
        I think it is unfair to cut a beautiful flower from its plant and give that sad and dead flower to a beautiful female. I simply ask them: Would you like to have a flower or be with a flower?

        I start to help more and more to people who truly needs a helping hand. Giving to a bagger. buying a bread for a homeless, etc.

        Hopefully that will go around
        • Jan 13 2012: yup not surprised. I am considered to have no romance because I don't bring flowers or candy or cards (especially on valentines day) because of the damage it does. I tell everyone that my words are real and I am here so you don't need the card.

          I'm sure there are some things on which we disagree but it seems on these core issues, we are very similar.

          Nice to meet you Edwin.
    • Jan 13 2012: Tyrone, you are right; It is just one holiday. I didn´t yet mention the enormous amount that US, Europe and Russia (other countries in between) spend on military services, while all of them talk about creating a Global Village. Why do we need armed force when we die in hunger? why do we need army anyway when our main enemy lies within us? If US spends one year´s military budget on better mission, like: lifting up every child out of poverty, it wouldn´t be the Mission Impossible, would it?

      In EU, they spand a six digit amount on Traslations because there are 27 oficial languages and all members can speak English.
      • Jan 13 2012: ""Why do we need armed force when we die in hunger? why do we need army anyway when our main enemy lies within us?""

        Again we agree. There is no good or bad guy, only good or bad behavior. Every individual on the planet does both good things and bad things. (we actually get to choose our own behavior).
  • Jan 9 2012: I think the notion of turning the question of world hunger in to a financial question is not the way to reach a conclusive answer. World hunger is not about who has, who can grow, or who can distribute the most food in the least amount of time for the most amount of people. World hunger is about climate change. It's about over population and a lack of water.

    Humanity in it's current form, for all of it's cheery-eyed globalism, is not organized enough to 'fix' this problem. I'm not saying we shouldn't try, or that improvements can't be made on a national, international, and individual level...I'm just saying this issue isn't going to go away until everyone is dead. Sorry to be a downer. Happy Monday. lol
    • Jan 9 2012: The climate did not drastically change since yesterday and in that time, 16,000 people died from malnutrition. We have methods of growing and distributing food and water and education is the answer to overpopulation. All of this involves money at this time.

      Have you ever encountered a trapped wild animal? It will fight for its survival to the death. Well I am not dead yet and I am not willing to just roll over. You are on this site so clearly, you are not out of the fight. Don't give up, human lives are at stake here.
      • Jan 10 2012: Thank you for the reply. I'd just like to say that no part of my post was meant to dissuade anyone who is dedicating their time, money, or organizational resources to combat world hunger. That is certainly not a goal of mine.

        "Education is the answer to overpopulation"

        Yes, I agree. Have you found that it's a topic that a lot of people can't wait to discuss, though? Not only in the U.S. but on a global level? I ask because every time even the phrase 'family planning' comes up, three out of five heads in the room turn beet red....
  • Jan 9 2012: World hunger doesn't seem to be resolved without a world peace, as local armies, militias and warlords will prevent food from coming to their "enemies", in fact starved children.

    Other than that, the great problem seems to be perception of embezzlement or fraud in humanitarian charities, Caritas or Red Cross, which discourages many people from donating.

    Third thing is the problem that relief isn't gathered at all in some countries where people would give gladly for i.e. Haiti children. World tax of just 2.5% on the world population for the poorest of the poorest and the starving could end world hunger.
    • Jan 9 2012: Unless food rights are the primary cause of the conflicts in these areas. Making sure both sides have ample access to resources is a great way to end these conflicts.

      Fraud is definitely a concern, but 16,000 people dieing per day is a bigger concern. Being discouraged does not help them.

      In my eyes, the world hunger issue covers the way the non hungry people treat the issues of the hungry. So that leaves only about 7billion people that need help. Think big thoughts.
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    Jan 9 2012: If not humans who else could end world hunger? A strong volunteer force is required in food distribution... the question is not about how much country contributing how much money.... but is the money going to the right channels? Unless a strong distribution system is in place no matter how much effort is done.. the impact will be minimal
    • Jan 9 2012: If not you then who? Thanks Neel. I like the way you jump to the hurdles.

      I absolutely detest militaristic methods of solving issues, but after being in the military, I see that the United States Armed Forces has one of the best logistical teams on the planet. I also think that at 50 dollars a head (15 billion dollars), we could buy a lot of distribution systems. Imagine $1,000 per head. Harder but still doable.

      I agree with you. Money does make people act funny and I cannot speak for other people but my intentions are not to be rich or famous. None of that has meaning to me. My intention is to stop needless suffering on the planet. There is only one planet, one biosphere, the people breathe from one atmosphere. There is no "US and THEM" there is only us. Let's start designing that distribution system today. Please

      I am talking to you but am speaking to anyone who reads our conversation. We can do this, we just have to want to.
  • Jan 19 2012: Hi Stephen,

    I believe you will like this too. It's about buying things we don't need.

    and this from Bill Gates Notes

    by the way, not buying a dead flower for a beautiful woman you are with, doesn't necessarily mean that romance is out of your life... you can take them to a flower garden and let them enjoy: this is BEING with flowers and not HAVING.
    we life in HAVING mode, it's more than enough.

    Nice to meet you too.

    Take care
  • Jan 14 2012: Guys, no matter how overpopulated we will be, there is enough for everyone.
    I bet, you (me with you) have go so many items at your place that you don't have space for and sure enough you can live without some of them.

    Like I say: we can end the hanger if we really want, but we don't want it because we don't know what to replace it with. We think we know, but how do we know that we know?

    If Zared 's worries are for overpopulated world, Stop worry, think how you can educate people about birth control. this will be the start of ending hunger. The Computer took many workplaces, there no enough jobs , this cause a problem to find a job and make livings. (this is hardly a news)
    Post war generation worked to make a living, their children worked to have save and give their children what they couldn't get from their parents, my generation enjoys it fully. Our excuse is there is nothing we can do, everything is created.

    and yes, the hunger is also created, it is up to us to find solution for this insanity.
    The food in your supermarkets stays longer on the shelves than you on earth. Think about this.
    If the NGOs fail to deliver food or other stuff they can learn from Coca Cola (it's every where, WHY?)
    Watch this:

    It's easy for us to stand and look (sometimes point a finger and say: "It's so because of you" "I am not responsible for this") and stay where we are but we don't want to go out from our comfort zone in search of solutions, we feel safe in our cage(problem). Fear of Freedom - by Erich Fromm will tell you more about this.

    I sometimes feel like I am the-guy-behind-his-computer-who-wants-to-change-the-world.
    We better start to ask ourselves expensive questions to find solutions.
    We normally have all the resources we need in our brain, but we don't know how to use it.
    if it is so: how can we use it in our favour to help mankind?
    • Jan 14 2012: Nice Edwin

      I had not seen that video before but I do understand that if Coke can get around the globe then so can "needs"

      Thank you for sharing.
  • Jan 13 2012: I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land. “And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.” I still believe that We Shall overcome!

    How about that. Martin Luther King Jr. chimes in on the conversation.

    Just a segment of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. What a beautiful man.

    The United States honors King this weekend. Be sure to take a little family time and read one of his speeches together.
  • Jan 12 2012: We can if we REALLY want it to, but unfortunately it is not in our WANT LIST.

    Why did I put it this way? just take a moment and think.

    Haven't you always got what you REALLY wanted (if it was realistic enough to achieve) ?

    Who is crazy enough to give you what you DON'T want? Nobody, right?

    So it's quite simple, because we simply DON'T want it and WHY?
    Because our society is based on HAVING mode, we simply can't help us to stop wanting things.
    We seek to feel important by having bigger and better things. It's in our nature, tattooed on our blood cells.

    How much money has been spent on gifts and other items during Christmas and New Year?
    When it comes to help a NGO or a bagger we think we don't have enough to,
    but when it comes to buy something we got it. (say: a pack Malboro, It's over 5 Euros)
    some people can afford to buy it and burn it, but they somehow can't afford to give it to a bagger or a dying child.

    I say all this from a personal experience I have got from a village where they collected money to throw Village Party.
    and they wanted to have firework. I talked to organizers to spend their hard worked money wisely: to do something for community that will last, but all went for nothing, they simple did what they used to do.
    CHANGE is something we don't truly want because of fear of unknown.
    We have created the hunger in the world and now we don't want to end/change it, because we don't know what to replace it with.

    I am crazy enough to think I can do something to make a change happen.
    this thinking is good enough to help to others to improve instead of change.
    maybe one day it will end the hunger.
    • Jan 12 2012: ""So it's quite simple, because we simply DON'T want it and WHY?
      Because our society is based on HAVING mode, we simply can't help us to stop wanting things.
      We seek to feel important by having bigger and better things. It's in our nature, tattooed on our blood cells."""

      In this talk, Benjamin Wallace makes certain observations I think you will find interesting. My head is still swirling at the implications of his closing statement. I now have to wonder why I want what I want even though I understand that sometimes what I want is not good for others.

      From your words here, I believe we have a similar world view. So in the style of Socrates, Self examination. Share we me your thoughts of Wallace s closing observation.
      • Jan 13 2012: Thanks Stephen, I added the talk in my favourite list I can watch it again and/or send it to people that I think they need to know.

        By the way, my landlord got a toilet seat like these ones in clip. I was shocked why on earth someone needs such an idiotic item. but hey, some got money and don't know on what to spend.
        • Jan 13 2012: I thought you might like that.

          I know what you mean. To make things even worse, I look around my own house and wonder, What the hell was I thinking when I bought that?

          It feels good to be "awake". I just wish I knew more clearly what to do.

          I believe this is a good start.
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    Jan 12 2012: Ending world hunger is theoretically possible, but human greed and apathy makes it improbable.
    • Jan 13 2012: Welcome to the conversation Yana.

      Your statement is very accurate. The worst part for me is trying to change the opinion that it is not possible. Once we can agree that at least its possible, dealing with greed and apathy will just be business as usual and I believe the good hearted ideas will win out.

      I think it's a pass or fail situation and there is no guarantee that humanity will pass but it is up to us to choose.

      PS I think it is improbable as well but taking on the challenge is an enjoyable thing to do while I am alive.
  • Jan 11 2012: Yes.
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    Jan 11 2012: Can humans end world hunger? Hmm...NO!

    The humans themselves are the cause of the hunger.

    Any way of ending humans from ruling over themselves?
    • Jan 11 2012: It does seem that way.

      I am envisioning a group of people who will finally agree to work together to benefit all people and not to be ruled by any one people. I guess I took Johns song literally and imagined a better way.

      This is a post from Russell Lester from the Question ""How do we design the "distribution system" that will make available at least the basic needs to every region of the globe.""

      ""I am an orchardist, and recently seeing a documentary on food waste in the USA which included a shot of mud pies made from lard salt and mud for children in Haiti to eat I have begun a process to try and make available the fruit that I grow that is not pretty enough for retail consumers. Specifically I am trying to contact The Haitian Consul to have them address the transportation and distribution issues, I suspect that this is naive and would welcome advice""

      Human beings are taking care of themselves after all.
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    Jan 11 2012: I do not think that any amount would ever be enough to end hunger on this planet. Money is and remain necessary to do the job, but first of all it is only in solidarity that we will be able to end hunger.
    I remember a floud that happenned in Burkina Faso two years ago; not only did the floud caused people to lose their houses, but it spoiled most of the crops. Along with situation of war, natural desaster is a common hunger causer. Around 20 thousand family were on the rug. Imagine a country with more than 12 million inhabitants. If a system was implemented to receive these families, they would have gotten enough family to receive them and spare them to suffer hunger. But instead, people send money for a short term relief, then a few later they forget as so many thing are captivating our attentions. Up to now, some of this people are still wandering with no repere.
    Spending money over hunger, is good but not enough. Are we ready to offer a room to people in the need? that's the question?
    • Jan 11 2012: Thank you Ousmane for your contribution to the conversation. I hope you and your family are well.

      I am of the belief that we can generate money to do anything and everything we want. It is commitment to fellow human beings that we lack.

      When we realize a commitment to fellow human beings, money will become a silly idea.

      I for one am ready to offer room to all people in need because we have one planet, we have one air to breathe, we have one land and when we work together on common goals, we have one mind.
  • Comment deleted

    • Jan 11 2012: Please I hope you post some ideas on my other Question

      ""How do we design the "distribution system" that will make available at least the basic needs to every region of the globe.""

      Thank you for your interest here.
      • Comment deleted

        • Jan 13 2012: Hey Michael, we got this in the bag. I thought it was going to be hard.

          This is exactly the type of conversation I want but if you could cut paste it to this topic under QUESTIONS.

          How do we design the "distribution system" that will make available at least the basic needs to every region of the globe.

          That way maybe we can elaborate a bit more.
  • Jan 10 2012: Everything is possible with enough time and energy. Theoretically if every financially able person in the world gave £1 (or its currency equal) each week, Every issue in existence would be gone in several decades, but this assumes that all the legs of the centipede are moving in the same direction (They aren't).

    When you add in greed of those who have access to the money all the way down the line, big business that thrive on third world resources and labor and the people who wont take a second thought in seizing the portions of others, we start to have abit of an issue..
    • Jan 10 2012: Great response

      Yes I agree. On all issues the centipede moves in different directions but I would hope that on the issue of unnecessary suffering and avoidable death the centipede can agree on a course of action that is more conducive to overall health.

      My analogy is a plant. If I notice wilting and browning of some leaves (lack of nutrients or basic needs) and do nothing about it, the entire plant suffers. If I fix the cause of the wilting and browning (supply the nutrients), the whole plant will repair itself and thrive.

      I'll repeat what just about everyone is saying. We can behave better because everyone has a choice. What is apparent is that humans are not choosing to do so.

      I believe that a strong effort by the people of this planet to collectively end world hunger would simultaneously build a stronger unity between humans and much of our greed will dissipate into history like so many of our ideas in the past.
  • Jan 10 2012: I apologize to you directly Thora. I suppose I automatically respond to comments by speaking to the world instead of speaking to one individual. So I thank you for engaging in the conversation.

    Yes. I feel it is the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) effect but instead it's NMR (Not My Responsibility). It's connected with the Church. Organized Religion endorses God and says don't get in the way of his work, Family planning says "Wrap that Rascal". However family planning has to do more with overpopulation concerns and not world hunger.

    I'm not even saying Overpopulation is not an issue. I am saying that letting a certain group of the population die out because of their income level is not tolerable.

    If overpopulation is the primary concern then I suggest:

    1 No more cancer research
    2 No more emergency services
    3 No more United States Of America

    Yes I said If the rest of the world divided up our resources equally, they could possibly all do better.

    I'll paraphrase the bible's version of reciprocity. Do unto others what you would have done to you. To me that means, if I choose not to help other people in their time of need then I must expect the same response from others in my time of need.

    By saving the hungry from misery I might be signing my own death warrant due to population issue, but at least I don't die a complete asshole. When we are all healthy and viable, we will all work on the population issue together.

    So back to building the perfect distribution system.
  • Jan 10 2012: End world hunger?
    Of course it can be. We humans have known this for a long time, that it can be done. At least those of us who have been alive and reading, watching, listening and observing, our world. And that's a lot. But, it isn't that we haven't done it. It is that we don't do it.

    Then, we talk about those things or rather, those people and organizations that "stop us", "hinder us", or in some way get in our way, and keep us from doing it. The same people, organizations, institutions and others we have either voted for, trusted, believed in and certainly have lied to ourselves again and again, that they are good people, they are telling us the truth, they wouldn't really do things like this. And we believe their lies over and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over.
    It won't get done if we don't do it. So we have to do whatever we can come up with to begin ending it in our immediate vicinity until that kind of action grows into something greater. Those who are in positions that give them access to people, transport and other materials, supplies and whatever that can be used, also need to just begin.

    One poster said, "16,000 people died today. Well, 21,000 children, 5 and under, also died today, mostly and mainly from starvation. These figures, and others that arise from the degradating way more and more people are forced into living (ha!) are indications of success. Success from policies, designed, implemented and carried out by those in power. They are figures of success to them. So, we have to stop it because they will not and that means not letting them interfere with our successfully achieving this, among other goals. Actually, among other needs.

    They, those we vote for, they, those we have trusted, they, those who tell us what they are going to do for us if elected, they, have never kept one promise. They are the problem. They create the problem. They profit over us.
    • Jan 10 2012: """"I agree with the idea that important issues are being missed and that politics has turned into a slick sideshow but we the people have to take responsibility for that.

      300,000,000 people U.S. times $50 bucks is $15,000,000,000(billion)

      "but if a politician ran on a raise your taxes platform, he'd save us some cash because he would only be going to one campaign rally.

      Besides all of that, the real voting booth is at the supermarkets and shopping malls. Ultimately if damage is being done anywhere around the globe because of something I want, I am responsible. That statement is true for everyone.""""
      (I copied the above comment from another Debate but it applies here as well)

      You can no longer blame the politician. We can all agree that the politician is saying what you want to hear in order to get elected. What you want hear and fixing world hunger issues are two distinctly different ideas. One of those ideas uses your money and that is not what you want to hear.

      Your real policy making votes happen in the shopping malls not in the voting booth. Stop passing the buck to "them". There is no US or THEM, there is only YOU and ME.

      So what are WE going to do?
  • Jan 10 2012: Ending world hunger would ironically cause overpopulation and that is worse then world hunger itself. There must be a stable or a gradual decreasing relationship between birth and death rates.

    What I said is a horrible thing, but it is reality. I am not saying let them starve. I am saying care for them with time.
    • Jan 10 2012: Ending world hunger would ironically cause overpopulation"

      This emotional statement cannot be proven. Are you saying that overpopulation and world hunger have a direct correlation? Show me your data.

      Over consumption practices and a better understanding of what the words "All men are created equal" mean. These are the issues we face.

      I am confident that we already produce enough food for the planet and could probably handle more and my source is

      but as a side note 16,000 people per day are dieing because of malnutrition.

      I would rather live in a box with 10 people than let someone die because I need my space.
      • Jan 10 2012: Yes, overpopulation is caused by a drastic increase in birth rates or by a drastic decrease in death rates and in that sense, overpopulation is connected to immediately ending world hunger. I do not have to provide date on how stopping 16,000 people dying per day will cause a drastic decrease in death rates. This is not about equality, it is about maximum amount of resources.

        Now, we do have the resources to end world hunger today. Eventually after ending world hunger on that day, comes the downfall because as the world's population increases drastically, the resources use to sustain human life decreases drastically. Next, the only solution to conserve these resources for survival is to cut off access to them for the majority of the population. In the end, immediately ending world hunger will cause a larger starving population due to overpopulation.
        • Jan 10 2012: ok I won't argue your obviously sound logic. So your saying let them die so you have enough space?
        • Jan 14 2012: Zared,

          You missed the fact that overpopulation is worst in areas with greatest death rate due to hunger. In developed countries people have one child, maybe two or maximum three. I suspect procreation instinct boost desire for children if half of them do not survive. This is the "selfish gene".
      • Jan 10 2012: I am not saying let them die. I am saying care for them with time and reason. We do not have the resources on this planet for the accumulative population caused by ending world hunger. It would actually cause a larger starving population in no time.

        I understand your stance but try to see the outcome of the situation.
        • Jan 10 2012: No, I understand your fear. You have to realize that we cannot say how many people can survive on this planet. It may possibly be able to handle 50 billion people. The science we have on any subject is debatable at best. My biological being (empathy) says don't just stand by and let people die. So I am not going to do that.

          The logical mind has informed you of the outcome of overpopulation. It has also informed you that "All men are created equal", "With Liberty and Justice for ALL", "Together We stand, Divided We fall". These may be American words but remember we are a melting pot of the worlds cultures, beliefs and ideas.

          Whats that old guys name? The one on the we care infomercials on tv. I'm 44 next month. I watched that guy get old year after year. So how much more caring for them with time and reason am I going to have to endure.

          Please try and understand the monstrosity of your position.
          (comment back to the top. I am watching the whole conversation)
      • Jan 11 2012: No, I understand your fear. You have realize that you feel bad for the thousands of deaths of people.The emotions we have on any subject is obviously bias. My logical reasoning (intelligence) says don't just rely on emotions and become so rap up in them that I become incapable of seeing past ideals. So I am not going to do that.

        Your emotional intelligence has informed you of your empathy. It has also tells you of other emotions, but regardless of those emotions, you should think logically to avoid being bias and cause a bigger problem.

        I do not know that old guy's name. I do not watch infomercials. I study for the knowledge I gain with books, studies, or courses. So how much more can we as the human race must wait in order to look beyond our beliefs and see the world might not provide the resources for our ideals?

        I do understand that dying from malnutrition is horrible and if we stop world hunger, then we risk overpopulation and cause a greater starving population which means more people are dying from malnutrition. Please try to understand that emotions and beliefs may distort logical reasoning. If I am wrong, please, point out the flaws in my monstrosity position.
        • Jan 11 2012: Zared

          It's obvious we both want a better ending to the human story, so we do have that for common ground. We simply disagree on the subject of overpopulation.

          It is a concern but the rate at which overpopulation is becoming a threat to individual lives or is to be considered apocalyptic is fairly gradual in our lifetime. Starvation is an immediate threat to life and is cause for urgent action.

          There is no conclusive proof that our planet cannot sustain twice as many people that are on the planet now. If you are not a scientist at the cutting edge of new information, then what you believe depends on who you believe.

          If overpopulation is such a crisis then let's go save the large number of brown skinned people from starvation and do away with cancer research and fire and rescue teams all over the globe. That way at least its natures lottery that decides who dies and not you or I from the comfort of our personal computers.
      • Jan 11 2012: I guess you could not find any flaws with my concept. You are stating things there is no proof, but will tell you otherwise. I choose to believe numbers and logic then irrational emotions. There is no way that our planet can sustain twice the population.

        The cure to cancer is not likely to cause overpopulation because cancer is not a pathogen and the treatment would not be a preventive so, it would be for those who can afford the treatment. Fire and rescue teams are definitely not going to cause overpopulation and I do not have to explain why on that concept.

        Unless, you can prove my concept is flaw, then you cannot say it is flaw. Ending world hunger will ironically cause a worse situation then we are already in.
        • Jan 11 2012: YOU WIN. Overpopulation is the big problem.

          So when you are drowning in a lake or a pool don't ask for help. There is an overpopulation problem you see. Sorry mate.