The Face of Hunger; A Global Issue


Although hunger may not always be recognizable, in many cases it is like for example the photo above you can see the children’s malnutrition

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How does my experience as a student in Afghanistan, Germany, and the US help me create more awareness and advocacy about global hunger?

Afghanistan is a poor country but I have never experienced poverty personally. My father is highly educated and his position in finance management enabled him to create opportunities for his family. The principal causes of food insecurity in Afghanistan are: lack of employment opportunities, low wages and low household income, insufficient local productions of wheat and cereals, declining livestock production etc. In 2016-17 13 million Afghans did not meet their basic caloric requirements. (World Bank) The  rate of food insecure Afghans rose from 28% in 2016 to 45% in 2017 and this increase mirrored poverty trends till now. I lived in Afghanistan until 2016 when my family decided to emigrate to Germany for greater security and opportunity.


Afghanistan, Germany and USA food insecurity

Although Germany is a wealthy country as well as the USA, in Germany the unemployment rate has fluctuated during the past 30 years. From 5 years of experience in the education system of Germany I became aware of the challenge of migrants and food security on a global level. Germany is a developed modern country with a healthy global economy but; like here in the US, there are low-paying employment among low- and middle-skill workers and women acting as a driving factor of poverty and hunger. Since the rapid influx refugees from Syria and the Middle  East began in 2015, Germany has seen lower unemployment rates and higher economic growth. Immigration has helped Germany socially and economically on a global level. Despite its relative wealth and social stability,  1% of the population or 800,000 people in Germany spend less than EUR 99 per month of their household expenditures on food and are likely to live in nutritional poverty and experience hunger at least from time to time.

Hunger exists in the USA and Germany.  Why?

Hunger is mainly caused by poverty that results from lack of jobs or jobs that pay too little in the US. Hunger rises when the national or local economy is in slump. People lose jobs and cannot find work. Also another reason why there is so much food insecurity in the United States is unexpected car maintenance or an accident on a job that can force a family to choose between buying food or paying bills. It costs $2 billion to end hunger in the United States.  In the United States there is a relatively high standard of living but unlike Germany there is not as much social and economic support from the Government.

In the US and other developed countries we still have hunger because of food distribution issues.  In other words, there is an abundance of food resources but we need to be more creative and less profit motivated when it comes to global distribution.  In the United States the food industry is a profit industry that is not focused on food distribution as a human right.

Urban Fresh Food Deserts: In poor city neighborhoods there is no access to fresh foods that tend to cost more because of demand from consumers who can afford it. There exists a high level of food consumption and high level of food waste in wealthy areas without the ability to distribute the surplus.

The face of hunger in the United States and other developed countries is not as obvious, but it exists nonetheless.

Here are some examples of what citizens can do to advocate for more equitable food distribution:


  • Germany is a place of relative wealth in Europe and so it attracts migrants for economic and social opportunity.
  • The more people who understand the issue as a human rights issue of social justice then the more they will be willing to act as a part of the solution.
  • If people understand that anyone’s hunger problem is everyone’s hunger problem then they will be lmore motivated to help and less prejudice.
  • Positive campaings will get more and more people to work and show that it is better for the economy as a whole.
  • Donate money


  • The United States and Germany have many similarities in terms of relative wealth and social economic opportunites for the immigrant.
  • There are poor Americans living in rural areas or even inner cities who struggle with food access.
  • Donate money
  • Create jobs, raise wages, increase opportunity,
    and share prosperity
  •  Improve government income-support programs for
    struggling families
  •  Strengthen SNAP
  •  Strengthen Child Nutrition Programs
  •  Target supports to especially vulnerable populations
  •  Work with states, localities, and nonprofits to expand
    and improve participation in federal nutrition programs
  •  Make sure all families have convenient access to reasonably
    priced, healthy food and build political will



Now it is a critical time for international support in Afghanistan because the US Military will be ending their long presence in the country. It is more important than ever for non-governmental international organizations to support food security and overall security in Afghanistan. With proper supports the resililient Afghan people will find a way.  The link will take you to the international organizations to feed the hungry (World Food Program USA)  What can you say about the problem and solution of hunger in Afghanistan?

  • Taliban need to stop the fight in Afghanistan so that most girls would be able to go to school
  • let women to work
  • When women are supported the whole nation is supported