What are the most pressing issues in the world today? What will demand the most attention in the next 5, 10, and 20+ years? In this article, we are going to shortly address some of the most important issues that are important to solve for humanity to exist, we will later discuss each one of these issues in detail article separately. We will address what are these issues, what should authorities do to solve these issues and what should we do to be a part of solving these crises. We are discussing these issues in alphabetical order.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
AMR is a global health and development threat. WHO has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. Antimicrobials – including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics – are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals, and plants. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change in response to the use of these medicines. Microbes, not humans or animals, become antimicrobial-resistant resulting in making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death.
Basic Human Needs
Food, water, clothing, sleep, and shelter are the bare necessities for anyone’s survival. For many people, these basic needs can not be met without the aid of charitable organizations. Some people in underdeveloped countries will find this impossible but these five needs should be granted to each human being free of cost by the government of the respective country, some countries are trying to provide these needs to every citizen.
Biodiversity Loss and Species Extinction
The biodiversity of an area is literally the number of species, both plant and animal, inhabiting the environment being examined. When a species is no longer found in a region, it is locally extinct. When it is no longer found anywhere, the species is considered extinct. As the population is growing in the world, more and more forest and agricultural land are being converted to cities and many species are on the verge of extinction.
Child Health and Education
Child health is a state of physical, mental, intellectual, social, and emotional well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Healthy children live in families, environments, and communities that provide them with the opportunity to reach their fullest developmental potential.
Education brings self-discipline, a sense of responsibility, and teamwork among children and prevents them from feeling social insecurity. It helps in being self-confident and a good decision-maker. Hence, every child must be educated so that they can lead a happy life.
The term “child labor” is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development. It refers to work that: is mentally, physically, socially, or morally dangerous and harmful to children. Child labor is a result of different economic and social factors. It has its roots in poverty, lack of educational and economic opportunities, high rate of population growth, unemployment, uneven distribution of wealth and social customs, and disregard for child rights.
Child marriage refers to any formal marriage or informal union between a child under the age of 18 and an adult or another child. While the prevalence of child marriage has decreased worldwide – from one in four girls married a decade ago to approximately one in five today – the practice remains widespread. Child marriage ends childhood. It negatively influences children’s rights to education, health, and protection. These consequences impact not just the girl directly, but also her family and community. A girl who is married as a child is more likely to be out of school and not earn money and contribute to the community. Child marriage is rooted in gender inequality and the belief that girls and women are inferior to boys and men. It is made worse by poverty, lack of education, harmful social norms and practices, and insecurity. Its drivers vary between communities and it looks different across the world.
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. Climate change can also impact human health by worsening air and water quality, increasing the spread of certain diseases, and altering the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events. Rising sea level threatens coastal communities and ecosystems.
Food shortage occurs when food supplies within a bounded region do not provide the energy and nutrients needed by that region’s population. Food shortage is most easily conceptualized as a production problem, but constraints on importation as well as storage can also cause or contribute to food shortage. According to some experts, shortages of water, land, and energy combined with the increased demand from population and economic growth, will create a global food shortage around 2050.
Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations, and needs equally, regardless of gender. Gender equality is achieved when women, men, girls, and boys have equal rights, conditions, and opportunities, and the power to shape their own lives and contribute to the development of society. It is a matter of equitable distribution of power, influence, and resources in society.
Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain. Forms of corruption vary but can include bribery, lobbying, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement. Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, and Sweden are perceived as the least corrupt nations in the world, ranking consistently high among international financial transparency, while the most apparently corrupt are Syria, Somalia (both scoring 13), and South Sudan (11).
Human rights are moral principles or norms for certain standards of human behavior and are regularly protected in municipal and international law. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.
Inequality refers to the phenomenon of unequal and/or unjust distribution of resources and opportunities among members of a given society. The term inequality may mean different things to different people and in different contexts. The major examples of social inequality include the income gap, gender inequality, health care, and social class. Inequalities are not only driven and measured by income, but are determined by other factors – gender, age, origin, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, class, and religion. These factors determine inequalities of opportunity which continue to persist, within and between countries.
Malnourishment is caused by not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things, or being unable to use the food that one does eat. Malnutrition can result in unplanned weight loss, a low body mass index (BMI), and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This can leave you feeling tired, and weak and affect your ability to recover from an illness. In the UK, evidence suggests that: 29% of people admitted to hospitals are malnourished.
Marine Ecosystem Deterioration
Human pressures are driving the unprecedented decline of marine habitats and biodiversity throughout the global ocean. The primary drivers of biodiversity loss include habitat destruction, overexploitation, land-based development and pollution, and increasingly, climate change and ocean acidification. From coral bleaching to sea level rise, entire marine ecosystems are rapidly changing. Global warming is causing alterations in ocean chemistry and many oceanic processes, and it is threatening many species of marine animals that cannot cope with higher temperatures.
Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment. These harmful materials are called pollutants. Pollutants can be natural, such as volcanic ash. They can also be created by human activity, such as trash or runoff produced by factories. Pollutants damage the quality of air, water, and land. Vehicle emissions, fuel oils and natural gas to heat homes, by-products of manufacturing and power generation, particularly coal-fueled power plants, and fumes from chemical production are the primary sources of human-made air pollution.
Major types of pollution:
- Air pollution.
- Water pollution.
- Soil pollution.
- Radioactive pollution.
- Noise pollution.
Poverty is about not having enough money to meet basic needs including food, clothing, and shelter. However, poverty is more, much more than just not having enough money. The World Bank Organization describes poverty in this way:
Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways. Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape. So poverty is a call to action — for the poor and the wealthy alike — a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities.
Substance abuse is the medical term used to describe a pattern of using a substance (drug) that causes significant problems or distress. This may be missing work or school or using the substance in dangerous situations, such as driving a car.
Substances frequently abused include:
- Prescription medicines, such as pain pills, stimulants, or anxiety pills
Terrorism is an act, which aims to create fear among ordinary people by illegal means. It is a threat to humanity. It includes persons or groups spreading violence, riots, burglaries, rapes, kidnappings, fighting, bombings, etc. Terrorism is an act of cowardice. Also, terrorism has nothing to do with religion.
International terrorism: Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups who are inspired by, or associated with, designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations (state-sponsored).
Domestic terrorism: Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.
The Hunger Crisis
Poverty is the principal cause of global hunger. The unequal distribution of income and lack of resources in developing countries means that millions of people simply cannot afford the land or farming supplies they need to grow, or otherwise gain access to nutritious food.
As many as 828 million people go to bed hungry every night, and the number of those facing acute food insecurity has soared – from 135 million to 345 million – since 2019. A total of 50 million people in 45 countries are teetering on the edge of famine.
Unemployment, according to the OECD, is people above a specified age not being in paid employment or self-employment but currently available for work during the reference period. Unemployment is measured by the unemployment rate, which is the number of people who are unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. Being unemployed is a highly stressful situation, so it may cause stress-related health issues such as headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, back pain, and insomnia. These health issues often result in increased visits to a doctor and increased use of medication to manage health conditions.
- Cyclical Unemployment. …
- Frictional Unemployment. …
- Structural Unemployment. …
- Natural Unemployment. …
- Long-Term Unemployment. …
- Seasonal Unemployment. …
- Classical Unemployment. …
The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation. We can observe violence in any kind of social relation, from intimate relationships in romantic attachments or families to relations both within and between social groups, clans, or gangs and in class struggles or ethnic conflicts up to geopolitical relations.
Categories of violence:
- Self-directed violence.
- Interpersonal violence.
- Collective violence.
Water scarcity is defined as a water deficiency or a lack of safe water supplies. As the population of the world grows and the environment becomes further affected by climate change, access to fresh drinking water dwindles. Globally, 785 million people lack access to clean drinking water.
- Climate change.
- Natural calamities such as droughts and floods.
- Increased human consumption.
- Overuse and wastage of water.
- A global rise in freshwater demand.
- Overuse of aquifers and its consequent slow recharge.
In fact, one study found that water scarcity can be significantly reduced by 2050 if we commit to making big, yet practical changes.
- Developing water filtration systems.
- Promoting water stewardship.
- Protecting wetlands.
- Improving irrigation efficiency.
- Increasing water storage in reservoirs.