Famine and hunger
Food deprivation leads to
malnutrition and ultimately starvation. This is often connected with
famine, which involves the absence of food in entire communities.
This can have a devastating and widespread effect on human health
and mortality. Rationing is sometimes used to distribute food in
times of shortage, most notably during times of war.
Starvation is a significant
international problem. Approximately 815 million people are
undernourished, and over 16,000 children die per day from
hunger-related causes. Food deprivation is regarded as a deficit
need in Maslow's hierarchy of needs and is measured using famine
Food aid can benefit people suffering
from a shortage of food. It can be used to improve peoples' lives in
the short term, so that a society can increase its standard of
living to the point that food aid is no longer required. Conversely,
badly managed food aid can create problems by disrupting local
markets, depressing crop prices, and discouraging food production.
Sometimes a cycle of food aid dependence can develop. Its provision,
or threatened withdrawal, is sometimes used as a political tool to
influence the policies of the destination country, a strategy known
as food politics. Sometimes, food aid provisions will require
certain types of food be purchased from certain sellers, and food
aid can be misused to enhance the markets of donor countries.
International efforts to distribute food to the neediest countries
are often co-ordinated by the World Food Program.
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