Raising questions in a class or in a debate can help to clarify an issue and suggest campaigning actions or possible solutions. Below are a number of topics which aim to stimulate this kind of discussion.
There are, needless to say, no simple one line answers.
- If there is enough food in the world for everyone? Why are close to 1 billion people hungry?
- Why do the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by the UN focus so much on women and children? (See Section 2 Progress for a list of the MDGs.)
- Is it a realistic goal to halve the number living in poverty by 2015? Give some reasons for or against.
- What are the push-pull factors that encourage people to leave the land and move to the major cities?
- What are the links between lack of education and hunger?
Activities: What you can do to help end global hunger
The first step is to embrace a vision of a world without hunger. This is no pipedream. With steady commitment and political will it is perfectly possible. Below are some of the direct actions needed to achieve this goal. If you ever have any influence in your life and career, remember them.
- Make ending hunger a top priority in impoverished countries.
- Confront gender inequality and empower women to play a bigger role in their communities.
- Give small-scale farmers the opportunities and education they need to produce enough food for their families and to earn an income.
- Support rural economies so they can develop jobs for those who need them and slow the pace of rural-to-urban migration.
- Allow farmers better access to both domestic and international markets for their crops.
- Manage natural resources to ensure land is not over-used.
- Promote cooperation between the public and private sectors to end poverty and inequality and improve access to safe food for all.
U.S. athlete and Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis cheers with students during a visit to their school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Mr. Lewis, a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is supporting the initiative “Fruit Trees for Haiti”, as well as the International Year of Forests and the Race Against Hunger campaigns.
An important part of ending hunger is to reach and influence those with the power to affect change. You can do this at any age. We need to tell key decision-makers and politicians, local, national and international, that global hunger is a great injustice and totally unacceptable.
The scale of the problem is vast and there is no magic bullet solution but the first step is to become informed about the issues.
- First, get the facts. Use www.fao.org and other sources listed in Section 6 Resources to gain a better understanding of the causes and possible solutions to world hunger.
- Sign the 1 Billion Hungry petition calling for action to end global hunger. Urge your family, friends, relations and fellow students to do the same.
To date over 3 million people have signed the 1 Billion Hungry petition and more sign every day. It is a powerful way to tell political leaders that we the people demand an end to global hunger. A petition like this gets the message across loud and clear.
- Lobby politicians, government ministers and members of parliament to demand action on world hunger. This can take the form of letters, petitions, postcards and public meetings. Politicians pay attention to this kind of lobbying and if they believe the electorate want change they will respond.
- Ask your teacher to invite public representatives to speak to your class on world hunger. It’s a chance to ask them what they’re prepared to do about the problem.