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Essay Example: Starvation in Africa

2021-07-21 18:31:13
5 pages
1197 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Hunger, famine, and malnourishment have affected Africa for decades. Famine is a condition that leaves many people without food to the extent that they starve. Starvation is evident from the increased numbers of underweight children in Africa. Severe cases of hunger in Africa are caused by poverty, corruption and violence, and environmental factors such as lack of rainfall. This proposal seeks to address the problem of starvation in Africa, causes and to give possible solutions to the problem.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that between 2014 and 2016, about 233 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa were victims of hunger and malnourishment. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of starved people after Asia (Africa Hunger Facts, Africa Poverty Facts - World Hunger News"). The phenomenon mainly implies that one out of every four people Africa is starved.

The primary cause of starvation in Africa is poverty that hinders the peoples ability to buy food. In 2012 for instance, about 47 percent of Africas population survived on $ 1.90 a day or even a lower amount than that (Africa Hunger Facts, Africa Poverty Facts - World Hunger News"). The inability to afford food causes extreme cases of hunger and starvation in the continent and which in turn inhibits productivity of the Africans. It is a fact that productivity is boosted when a population is well fed.

Environmental factors are the other causes of starvation in Africa. The agricultural environment of most African countries continues to be affected by droughts that took place in the 1990s and 1980s. Domestic production in agriculture is closely related to the level of rainfall. Rainfall in most parts of Africa is never enough; either it is too little or too much leading to the destruction of agricultural products. Also, most parts of Africa are deserts where nothing can be grown on the sandy soils. One year of drought in a country cannot cause famine and starvation among the citizens (Von Braun, Teklu, and Webb, 12). However, a combination of famine, political unrest and lack of preparedness for drought by the governments in Africa cause prolonged drought and starvation among the people.

Political factors that cause famine and starvation in Africa include conflict and political unrest in the continent. Countries affected by violence and conflict have poverty rates that are 20 percent higher than states without conflict. Children are the ones more likely to be exposed to misery and hunger leading to their starvation. In times of conflict and violence, people are likely to be dispersed from their original areas of residence. When people are displaced, they leave their houses, sources of earning income and other possessions behind. The people then become refugees in other places where they often endure lack of income and food. The lack of income and food, in turn, causes hunger and starvation among the people (Poverty). The United Nations has often tried to offer food and other requirements to the refugees but have not managed to meet the demand.

The other factor that causes starvation in Africa is rapid population growth. It is estimated that an average African woman gives birth to about 5.2 children in her lifetime. The population in Africa has grown from 221 million people in the year 1950 to nearly one billion people in 2009. The rapid growth of population rates Africa among the highly populated continents in Africa. The high population then lowers per capita income and the resources such as food become limited ("Sub-Saharan Africa | Data"). The most significant percentage of the high population in Africa is poor, and the people have low purchasing power for food thus leading to hunger and starvation among the Africans.

Starvation in Africa is apparently a problem that needs to be addressed because hunger affects productivity and the economic growth of the countries affected. In the following section of the paper, I will discuss some possible solutions that Africa can use to control the menace of hunger and starvation among her residents.

The first measure to reduce starvation in Africa is an improvement of agriculture in the region. Many agricultural organizations both governmental and non-governmental have come up with strategies to improve agriculture in the area despite the fact that they have not fully materialized. African governments and non-governmental organizations should work towards providing quality seeds to the farmers in the region that have a good climate to sustain farming. Also, the organizations should educate farmers on sustainable farming methods depending on the climates in different areas (Hall, 20). Such measures will ensure more food to feed the hungry and will also be a source of income for the farmers.

The African countries affected by hunger and starvation should work towards forming partnerships with the private sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations. The partnerships will help the African countries to acquire funding to finance food management. The funds acquired from donors should then be used by the African governments to formulate policies that ensure the countries remain prepared in the case of drought and famine (Hall, 25). Drought management policies will help African governments to set aside money and food for times when it is in scarcity. The stored food and finances will then be used by the nations to provide for the Africans in times of hunger or prolonged drought in the region.

Political unrest and clashes in Africa are often caused by corruption among the leaders. African countries should, therefore, work towards forming governments based on transparency and inclusion. Leaders should be vetted through free and fair elections to ensure that they represent democracy and the will of the people. Free and fair elections, as well as transparency in the handling of the public's money, will ensure a reduction in conflict and violence in the region. With peace in Africa, people are not likely to be displaced as refugees in areas where they lack food and sources of income (Hall, 32). Hence, economic growth will be sustained while at the same time reducing starvation in Africa.

In summary, starvation is caused by long periods of time without food among people. Africa has the highest percentage of starvation in the world with children being the major victims. Starvation is caused by poverty, corruption and lack of rainfall all of which are interlinked. The paper has proposed several solutions to the problem of starvation in the continent. A reduction in corruption and countries in Africa aiming at conducting free and fair elections would by a large extent reduce conflict and violence in Africa. A solution to environmental causes of starvation would be governments and NGOs offering funding to African governments to sustain agriculture. Agriculture if improved will be a source of income to farmers who will then afford the basic needs of their families such as food.


Works cited

Africa Hunger Facts, Africa Poverty Facts - World Hunger News." World Hunger News, 2017, N.p . Web. 6 December 2017.

Hall, Linley Erin. Starvation in Africa. The Rosen Publishing Group, 2007. Web. 6 December 2017.

"Poverty". Our Africa, 2017, N.p. Web. 6 December 2017.

"Sub-Saharan Africa | Data." Data.Worldbank.Org, 2017, N.p. Web. 6 December 2017.

Von Braun, Joachim, Tesfaye Teklu, and Patrick Webb. Famine in Africa: Causes, responses, and prevention. Intl Food Policy Res Inst, 1999. Print.


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