What is Causing the World Hunger and Famine Crisis and How Does it Affect the World?

It’s no secret that world hunger is still affecting millions of people globally. While many believe that it’s primarily those in third-world countries who are suffering from hunger and famine, this is simply not true. Hunger affects 19 million children every year, and those numbers have only continued to grow over time. Additionally, the Covid-19 global health crisis has only contributed to the hunger problem, while climate change has continued to push children and their families to the brink of starvation. 

World Hunger and Famine Crisis

While we know that hunger is a very real problem, many don’t know what is causing world hunger and the famine crisis. 

In data provided by Save the Children, the three leading causes of hunger are climate, conflict, and Covid-19. Children and families living in war-torn countries are displaced, leaving their families unable to find food or jobs to support their families. This crisis is, in turn, amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic and the added disadvantage of climate change changing the growth of food insecurity.

Here’s a list of the causes of hunger and famine and a short explanation of how it affects the world:

  1. Poverty 

Poverty is one of the most common causes of hunger because, unfortunately, poverty and hunger go hand in hand. Families without a steady or regular income are unable to afford nutritious food at all, resulting in malnutrition or undernourishment. In some cases, families might sell certain assets, such as livestock or tools, as a quick solution to purchase food, but unfortunately, these small sales are only short-term solutions. 

  1. Increased Food Prices and Capitalism 

The cost of nutritious food constantly increases, putting those living in poverty at a disadvantage. Low-income families simply do not have the resources to purchase healthy food, thus causing them to live in hunger. Additionally, wealthy food distributors charge higher prices for food without thinking about those who need it most. By charging more for less food and exploiting the financially vulnerable, corporations and wealthy individuals benefit from capitalizing on expensive, while the hungry suffer. 

  1. Climate Change 

Climate change also has a significant impact on global hunger. Climate extremes taking place all over the world result in either excessive rainfall or none at all. Unfortunately, extreme weather means that crops for food are ruined by excessive rain. Climate change also negatively affects the nutritional quality of food as well. 

  1. Covid-19 

Before the pandemic took over the world in 2020, hunger was already rampant all over the world. Unfortunately, various factors such as lockdown, an economic recession, and schools closing down meant that limited resources became even more limited. Reduced incomes meant that families had to cut down on the amount and quality of food purchased, resulting in a reduced caloric intake. In the case of school children, many from lower-income families could get hot meals at their schools, but once lockdowns took place, children lost access to a steady source of nutritious food. 

  1. Gender Inequality

Another one of the leading causes of world hunger is gender inequality. Studies have shown that 60% of hungry individuals are women. Women earn less than men, resulting in a smaller income contributing to a household income. On top of that, women are also expected to be the primary caregivers in a home while also managing housework, cooking, and various other domestic responsibilities. 


Hunger has a hugely negative impact on the world. In addition to it being a significant health crisis, hunger negatively impacts the growth, economic, educational, and social development of entire nations or communities. The problem begins with a lack of access to nutritious food and not just food in general. 

Thanks to economic disparity and inequality at a systemic level, many communities are left impoverished and without access to food, which is a fundamental human right. 

We’d urge you to please think about consuming food consciously without overbuying so that you prevent wastage, and we’d encourage you to think about donating to organizations that help. 

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.