Hunger and starvation is an issue that plagues countries all over the world, regardless of how developed that country may be. From the United States to villages in Uganda, there are people who go days without eating, resulting in malnutrition and even death. Many charities and programs such as the United Nations World Food Program are currently working to save lives, but there are still millions of people in need of help and assistance. The UN World Food Program addresses hunger everywhere, including countries that are typically not associated with starvation.
In Kabul, Afghanistan not all families can always afford enough food on a daily basis to feed their children. With the region being labeled more as a war-torn area, people often overlook the economic impact of political situations and how the natives are affected. Many adults have to work a minimum of ten to twelve hours every single day of the year, just so they can provide for their families; and if such work is not available, there is no guarantee that they will eat.
Africa, in particular, is renowned for its third-world status and the widespread hunger that the entire continent has faced for years. Not only do poverty and a lack of resources add to the high levels of starvation, but the HIV/AIDS epidemic has also contributed to the problem. In Zambia, for example, the UN works with several mothers who are HIV-positive, yet they have several children that they need to raise. In the entire country, 14 percent of the people now have HIV and 16 percent of the entire female population is infected.
Many of these women are also working mothers who struggle to find the energy to work long hours due to their illness. They also tend to forgo eating so that their children will have more food each day—a cycle that leads to further deterioration of their own health and increasing weakness, so they are unable to keep up with their work schedules. Fortunately for some of these families, the UN has intervened by providing nutritious food and medicine to treat some of the HIV symptoms.
This has enabled many mothers—the UN’s target population in Zambia—to continue working while also building back up their own physical strength. Another example of the UN’s work is Congo, where malnutrition has recently been a rising concern. UN workers have been effective in teaching the natives of Congo to farm and plant their own food, as well as the importance of a nutritious diet. One of the countries most closely associated with hunger and starvation, of course, is Haiti.
The UN World Food Program has had an increasing population on the island ever since the major earthquake back in January of this year. Working together to rebuild the country, the UN has made deals with many of the survivors—they provide the people with cash and food rations periodically in exchange for labor, which includes clearing the debris, paving roads, and reconstructing houses and other important buildings. Not only has the World Food Program helped with Haiti’s hunger issues, but they have essentially provided earthquake survivors with a sort of job market.
Without the program, the country would clearly have no standing economy, and therefore there would be no available work. Since the labor that the people provide in exchange for food and money all goes towards reconstructing their own country, this process implemented by the UN completely benefits Haiti and its people, especially in the long-run. Perhaps the greatest feature of the United Nations World Food Program is that it addresses hunger from all sides.
They do not simply enter a country, distribute food, and then leave. Instead, they work closely with the people there and provide them with the proper skills and knowledge so that they are able to feed themselves and their families forever—not just when the UN is there. Still, due to the fact that there are far more starving people than there are those who can help them, a great portion of the world still needs assistance and there is an enormous amount of work that has yet to be done.
Courtney from Study Moose
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