SDG No. 2: Zero Hunger

SDG No. 2: Zero Hunger

Food is central to human well-being. It nourishes the body, provides livelihoods that lift people out of poverty, and unites communities. Even though food is a basic human need, too many people, like poverty, disaster, conflict, and inequality, are trapped in a cycle of hunger by forces beyond their immediate control. Despite decades of progress in reducing world hunger, the number of hungry people increased in 2017. Every night over 820 million people go to bed hungry, that’s one in every nine people who don’t have the food they need to live a healthy and productive life. The World Health Organization sees this as the single most significant threat to global health. Hunger is cyclical and generational: it inhibits the ability of people to work and to learn to its fullest potential, which can curb their future and trap them and their families into more poverty and hunger. 

The issue of hunger causes as many as 16.6% of the world’s population malnourished. Children are the most visible victims of starvation cases. Hunger has been the cause of 45% of children deaths. In fact, there are more than 99 million children under 5 years who are still undernourished and underweight. This certainly has a significant impact on these children. With hunger, many of the nutrients needed by children are not enough. This leads the children to have poor health, stunted growth, low energy levels, decreased function of children’s organs, and even affects the children’s mental health. Every year, there are 3.1 million children who die from diseases caused by hunger such as diarrhea and malnutrition. Even every 10 seconds, children die due to the issue of hunger.

One of the main causes of hunger cases is poverty including lack of resources, unequal distribution of income, and the conflict of hunger itself. In total, residents in poverty spend between 60 and 80 percent of their income on food. And vice versa, hunger can also be the cause of poverty. This is because people, especially children who are starving will lack nutrition so that growth will not be maximized. These nutritional deficiencies can result in poor health and a decrease in many bodily functions. This will then reduce the ability of people to work and study, so that it can lead to greater hunger.

Conflict and insecurity have also been the main drivers of food insecurity in 2017, reports the Food Safety Information Network. There are around 489 million of the world’s population experiencing hunger, especially those living in conflict-affected countries. Ranging from non-state and state-based violence, to one-sided violence. Some of these conflicts also force people to make internal or international movements and this makes people forced to have no income making it difficult for them to get food. Even the average number of malnutrition in conflict-affected countries is about four percent greater than the average in non-conflict countries. This shows how conflict plays a role in increasing cases of world hunger.

Climate change is also eroding existing food security efforts, the network said. 74 million people need urgent assistance in 2017, he said. The US State Department estimates that one in every four people in the world needs food assistance. In Asia and the Pacific, more than 500 million people live. In Northeast Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, and South Sudan also face the worst nutritional deficiencies in 2017. The Food Safety Information Network expects that by 2018, conflict and insecurity will remain the main drivers of hunger.

In addition, weather-related disasters, such as drought, are also expected to be a major catalyst for hunger. Unstable weather patterns can cause drought like in 2016, where El Nino caused severe food insecurity and affected 20 million people. Drought can lead to an economic crisis, food production, and political stability for countries that experience it because they must be faced with prolonged adverse conditions or also called annual disasters. This will certainly exacerbate cases of malnutrition and they have little chance of being able to recover. Later, Hurricane and hurricane seasons also play a role in producing stronger storms and impacting people’s livelihood damage such as agricultural production and rising prices for goods such as those in the Caribbean and Asian countries.

Increasing population growth also plays a major role in increasing hunger cases. This is because the greater the population, the higher the food demand. While the increasing demand for food is not balanced with sufficient investment in agriculture. So that it refers to rising food prices as a result of high food demand. In this case, it can be seen how increasing population and food demand contribute to price increases which then makes the poor lose their chance to get the food sources they need.

It is not impossible to overcome the issue of global hunger. In fact, since 1990, there has been a reduction in the number of cases of global hunger by more than 34%. There are many things we can do to deal with this issue. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and global leaders across all sectors need to work together to find new solutions to world hunger in order to effectively combat chronic food deprivation. Food safety means knowing where your next meal comes fromnot just today, but in the coming weeks and months. Through encouraging households to grow or buy their own food, families will be better prepared to cope with the pressures of the future. We also have a role to play in growing the 1.3 billion tons of food that annually goes to waste. Instead of wasting one-third of the world’s food supply to the trash, we should take minor, realistic measures such as cooking and exchanging meals with others or composting our remains.

Writers: Refrifa Nabaan Marsha Nurprasetyo, Jehezkiel Axel Jordan


Mercy Corps. (2018). What we’re doing to help end global hunger. Retrieved from:

Owen, Jasmine. (2019). World hunger: Facts & how to help. Retrieved from:

Opportunity International. (2020). 10 Things You Didn’t Know About World Hunger. Retrieved from: 

Hunger Notes. (2018). World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from: 

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