Starvation and the World’s Population

COMMENTARY | This week the world reached a new milestone. The population of the world reached 7 billion and the U.N. is projecting that we could reach 10 billion by 2083. These numbers have many people concerned given the shortage of many natural resources in the world. Questions have been raised about ways to control the population growth and if we should even be worried about it. But with the amount of starving children around the world currently, I believe we must do something.

In countries like China, population growth is already controlled by limitations on family size. Families are only allowed to give birth to an allotted number of children. In sharp contrast, families in areas of Uganda are producing families with more than 25 children and are unable to feed them.

While the idea of an across the board limit on children is something that, as a mother of four wonderful children, I cannot get behind, I do believe that common sense needs to be used. If that common sense is not used, then maybe rules need to be put in place. In the case of families in Uganda and their belief that large families are a sign of success, I believe that this ideology needs to be adjusted.

It is fine to have a large family if you are able to provide for them. However, according to the World Food Programme, over half of the children under the age of five in areas of Uganda are experiencing chronic hunger and the country as a whole has a hunger rate of 38 percent. In these areas, having some 25 children that you know are going to go hungry is just not fair to the children, and in my opinion, is definitely not a sign of success.

For many of these countries, the knowledge of family planning is non-existent and needs to be addressed. John Baliruno, a father of nine in Uganda, stated that he had not intended to have such a large family and was now unable to feed them. He and his wife just kept having babies one after the other. Educating people in the use of contraception is something that needs to become a worldwide program, not only in countries like Uganda. According to the World Food Programme, there is currently a one in seven chance of a child being born into hunger across the world. As our numbers grow, this is only going to get worse.

No one likes to see the commercials on the television for different organizations raising money to feed starving children, but if we do not start doing something to reduce the amount of babies being born, the problem of starving children is only going to get worse.

As a mother I know we can’t always plan for problems to arise. With the economy as it is now, and unemployment growing, many families that were providing just fine are finding themselves struggling now. However, if you start in a bad situation, having 25 babies is not going to make that situation better.

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