Despite a global surplus almost half of the worlds less developed countries suffer significant problems concerning food. Most social science and policy discussions of security make the food availability assumption that increased supply is the key to reducing hunger. Critics argue however that increased supply has little impact on hunger and that the primary culprits are entrenched inequality and militarism. A lagged panel analysis of supply and child hunger rates (1970- 90) shows that the supply has only modest effects on child hunger rates and that supply is structurally rooted in development processes (domestic investment urban bias foreign capital penetration) while child hunger is politically based in arms imports internal violence and political democratization. Population pressure tapped by increased age dependency undermines both the supply of and the populations access to it and culturally dualism magnifies the effects of population pressure on child hunger. The effects of economic growth trickle down to affect both supply and child hunger and economic growth is also positively correlated with political democratization suggesting there is no short-term trade off between growth democratization and social equity. (authors)

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