Population growth key to widespread hunger in the world

9 February 2013 | Leicester Mercury

(Headline by Leicester Mercury)

When we read that “overpopulation isn’t the cause of hunger” (Sir David is wrong about population, Mailbox February 2) we should keep in mind the fact that in countries which have controlled their population growth there is little hunger, while in countries that have not controlled their population growth there is widespread hunger.

We should also keep in mind the region with the fastest growing population in the world; that is, Africa and the Middle East to Pakistan. The population of this region was about 300 million in 1950. Since then the population has increased by 1000 million (one thousand million) and we can see in many countries in this region not only hunger, malnutrition, and water shortage, but extreme poverty, civil unrest, conflict, and the migration of huge numbers of desperate people.

And worse is to come: The population of this region is expected to increase by a second 1000 million (one thousand million) in the next 30-40 years, after which the numbers will increase rapidly and their troubles, serious as they are now, will increase.

It need not have been like this: If the people of this region had had the same family planning that we have had, most of them would now be on their way to prosperity and peace.

Gerald Danaher

The editor made a few changes, mainly substituting ‘1 billion’ for ‘1000 million (one thousand million)’ and ‘a second billion’ for ‘a second 1000 million (one thousand million)’.