Child Hunger: A Heartbreaking Injustice Amidst Abundance

Child Hunger


Child Hunger: An Unnecessary Tragedy

March 24, 2023

Child hunger continues to be a devastating reality today, despite the abundance of global food and wealth. It is a brutal atrocity that innocent children suffer from malnutrition and starvation while enormous quantities of excess food and agricultural produce are destroyed. Moreover, the developed world, spearheaded by the United States, spends exorbitant sums on wars and military actions, often overlooking the plight of starving children. This article explores the prevalence of child hunger, the paradox of food waste, and the stark contrast between global priorities and the pressing need to address this humanitarian crisis.

The Prevalence of Child Hunger

According to the United Nations World Food Programme, approximately 9.7% of the global population, or 768 million people, suffer severe food insecurity. Tragically, a significant portion of those affected is children. The UNICEF estimates that 149 million children under 5 suffer from stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition, while 45 million experience wasting, a severe form of malnutrition. The repercussions of hunger are far-reaching, affecting children’s physical and cognitive development, educational achievements, and long-term health.

The Paradox of Food Waste

It is an appalling reality that while millions of children go hungry, around a third of the food produced globally for human consumption is wasted or lost, amounting to approximately 1.3 billion tons per year. Food waste occurs at various supply chain stages, from production and harvest to storage, processing, and consumption. In developed countries, a significant portion of food waste occurs at the retail and consumer levels due to stringent quality standards and over-purchasing.

Instead of destroying excess food and agricultural produce, efforts should be directed towards redistributing these resources to the hungry and impoverished. Implementing more efficient food distribution systems, reducing waste, and encouraging sustainable consumption practices could help alleviate child hunger worldwide.

Misplaced Priorities and Wasted Resources

The developed world, particularly the United States, has often prioritized military spending and engaging in conflicts over addressing child hunger. In 2020, the US military budget amounted to a staggering $740.5 billion, which dwarfed the $9.5 billion allocated to global health programs, including those tackling hunger and malnutrition. These figures reveal a glaring disparity in resource allocation and a lack of political will to address the plight of starving children.


The prevalence of child hunger worldwide is a heart-wrenching injustice, especially in light of the abundance of food and wealth. The paradox of food waste, combined with the developed world’s misplaced priorities, highlights the urgent need for systemic change and global cooperation. Addressing child hunger requires a shift in priorities, focusing on sustainable food production and distribution, reducing waste, and reallocating resources towards humanitarian efforts rather than military pursuits. Governments, organizations, and individuals must work together to ensure that no child goes hungry in a world of plenty.

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