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How can global poverty and hunger be reduced?

09:45 UK time, Monday, 20 September 2010

World leaders are meeting this week to discuss progress on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Are the goals focussed on the right areas?

The eight goals, established 10 years ago, have a deadline of 2015. The United Nations agrees that the aims of halving poverty and hunger, and cutting in half the number of people without clean water will be met. However, progress on other goals, including helping women and their newborns and environmental sustainability, are mixed.

President Barack Obama told the summit that a revamped US foreign aid policy would focus on development, not dependence. Earlier, Deputy British Prime Minister Nick Clegg confirmed that the UK was committed to increasing the money it gave in overseas aid.

What efforts need to be made to ensure MDGs are met by 2015? Are the goals the most effective way to raise people out of poverty? What can be done to ensure richer countries honour their commitments?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Well free contraception would help long term. I would gladly donate money for this cause. When the Pope condemed the use of condoms in Africa was disgusting and he should be sacked from the job. How irresponsible.

  • Comment number 2.

    The most effective way to get to this is to (I am sorry to say it) cull the population.

    At the rate at which it is expanding the planet will not be able to sustain the population. There are too many mouths to feed and dwindling farmland since it gets taken over to develop new towns on and lowering in fertility due to overfarming.

    There is a limited supply of fresh water since 99% of it is undrinkable salt water getting it to the most vulnerable areas is almost impossible.

    Basically it is an impossible task with the finish line constantly getting pushed further and further away.

  • Comment number 3.

    We can't afford the deals that Tony and his criminal government signed on our behalf. Sorry but we have to look to ourselves first. The only way to get rid of hunger is by massive enforced contraception and sterilisation to control the worlds population.

  • Comment number 4.

    "Are the goals focussed on the right areas?"


    as long as we allow corruption and exploitation to go unchecked, as long as we're happy to have our pension funds invest in weapons manufacturers, nothing will change for the better.

  • Comment number 5.

    Two words - Birth Control.

  • Comment number 6.

    No it will never be reduced whilst the Politicians and leaders of countries are more concerned about pointless posturing eg: UK and Trident and while no one will enforce the rights of the common people and remove the leaders of countries who are destroyinhg their people.

    This was done with Saddam but he had the personal disadvantage of being a despot of an oil rich state. His friends Mugabe etc are luckier from a personal perspective is lacking anything people want so they are left alone to destoy their countries and the lives of their people over the long term.

    The impotence of power is simple disgusting in this regard.

  • Comment number 7.

    Put money in the hands of the people providing the tools, materials and knowledge to get things done.

    Too often money is just thrown at a government and very little trickles down to do any good.

    Pay skilled unemployed people here to help out.

    Unfortunately, thanks to this govt, it looks as though we're going to have plenty more of our own poor to help.

  • Comment number 8.

    Fewer people?

  • Comment number 9.

    We could stop feeding all the 'native british' whingers who go on & on & on & on, day after day, blaming everybody in the world for all their problems without ever examining their own behaviour or place in the world.

    I know it seems harsh, but being as many of them seem to think that Britain is a 3rd world country anyway, a bit of starvation might introduce a note of realism into their flights of doom laden fantasy.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    By the rich nations investing only a nminiscule ammount of their vast collective wealth into poorer nations, the 2015 target could still easily be reached.
    I see we have the usual ignorant 'Stop the poor from breeding' comments.

  • Comment number 12.

    Most of the countries worst afflicted are in Africa and most countries in Africa are riddled with corruption. Until true democracy and the rule of law is reimposed on these ex-colonies a lot of aid is completely wasted. Working through NGOs to help people build up their own resources is probably the only effective way we can help them. Government aid is not.

  • Comment number 13.

    Some people will probably gain political ground / make money out of PRETENDING to do something about it, but nothing changes.

    Most (not all) people barely have any basic consideration for their neighbours and fellow citizens, let alone people on the other side of the world they never see, except when they accidentally hit the wrong button on the remote control and see a couple of seconds of the news before switching back to the endless distraction of celebrity-driven opiate entertainment.

    Meanwhile, groups of people hate other groups of people, and money is made selling arms to either side.

    If everyone bought food instead of AK47s, the world would be a better place, but they need to be able to protect themselves so they can survive so that they can eat.

  • Comment number 14.

    Over population ! Let us provide free family planning clinics. It is totally barbaric that the Catholic doctrine actually encourages big families. We also need to curb the corruption that exists when donations are handed out. Perhaps donations should be channelled into education, agricultural training, health clinics etc.

  • Comment number 15.

    'How can global poverty and hunger be reduced?'
    Er, birth control?
    Unfortunately, there are people in positions of religeous influence that could drive this message home, but refuse to do so. Furthermore, the U.N. et al are too wary of upsetting cultural and religeous sensitivities to roll-out a serious attempt to curb population growth in the areas of the world that most need it.
    One thing is certain; as the world's population continues to grow, so will armed conflict.

  • Comment number 16.

    You promote local economies growing their own food and trading the surplus. You allow local water collection and local just about everything else. If an area cannot sustain a population you let that population move. You stop global business promoting cash cropping to service debt and all the other money grabbing projects building over scaled solutions that are simply not actually required. You go back to basics. You also do the same here. The earth can produce enough food, it is economics and politics that cause starvation.

  • Comment number 17.

    not having so many kids

  • Comment number 18.

    All very well to immediately say birth control is the answer. A lower population is desirable but there are many associated problems. If your family live in a third world country with a mouth to mouth existance, no health care or education then your family depends entirely on what you can all earn. A smaller family means many years of low income and possible starvation
    The Chinese of course have faced this problem ahead of any nation, they now have the problem of few children with many dependant older people. Plus the fact that if parents only have one child they become very ambitious for that child and few are willing to do the necessary low paid work. Lower status jobs will therefore become better paid but there is a time lag. Which can only be dealt with at government level. Individual families can not solve the problem
    We can offer free contraception to the very poor but the social consequences have to be addressed at the same time. We have to see they have a more equal society with social backup.Throughout the world a better standard of social care and more equality is followed by a lower birth rate. It's a massive task at a time when gaps in wealth are getting wider

  • Comment number 19.

    A worldwide ban on having more than 2 children. Or no children at all if you can't afford them. It won't happen due to religious fanatic's attitude to contraception and some people's stupidity and lack of foresight at what the future will bring when resources run out.

  • Comment number 20.

    Start by sacking the world leaders.

  • Comment number 21.

    11. At 10:48am on 20 Sep 2010, Andrew Blake wrote:
    By the rich nations investing only a nminiscule ammount of their vast collective wealth into poorer nations, the 2015 target could still easily be reached.
    I see we have the usual ignorant 'Stop the poor from breeding' comments.


    Andrew I can only assume you are very rich or a catholic. Why is it ignorant to reproduce when you do not have the means to support the child. I would say that is cruelty !

  • Comment number 22.

    By reducing the global population!

    Whilst the ideals of the politicians are laudable, the reality is that they are unachievable. We live on a planet where those who are least likely to be able to support their children have the most children.

    Stop all aid and let nature it's course, stop wasting our money on the ideals of inevitably rich politicians!

  • Comment number 23.

    Well, lets look at where hunger is most prevalent. In Africa. We also have to look at where most of the aid the world has been sent. Again, Africa. So why not look at what is happening in Africa and try to resolve those problems. Not by giving money, but by giving advice. The past has shown that sending money, tools and aid has done little to nothing. The best way to fight hunger is knowledge.

  • Comment number 24.

    One simple change in 'international aid' - keep governments well away!

    Especially in recipient countries: heck, if the governments were any good at their job they would not - barring natural disasters - even need aid. But also in richer nations, where aid is often distributed to the wrong recipients for the wrong reasons.

    Stick to actual provision of what is needed, direct to those who need it. If water supplies are needed, go dig wells for them. If basic education is lacking, build schools and send both teachers for now and teacher trainers to bring their own people up to speed.

    But never, ever send money. If it is not outright stolen by the corrupt, it is misappropriated and squandered by governments which have priorities other than meeting their obligations to their citizens.

  • Comment number 25.

    We could of course have a nuclear war (it seems we are going that way anyway) and then that would reduce the worlds population and therefore reduce hunger ;)

  • Comment number 26.

    2. At 10:13am on 20 Sep 2010, David wrote:
    The most effective way to get to this is to (I am sorry to say it) cull the population.

    Are you volunteering to be head of the line in the cull, then?

  • Comment number 27.

    By every continent being responsible for it's own nations' well being. It is wrong for northern Europe to send billions of euro's to Asia, Africa etc.

  • Comment number 28.

    How can global poverty and hunger be reduced? It cant.
    We would need a fundamental shift in how we view children and how culture and religion plays a part in how many children we have. Population has to increase to offset the employment and social ratio in society. Gender also plays a part. We have not yet evolved out of the need to procreate, or the need to have children to fulfil social needs, ie a boy to carry on the family name, or to earn money to keep the parents in old age, etc, and girls are still worthless in some parts of the world, or seen as bartering chips in others. Then theres the religious need, the amount of children equals spiritual enlightenment etc. Until these issues are overcome, and until religious fervor dissipates the need to keep up with the jones, I dont see how poverty can be iradicated. The best way of sorting out the population is probably to leave it to Mother Nature herself to sort it out with earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, disease etc. Not nice to say, but there is no other way that we can intervene as we are as a species not yet evolved enough to do so.

  • Comment number 29.

    1. Contraception. Celebrating popey the way the BBC has just done helps put the nail into this coffin of course, but nevertheless, contraception will be a long-term solution and MUST happen.
    2. Stop paying people to have kids for the sake of it.
    3. Stop this ridiculous obsession with "saving lives" at all costs. People die, indeed, everyone who ever lived either has done or will do - get used to it, it's nature's way.
    4. In the very near future, we are going to have to do what seems unthinkable, certainly in the West, and decide if we can continue to support the very long-term sick, including the mentally ill, for their lifetimes with no possibility at all that they will ever be able to make any contribution to society. OK, it's nice and civilised and all the rest to do so, but when the survival of the race is threatened then something drastic must be done. This will be sad for the families affected, wherever they are, but it is nature's way - you don't see sick or maimed animals and birds being cared for by their companions - and when it comes to the crunch, we shall have to do the same thing. We shall no longer be able to keep people alive for decades in the often forlorn hope that a cure for their problems will be found.

    The only other option seems to be finding another planet to colonise, and that does not look like a short-term solution.

  • Comment number 30.

    Too many people, it is unpalatable but true!
    Also too many hands out for aid sponsored jobs paying silly money for a few resulting in too little being left for the job that needs being done!

  • Comment number 31.

    Sometimes we in Britain talk as though we rule the world.The only thing we have to end many of the worlds problems, is the power of money and polititical influence.We saw this when we gave money donations to help pakistan and through international aid.By being in the heart of europe and giving the money from our taxes to help poorer parts of the eec,we can and do bring change for a greater good.

  • Comment number 32.

    It is fairly obvious to rational thinking people that the Law of Unintended Consequences has worked only too well in the Third World, faced yet once more poverty and famine - the more aid that pours in and brings relief to the starving only serves to raise their expectations of more aid in the future to feed their evergrowing populations.

    How can this vicious cycle be broken - the simplistic answer is the old parable of providing food to a starving fisherman does nothing to reduce his dependency, give him the tools and the education to fish for himself and you move him away from an aid dependency culture.

    In providing the tools you must educate him in birth control - an anathema to many Catholics and some cultures who see multitudinous children as a birthrite - the self same cultures who then blame the west for failing to feed their multitudinous children.

    The Law of Unintended Consequences cares not if people are uneducated or starving, for it opens the door to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalyse to ride out when tribal and national and religious aims conflict, as a result of which we are back to more starving people caught up in the conflicts.

    And still no-one learns.

  • Comment number 33.

    Asking such questions on an internet forum is absurd. Few, if any, of the contributers will possess the knowledge and authority required to provide meaningful answers. It just provides cranks, bigots and dullards with another opportunity to display their lack of understanding.

  • Comment number 34.

    Nations must reduce meat consumption and improve farming of vegetables, fruits, grains, rice, mushrooms, berries, and nuts. The "just meat" diet went out with tyrannosaurus rex. The development of arable land and water sources will seriously increase harvest.

  • Comment number 35.

    There's no need for any of you who are against the cull-the-population movement to get upset. No-one is talking about an arbitrary, ad-hoc cull. It would only be a cull of people who are useless.

    In fact (brane-wave!), the selection process could be the next reality TV show. It's a pity that the name 'Wipeout' has already been used, but how about 'The Exterminate Factor'? 'Big Bloodbath'?

    'Britain's Got Carnage'?

  • Comment number 36.

    Build schools to educate all the children
    (would only cost a couple of grand per school in africa)

  • Comment number 37.

    What a total load of contrived pretentious and deceitful rubbish.

    The "GOALS" are actually responsible for INCREASING poverty.

    Its all very well providing clean water but the FACT is, is that it is actually CHARGED FOR at rates which BENEFIT international water companys who control the water rights in many countrys and which MOST of the poorest people, the PEOPLE this is supposed to help, cannot afford it.

    I made a comment the other day about a single Woman in South Africa with 2 children (a previous BBC report), very young girls who were left at home, locked in, while this woman attended work which provided with LITTLE money. The children had NO access to water as it is PURCHASED by buying a key and inserting it in the local tap/water facility. The price of water is relative to someone on Jobseekers allowance attempting to buy steak each day, but with water, its a NECESSITY of life and affording a few litres of water a day from PITIFUL wage is just PLAIN EXTORTION by water companys. Anyway, this woman was at work, she couldnt AFFORD to even leave any water for her children throughout the day, as is COMMON in Africa and Asia and South America. A fire started in her home/hut, the neighbours couldnt AFFORD to PAY FOR WATER via the KEY METRE to put the fire out, hence the children trapped inside, burnt to death.
    This is just ONE incident.

    Then there was a few years ago when POWERFUL USA company Betchel took over water in Bolivia and caused world outrage due to the attrocity they inflicted upon a WHOLE nation via their pricing and control of water resources and the manner in which the then Bolivian government protected Betchels profits by ACTUALLY making collecting rainwater ILLEGAL. Its an attrocity WELL DOCUMENTED, READ IT.

    Bechtel Corporation (Bechtel Group) is the largest engineering company in the United States, ranking as the 5th-largest privately owned company in the U.S, its size, does NOT make it any more moral, ethical or decent.

    The IMF and World Bank have been the WORST attrocity inflicted upon 3rd world nations via manipulating nations resources via use of loans and basically using those loans to extort and control nations resources for profit.

    How can global poverty and hunger be reduced?

    EASY, by getting rid of the IMF, the UN, the World Bank, who I believe, and it is of my opiniom who all evidently conspire to attain gaining resources and profit from the POOREST nations via using loans/debts as leverage and to progress the interests of corporate businesses for MINIMAL benefit to peoples of so many nations.

    Also, stop the Catholic religion and others from handing out aid and whom use their position to indoctrinate fantasy fictional indoctrination of those in such desperation and who are indoctrinated by Catholicism to essentially give birth to as many children as possible, thus continuopusly increasing and maintaining attrocious unsustainable levels of poverty, famine and desperation.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    A few good wars....
    A plague or two....
    A handful of global natural disasters....
    The end of rich countries feeling guilty (interfering etc.) and throwing money and aid at poor countries. Let them sort it out on their own, it will make them stronger in the end. If not, c'est la vie (or not in this case).
    People learning to tell doctors not to play god and let people die naturally. I for one don't want to live forever.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    If all aid was used as it should be...for helping the people it is intended for...there should never be any problem...sadly too many people seem to line their pockets in more than one way...
    Make it that aid is sent and received...handing cash over is never the real solution for these badly effected areas...

  • Comment number 42.

    Another £70 million for Pakistan has been made available according to BBC front page news today.
    The same front page news says no more cash for our struggling private enterprise small businesses.
    This country make me sick.
    Get the priorities right. NO MORE HANDOUTS

  • Comment number 43.

    The cause is largely the irresponsibility of Africa.

    The world’s highest birth rates are in countries like Niger, Mali, Somalia and Ethiopia.

    Why is it they may have no food, shelter or sanitation – but seemingly do have the energy for endless reproduction?

    When people are going hungry, what triggers the following thought process in people’s minds “Oh I know…I’ll have even more children!”

    Perhaps if Africans actually bothered to control the size of their families the overall standard of living would rise.

    I appreciate the PC Brigade will keel over reading this, but that doesn't actually make it untrue. It's about time more people publically spoke the truth.

  • Comment number 44.

    Population control is clearly needed china are the only country that has any such measures in place as far as i know.It will never happened in the west in our current state since it would be against our human rights laws.

  • Comment number 45.

    From the comments so far it is apparent that there is a lack of understanding of the problem. To blame the countries where there is poverty, such as Africa, for the problem shows that the politicians of developed countries have successfully misinformed their populations. Only tough and honest journalism can rectify this.
    Many African countries’ have great mineral wealth but little of the benefits from this mineral wealth go to help fight poverty, this is often blamed on corruption by local elites. But the truth is that this corruption is being carried out with the support of the politicians and industrialists from the developed world, who not only gain personally but so does their economies and businesses.

    As for encouraging African’s to produce more, this is impossible as they much of what they do produced cannot be sold in the developed world due to the developed world paying large subsidies to keep cheaper African products out.

    We are in a “Catch 22” situation, whereby the developed world opening up their markets while being more transparent with the deals that they make with the developing world would cause major financial difficulties for the developed world. Certain developed countries’ could not survive without STEALING from developing counties.

  • Comment number 46.

    When it come to global poverty, I'm as one with the wonderful, the incredible, and the beautiful Bill Hicks:

  • Comment number 47.

    1. Restrict western countries from importing all the output from third world countries
    2. 1 child per family (works in china)
    3. Stop western companies "investing" in poverty striken areas. Nike factories are draining local resources and skilled labour.

    Countries are only poor by western standards but given the colonisation basically stole those countries resources what do we expect? Leave these countries alone to build at thier own rate.

  • Comment number 48.

    You'll never stop the population growth in third world countries, in the present circumstances. The high rate of mortality, the scratching a bare subsistence of the land, these and other factors mean that a family MUST be large to guarantee survival: every child is an extra pair of working hands. This in turn requires more farming land, which means more rainforests are cut down etc... these populations won't begin to reduce to our levels (i.e. 1 or 2 children per family on average) until they move away from being based on agriculture, as we did.

  • Comment number 49.

    //9. At 10:41am on 20 Sep 2010, Nok wrote:
    We could stop feeding all the 'native british' whingers who go on & on & on & on, day after day, blaming everybody in the world for all their problems without ever examining their own behaviour or place in the world.

    I know it seems harsh, but being as many of them seem to think that Britain is a 3rd world country anyway, a bit of starvation might introduce a note of realism into their flights of doom laden fantasy.//

    Thanks for demonstrating the racism and sheer weirdness of the pro-immigration brigade.

    Anyway - getting back to the real world, and notably, the developing world - the solution is birth control and population reduction, and free and fair trade.

  • Comment number 50.

    35. At 12:10pm on 20 Sep 2010, bob bobwell wrote:
    "There's no need for any of you who are against the cull-the-population movement to get upset. No-one is talking about an arbitrary, ad-hoc cull. It would only be a cull of people who are useless.

    In fact (brane-wave!)"

    Brane-wave? I think we have our first contestant.

    Surely a cull of those who use the most resources is the sanest thing to do. Uh oh...

  • Comment number 51.

    //40. At 12:16pm on 20 Sep 2010, RockingTheJoint wrote:
    Its sick to see that there are some people starving and having to walk miles just for dirty water, and then there are people like the Americans who are just so greedy they like to stuff their fat faces constantly like it's some olympic sport. Plus the fact that they don't like helping anyone because it's 'commie' makes me think that they're not just spoilt, but rather thick too.//

    Interesting, though, that so many people want to go to the US, or emulate their lifestyle. Interesting, too, that though the Americans have a harsh environment, they can provide their people with a very good living.

    //Much of the starving people in Africa who are suffering, have such rich spirits, and considering the human race started in that continent, I feel its only right that we help them the best way we can. We need to get rid of the corrupted leaders, though.//

    It's utterly bizarre, and more than a little racist, to suggest that just because our very, very, distant ancestors started out in Africa, we owe something to the people living there now.

    As for the generalisation about Africans having 'rich spirits', some may well do. Many, however, are prepared to inflict massive human rights abuses on their fellow Africans. Many more are willing to enrich themselves whilst wathcing their neighbours starve.

  • Comment number 52.

    Regulate the worlds population. For 3rd world countries, such as the UK, more education about world hunger and use of condoms for preventing such cataclismic rises in the worlds population.
    Richer countries only giving aid to those that help themselves, not those that just breed like rabbits

  • Comment number 53.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 54.

    Stop giving aid to rural areas....
    If you want to stop people having children you need to make them richer and stop their children from dying at a young age.

    Developing countries are often large and cannot sustain their infrastructure, as it covers a wide area. Aid given to these rural areas keeps people living in remote parts of the country. These people need to move to the cities - as unpleasant as they may be more slums are probably a good thing. Investment/aid should be concentrated in more centralised areas to encourage people to move.

    Population growth is a big threat to climate change, which in turn is a threat to food production. Population growth is the big issue and is probably better solved in the long run by actively encouraging more industrialisation in developing countries even if it means more fossil fuel burning power stations being built now.

    Lower birth rates will come naturally as people have more wealth not by trying to get people to use contraception.

    That said the largest problem facing the world is not so much hunger, as the looming water shortages.

  • Comment number 55.

    Typically, leaders are not prepared to confront the real problems faced by third world countries.

    These have nothing to do with sanitation or food shortages. They have everything to do with massive population growth in parts of the world where, because of religious intervention and general ignorance of the men involved, contraception and abortion are strict no-no's.

    Until these real causes are addressed, the population on this planet will become increasingly unsustainable, and poverty will increase.

  • Comment number 56.

    People must be taught that if they cannot afford to feed a family or provide clean water, etc., than they must desist from going forth & multiply.

  • Comment number 57.

    50. At 12:47pm on 20 Sep 2010, Red/yellow/pink/brown/whatever...

    You don't miss a trick, do you? I am obviously going to have to up my gaim.

    To continue the cull theme, you couldn't justify selection based on resource consupmtion alone. For example, you wouldn't cull a farmer because he uses more diesel each year than, say, an investment banker. Your culling criteria would need to look at net consumption.

    B the W, the mis-spelling 'brane' is a sly reference that probably only a few HYS posters from 'back in the day' will understand.

  • Comment number 58.

    People who refer to the UK as a third world country really should stop & think about what they're saying. To say such a thing about the 4th or 5th largest economy in the world actually has the effect of desensitising poverty and starvation in the real third world. Are you really that fed up with your own lives?

  • Comment number 59.

    " 11. At 10:48am on 20 Sep 2010, Andrew Blake wrote:
    By the rich nations investing only a nminiscule ammount of their vast collective wealth into poorer nations, the 2015 target could still easily be reached.I see we have the usual ignorant 'Stop the poor from breeding' comments. "
    Surprisingly the education system in this country works well enough that the majority of people consider Population and Population Growth to be the main threats to long term Human survival. That’s population growth anywhere and everywhere, there are no sustainable levels of population GROWTH. (sustainable level of births is the replacement level of about 1.8 and 2.4 children per female)
    Either the human race tackles this issue gracefully (via Birth control) or Mother Nature will do it brutally (famine, war, DISEASE individually or in concert)
    Its a question of all of us to "Stop the Breeding"

  • Comment number 60.

    49. At 12:45pm on 20 Sep 2010, The Bloke wrote:
    //9. At 10:41am on 20 Sep 2010, Nok wrote:
    We could stop feeding all the 'native british' whingers who go on & on & on & on, day after day, blaming everybody in the world for all their problems without ever examining their own behaviour or place in the world.

    I know it seems harsh, but being as many of them seem to think that Britain is a 3rd world country anyway, a bit of starvation might introduce a note of realism into their flights of doom laden fantasy.//

    Thanks for demonstrating the racism and sheer weirdness of the pro-immigration brigade.


    Not pro-immigration, anti-people who spend their lives denigrating the country they were born in as though life has given them a raw deal.

  • Comment number 61.

    BBC, stop asking this question. You know it will generate more noise than meaningful discussion - the usual rants about overpopulation, giving aid to the poor (the nerve, helping out the poor!) and the good ol' immigration debate thrown in for good measure, as it is for any topic loosely about society and "people".

  • Comment number 62.

    Create a global 'Big Society' where people can volunteer to die of starvation instead of someone else.

    I hope someone comes up with an answer before our government brings most of us into the hunger and poverty bracket.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    "Another little baby child is born...."

    How can we tell the impoverished and hungry not to breed if we do not stop breeding ourselves?

    "... in the ghetto"

  • Comment number 65.

    Poverty can be reduced by getting rid of the world's banking cartel. They control the money supply and cause recessions and depressions. The world could have a horizontal not vertical money supply where loans are made directly person to person. Also countries could print their own interest free money and use it to build huge infrastructure projects that would increase trade and open new markets. The world is in this untenable, poverty state because we allowed a small minority of banksters, fraudsters and politicians a free ride. Most of them are just parasites sucking the lifeblood out of nations. We can make positive and lasting changes to the world by establishing a new money system that works for the benefit of all not just a few.

  • Comment number 66.

    By helping one another.

  • Comment number 67.

    There are too many people on the planet at the moment.
    Our population needs to be reduced by coaxing parents only to have one or two kids and no more. Take a leaf out of China's book; free healthcare and education for the first kid, have any more then its your responsibility for all your kids.

  • Comment number 68.

    Contraception....whatever the Pope says.

    Or let him feed them with 2 loaves and 5 fish.

  • Comment number 69.

    If this is not sorted soon Nature will take it's course with the result the prosperous countries will not be able to support the starving countries. Earthquakes, floods, Tsunami's already happening, how long before a major disaster takes us beyond that ability to supply aid? and this is on top of aid to countries that cannot, don't or even won't feed themselves. Pakistan has one of the richest farmlands in the world, if this is destroyed 10's of millions suffer and impossible to support that many.

    Nuclear war - nice try except will contaminate the world food chain.

    Culling the population, bit extreme, but nature will do this.

    Reducing the population by contraception is the answer, but not all babies born in poor countries are unwanted, there is still this breed many in the hope one will survive as the survival rate is low, so how are these people assured that 1 child will survive.

    The UK buys potatoes from Egypt, not very fetile land in a desert country and they are not grown by the Nile. They are grown in the sand but are watered with nutriants daily. If Egypt can do this so can others. OK you cannot survive on potatoes alone but it shows what can be done, and besides Africa has huge areas of fertile farm land. Stop mining, seeking oil or growing flowers and start farming.

  • Comment number 70.

    Fair trade would be a start.

  • Comment number 71.

    Bob...Comment 42...

    Absolutely correct. Well said, Sir.

  • Comment number 72.

    Poverty and hunger can be reduced by peacefully reducing the human population through peaceful family planning programs in which women are given their right to decide if and when to birth their children. Very few women want a large family, more want none at all, but the vast majority want no more than one, two or three. It is male supremacy that dictates this growing human population of wandering poor people and the invasion of England, Europe and North America by millions of illegal aliens, many of whom refuse to learn the national language or obey the laws. If it is allowed to continue, English, European and North American cultures will rediscover themselves as oppressed minorities.

  • Comment number 73.

    @Mike from Brum

    That is not what happens in China. Indeed, I'm sure it would be pretty good the world over if your above point was the case - but it's not first child, free everything, after that pay for it - it's one child ONLY.

  • Comment number 74.

    Population is increasing just about everywhere. Nothing will prevent it so just accept that life on Earth today will join the 99.9999% of all life that has ever existed on Earth - extinct. Only this time it won't be a natural phenomenon causing the extinction - it will be manmade as we plunder the Earth's resources unsustainably. As to those misguided to say that vegetarianism is the only answer, just remember that for every calorie we consume 10 calories have gone into making it. Not to mention the amount of water needed.

    The only way that we can sustain this population is if everyone makes their own food on a one for one calorie regime without extra energy input. Otherwise we are just going to continue on the same pathway but with geometric growth.

    Pakistan floods. Last big flood 80 years ago. Population 80 years ago - 23 million approx. Population today 171 million approx. Why are people so surprised with the amount of suffering when natural phenomenon occur? Have we not brought it on ourselves?

  • Comment number 75.

    57. At 1:17pm on 20 Sep 2010, bob bobwell wrote:
    "B the W, the mis-spelling 'brane' is a sly reference that probably only a few HYS posters from 'back in the day' will understand."

    Sorry, I missed that one...!

    I do like the idea of culling bankers though.

  • Comment number 76.

    In the short-term (next 20 years): Each country should bring in legislation that enforces a fairer distribution of wealth so business managers and people in government cannot exploit their positions and take a huge chunk of the wealth for themselves.

    In the medium-term (next 100 years): Increase food production (unfortunately, GM is probably the best solution) and water supplies.

    In the long-term (next 1000 years): Terraform Mars and set up colonies. Send expeditions to Earth-like planets and moons in other star systems.

    The ancient Romans understood that expansion was necessary for survival. It's what humans have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years.

    To stop this expansion would lead to stagnation. Since the average life expectancy is likely to exceed 100 in the future, if you have a world where the death rate is equal to the birth rate then most of the population will be at least 50+. If you include the child population then probably only about 1/3 of the total population will be fit for work. Therefore, the workers will have to spend all their time supporting the rest of the population and not doing other things like science or helping with the progression of civilisation. The population would not be able to react to external events and I expect we would easily be wiped out by the next asteroid to hit the Earth.

    This talk of "culls" is truely horrifying to me. We are not some bacteria on a Petri dish. We are sentient beings and I hope intelligent enough to work towards other solutions before killing our own. Or is it that even death preferable to socialist policies for these people?

  • Comment number 77.

    How can global poverty and hunger be reduced?

    If we just move all the impoverished and hungry people to one place then it will no longer be a global problem. About as useful in reality as the attrocious policys the World bank, IMF and UN inflict upon the poorest in the world!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    It can`t be reduced, theirs no will to do it. The class, caste, birth, tax system, and distrubition of aid will see to that, generally with the lions share of the aid siphoned off by the usual suspects ensureing, the poor will always remain poor. Even at this moment in time millions are starving and living in parched lands. Their will always be the downward sliding scale from the very rich to the destitude, the have, and the have-nots,...and the freebies. The fine hotels, foods and transport will have government officials heads well up above in the clouds with their matching puffed up self-important egos. It`s always been this way, I can`t see it ever changing...Suffer the children, sad.

  • Comment number 79.

    Oh time for this old chestnut again. Those problems will never be solved while there is corruption, exploitation, tribal mentalities and ever increasing over population within the 3rd world. When will these groups learn.

  • Comment number 80.

    Basically stop greed. I have a fridge full of stuff that could last me months. Most of this is shipped half way around the world. I probably eat 2-3 times as much as I should; in my world food is cheap. As a race we have solved the logistics issue. You can get a cola just about anywhere on the planet; play golf in the desert and so on.
    Yet, our illustrious western world populated by overweight gadget junkies require that the rest of the world stop having babies or perhaps die out? Tax the fat, the greedy and luxuries; not the people who cannot or, are not allowed to make their own descisions.

  • Comment number 81.

    Hey, if anyone is denigrating me for calling Britain a 3rd world country, guess where I got the quote from?

    Oh?.....has he gone back to rome?

    No 37, Mr Wonderfulreality hits the nail on the head so eloquently

  • Comment number 82.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 83.

    Encourage birth control
    A part of your preamble was correct
    "and cutting in half the number of people"

    The worlds problems will continue to grow at the same rate as the population

  • Comment number 84.

    Are the goals focussed on the right areas?
    The world has never before seen so much prosperity. Hundreds of billions are being spent on war – Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the “War on Drugs” and on and on - in the generation of more poverty, more refugees, more deformed babies, more loss of crops…more suffering.
    about $50 billion of additional aid per year to meet the Goals.
    Global military expenditure stands at over $1.5 trillion in annual expenditure at current prices for 2010, and direction is UP. The United States’ Congress has already approved nearly $800 billion in supplemental funding for military operations.
    In the Global distribution of military expenditure the United States stands at 46.5% (The next ten countries COMBINED = 20.7%). Yet the United States is slipping into poverty. Census data demonstrated that 43.6 million Americans are below the poverty line which for a fmaily of four is set at $21,954.
    The Millennium Goals are clearly achievable. It's a matter of will, will we stop making war, will we stop making poverty, will we demonstrate THE WILL.

  • Comment number 85.

    To begin with persons must understand about management of finance and the conceiving of children. I say educate them. Secondly you teach them how to fish. Don't go around just dropping food baskets to persons that can work. Teach them things that can sustain them Things that will provide jobs for them. Thirdly allow them to be prudent. Tell the world leaders to think about the word prudent. If certain money to be used to fund some occasions couldn't it be redirected to helping persons to fish. For this one I say redirecting of finance, better budgeting by leaders and countries. Lastly I say leave peaceably with everyone. Let us be a helping hand to each other.

  • Comment number 86.

    Getting rid of religion would help.

  • Comment number 87.

    stop countries overpopulating other countries
    why did china do the right thing by giving people
    land to grow food on with the condition that they
    only had one child,
    if countries allow them to enter and have more children
    too many countries are getting overpopulated and helping
    for the eventually destruction via starvation etc
    the rich countries should start to acquire land in the third world
    countries for immigrants to go there are plenty of barren places
    that can be changed with thought
    plus immigrants worldwide should have a cap on the number that they breed

  • Comment number 88.

    To be blunt I don't really give a damn about the poor staving people in these countries. It is about time that Goverments who rule the poor in Africa stop putting their hands out for more money. I sick to death of trying to get rid of poverty from third world countries when Goverments do not address this issue and want the west to bale them out. These Countries should fend for themselves. And yes, family planning does work.

  • Comment number 89.

    YOU can any one condone birth control, you wouldnt be here otherwise to post your comments !

  • Comment number 90.

    Could start by removing religion - both Catholic and Muslims seem to believe that breeding like rabbits is somehow 'Gods will' and its a wonderful idea to produce so many humans that most will inevitably starve.

  • Comment number 91.

    I forgot one, better infrastructural development of smaller nations to resist harsh weather conditions. Better planning of the country's buildings and care for the environment above all. Let us love our environment.

  • Comment number 92.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 93.

    over population....what twaddle , you can get the whole of the worlds population on the isle of man and thats a fact !!!

  • Comment number 94.

    What's wrong will having a cull? We're going to do the same here to Badgers who are apparently sick creatures and over populating the places they live in.

  • Comment number 95.

    We've just spent how many billions of pounds to have the leader of the catholic church here on a state visit so he can lecture our country about our 'aggressive atheism' (thanks for respecting my freedom of thought there) while he still advocates no use of contraception. How much did that little event in Hyde park alone cost yesterday? The stage was very nice I admit, but was it really neccessary? Is the pope really so estranged from reality that he can't say do away with all that and use t he money where its needed? And i'm not even talking about giving it away, its needed right here! its needed in his home country, across europe, and everywhere there is poverty! And what about this summit to sit around and talk about the problem? how many more tens of millions is this costing for some diplomats to sit around and drink expensive bottled water and be dined in nice restaurants for a few days? Lets stop wasting money on all the rubbish like the pope's visit, and jetting off for the pointless summits, and actually get that money used where its needed.

  • Comment number 96.

    "Tax big business extra, and the Countrys!!! make them give back all the gold and wealth, they stole from The Africans.

  • Comment number 97.

    Problem is that more people are born than are dying.

    There are two fundamental options that will work. We can do nothing or we can intervene - the result is the same.

    If we do nothing and carry on jabbering about it without making a decision; humanity will overpopulate to a point where there is simply not enough food or water. Decades of famine and billions dead will be the result, until a sustainable equilibrium is reached.

    Which of course, is one possible solution.

    However we could intervene.

    You either let people die by not providing medical help, or you stop people breeding by enforcing some sort of sterilisation or contraception.

    Not very nice, but the cause of this is arrogance.

    You see, we see ourselves as being above the animals we share so much of our DNA with.

    We're not. We are animals plain and simple. We should view our survival accordingly and be less focussed on individual and more focussed on species.

    Because whichever way you cut it, Homo Sapiens needs a significant percentage reduction in numbers for the species to survive.

  • Comment number 98.

    Ask the Pope. His corporate organisation is responsible for huge growth in a certain sector of our world society and unfortunately mostly amongst the poor.

  • Comment number 99.

    To my mind, it’s impossible now and will be impossible in future to save people from hunger and lack of water. It’s the rule of natural selection: only the strongest survive in this world. When natural resources are running out, only the strongest will have a share of them to live on. ‘The strongest’ are people who have power, money, influence, surely, not ordinary citizens who work all day round to earn bread. We have to accept this as it is.
    Politicians can only discuss and gather meetings to speak their bare words…

  • Comment number 100.

    stop media and charities from
    fund raising for these countries
    from pre live aid to present day
    we supply food and tools money and all they do is eat and breed
    put the money to better use
    to many clowns promote so that babies die
    so save the babies do not give and remember
    those that survived then are the one's now starving but still breeding)


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