The human right “Freedom from hunger” – is described by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as “The right to food is a human right inherent in all people, to have regular permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or by means of financial purchases, to have quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food corresponding to the cultural traditions of people to which the consumer belongs, is one that ensures a physical and mental, individual and collective fulfilling and dignified life free of fear” (Holtz, 2013, p. 356).
I believe all people regardless of ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status should be afforded this right. Hunger propagates anger, in order to maintain peace and cohesiveness, I think it is important that people are free from hunger. One of the main reasons I think freedom from hunger is important is the economic development of all nations. If people are hungry, there will be a stagnation in economic growth. Nutrition is a major contributor to physical and mental health. Holtz (2013) states, “malnutrition is considered to be the world’s leading threat to life and health today” and offers the following example:
An infant has marginal macronutrient intake, usually as a result of maternal milk supply drawing to an end. The infant then develops diarrhea from an intestinal parasite or other infectious agent. This disease is promoted by low immune response from macronutrient deficiency. Unable to stop the consequent water/sodium imbalance, the infant dies of dehydration. Even if the infant survives, the long-term consequences of this bout with disease is catastrophic.
As shown in the illustration above, the child described, were it to survive will have to endure with a lifelong struggle with decreased mental and physical development, premature death, nutrient deficiencies leading to growth retardation, and opportunistic infections due to decrease in immune response. The family is likely to spend a lot of time and money caring for this child, as a result little time is dedicated to contributing to the economy of a country and the little resources they have is geared towards paying for expenses related to the child’s care.
Some solutions to this problem would be to create awareness and educate people on sustainable farming so that they can utilize what they have to maintain a constant supply of food and eliminate hunger. “Programs to assist in improving the nutritional health of developing nations are urgently needed to provide opportunities for health promotion by education as well as diet changes reflecting specific local community cultural and health needs” (Holtz, 2013, p. 370).
Holtz, C. (2013). Global health care: Issues and policies. (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning
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