Experts Visit OU, Discuss Problems, Solutions for World Hunger
World hunger is an international issue, and a panel of experts met with OU students to openly discuss local and global hunger. The panel of speakers included Dr. Marc Scarcelli, Jessica Bilecki, Essam Mikhail and Stephen Scanlan. A worldwide food crisis, suggestions for change and who to blame were among the many topics addressed by both students and panelists.
“There is no question that there is a global food crisis,” said Mikhail.
“People do not have food to eat … nor the income to support their livelihood,” Scarcelli added.
With this reality on the table, various causes of the food crisis were brought to the forefront. Mikhail shared knowledge of a rapidly progressing middle class in Asia as a contributor to the situation.
“With an enormous growing middle class in Asia, they expect to live like we do, which means more food … the middle class in Asia helped drive this,” he said.
Scanlan made it clear that a global problem stems from local circumstances. Interestingly enough, to talk about world hunger is not effective without discussing the localized grounds of justification.
“We can’t separate a global crisis from a local crisis. People do not have sovereignty over food they consume,” he said.
Oxfam America is a nongovernmental, international relief and improvement organization working to create enduring solutions that will end hunger, misconduct and poor economic conditions. At OU and in over 90 countries, Oxfam America participants help change lives while serving as advocates for social justice.
OU Oxfam America President Elizabeth Held said she was pleased with results concerning the discussion.
“I thought it was good … I was pleased with the questions people were asking,” she said.
Termination of world hunger remains as a leading goal of the organization. At the conclusion of the event, necessary steps to ending world hunger by the year 2050 were shared by panelists.
“Reinvestment in agriculture … we want to use the land we already have,” said Bilecki.
“Every country has to reassess their agricultural policy. There’s always hope,” said Scarcelli.
“Educate yourselves more broadly on these topics so they can at least get back on the radar screen,” said Mikhail.
The assorted causes of world hunger are affecting populations on an international level. Oxfam America continues to work globally to halt any further complications stemming from this issue. With an internationalist mindset concerning relief advocacy, they hope world hunger will soon be a problem of the past.