Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Hunger is one of the Basic Problems

Someone had rightly said that food is more than a trade commodity; it is an essential to life. Therefore, it is important to protect nations and people from hunger in the world market system. The prevailing market system does not distribute food on the basis of nutritional need. This is one of the most troubling and complex realities of the world hunger problem.

Lack of food is basically a material poverty. This sort of poverty can hurt people in many ways, it can hurt people's self-esteem and it can also hurt their outlook on life. If one comes home from work to see his family and instead of seeing a family which is happy because it has a roof over its head, he comes home to see that his children do not have enough food to eat to keep them properly nourished; it hurts families and tears some of them apart.

It can also affect people's outlook on life and on people in a major way. People who are denied food can start to hate life and everyone around them. There is also two instincts in life that will always kick in when a person is hungry: the survival instinct which is to survive no matter what the situation is and the instinct to provide food for one’s family. Parents would do anything it takes to make sure that their children have the proper nourishment. Some parents may get too much desperate that they may reach a point where they would even kill for food. This feeds the monster we call the "spiral of violence" and helps to encourage it grow. Because we have in the long run, poor people stealing and sometimes killing for no reason. They should not have to steal or kill for food, they should at least have enough food to eat to survive. In fact, there is enough food grown in the world to supply every man with thirty-six thousand calories a day, this is enough to cause weight gain. However, the issue of hunger persists and threatens different countries, mostly the third world countries.

Hunger affects third world nations in many ways. There are some basic reasons why poor countries cannot provide food for their people:
1). Government by selfish elite: many of the world's poorest and hungriest nations are controlled by governments consisting of the nation’s wealthiest members. Government policies tend to favor the interests of the wealthy rather than the poor.
2). Conditions on aid programs: Aid that is offered by wealthy countries to poor countries often comes with strings attached. For example, a wealthy country might give a poor country money, but require the poor country to use the money to build roads, bridges and airports. This in no way helps the poor country provide food for its people.
3). Debt payments and conditions: most poor countries are deeply into debt to banks. Paying interest on loans takes money from programs that could help eliminate hunger.
4). Discrimination: ethnic, religious, and gender discrimination within poor countries also cause poverty. Religious and ethnic minorities are likely to be more impoverished than other groups, and with no money comes no food.
5). Arms sales: military spending by poor countries is encouraged by rich countries that make and sell arms. Because of this, valuable money which could go to help by food is spent on weapons. The spiral of violence is also fuelled by the availability of weapons, which increases repression and adds to poverty and hunger.
6). Abuse of land and other resources: The abuse of a poor country's resources leads to environmental degradation. Damaged land cannot be effectively farmed for local food production.

Afghanistan is also one of the countries that is influenced by hunger to a large extent. Some of the above mentioned reasons also fit in Afghanistan context. Like, there is an elite ruling over Afghanistan that seems alien to the common problems of the common people. They cannot feel the pains of the poor and hungry and are not inclined towards solving hunger problems. Secondly, there is discrimination and corruption within national institutions that hamper the proper allocation of resources to the poor and the needy people. And above all, the government spending on security largely hinders the initiatives to defeat hunger in the country. The country is suffering from insecurity to a large extent and therefore, most of the efforts are diverted towards the same sector and therefore the issue of hunger and poverty remain neglected.

It is vital that the ruling elite must feel the issues of the common people and must realize the fact that many of the poor people in the country die or get caught in several social problems because of hunger; therefore, they should fulfill their responsibilities in this regard. Moreover, no sort of discrimination and corruption should be tolerated in case of hunger and poverty as they are the issues which can influence the people directly and may even cause large-scale deaths. And, government should not limit the budgets and resources meant for hunger and poverty in the pretext of security as these are the issues that further complicate the problem of insecurity.