Top 10 world problems and their solutions

ByDaniil Filipenco

Top 10 world problems and their solutions

The last decade has been marked by significant progress in various fields such as science, medicine, and technology but, at the same time, the number of problems in today’s society has steadily grown. In 2020 and 2021, undoubtedly some of the most uncertain and difficult years of the last decade, the biggest problems in the world were the COVID-19 pandemic and poverty. However, the years that followed continued to be somewhat complex and certainly no less easy.

In 2022 – 2023, the war in Ukraine, the Israel – Hamas conflict, the energy crisis and hyperinflation caused multiple economic shocks and stagnation across the continents.

As a platform to address global issues that cannot be resolved by any single country, the United Nations organization is spearheading humanity’s struggle to survive. Its most visible efforts concern resolving conflicts and undertaking peacekeeping activities. Below is a list of the world’s greatest according to the UN.

Climate Change

There is no economy or individual that is unaffected by climate change. By 2050, this problem could force 216 million people to relocate within their own nations. The changes in weather may worsen water stress and reduce crop output, particularly in the most food-insecure areas of the world.

One of the major problems on our planet is linked to global temperatures that are continually rising. By 2100, studies show that there is a 50% likelihood of facing global warming that is higher than 3.5 degrees Celsius and a 10% probability of witnessing warming higher than 4.7 degrees Celsius relative to temperatures registered between 1850 and 1900. This would result in more severe shifts in weather patterns, food and resource shortages, and the more rapid spread of diseases.

At COP28 in Dubai, held at the end of 2023, the World Bank unveiled ambitious plans to boost climate funding, improve initiatives for carbon markets, and much more.

Possible solutions:

A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and increased awareness of the necessity to turn green are among the solutions that can make a significant difference. In addition, strategies to cut carbon emissions and opting for replanting are among the effective ways to address climate change.

Wars and military conflicts

Maintaining peace and security is crucial to preventing poverty and high numbers of refugees and asylum seekers. With an increasing number of territories becoming conflict zones, the number of poor and displaced women and children is on rise, causing the spread of diseases and a halt to economic progress.

Preventative diplomacy and demilitarization are the two key tactics for avoiding conflicts. Preventive diplomacy is defined as those actions undertaken to avoid conflicts from forming or worsening. It can also help to limit the spread of existing hostilities. Mediation, conciliation, or negotiation are all options to tackle this world issue.

Today, among the greatest world issues, wars and conflicts are at the top of the list. 2022 and 2023 were marked by a number of conflicts that led to many casualties and displaced people. The conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine in particular have led to a massive number of people fleeing or attempting to flee their countries in search of shelter.

Individuals with disabilities and the elderly are the most vulnerable because they may not be able to escape high-risk regions.

As of May 2023, there were around 5.1 million internally displaced persons in Ukraine and the number of documented refugees from Ukraine was over 6.2 million worldwide. Around 90% of those escaping the crisis were women and children.

In Gaza, there are approximately 1.4 million internally displaced people with around 690,000 being housed in 150 shelters run by the UN agency for Palestine refugees.

Refugee statistics:

  • In mid-2023, according to the UN, there were 110 million forcibly displaced people in the world
  • 43.3 million (around 40%) of these were children
  • 1.9 million children were born as refugees
  • 36.4 million (over 30%) of all displaced people were refugees
  • 6.1 million were asylum-seekers
  • 4.4 million stateless people reside in 97 countries although it has been estimated that the true figure is much higher
  • Over 50% of refugees come from just three countries: the Syrian Arab Republic, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

Water contamination

There is no life without water – apparently a simple truth but one that people seem to overlook. Poor management and irrational use forces communities to migrate in search of drinking water. Industries are polluting underground water and this issue is growing massively.

  • Due to pollution, poverty, and inadequate resource management, around 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water
  • Agriculture is responsible for 70% of global water loss
  • Annually, 297,000 children under the age of five die from diarrheal infections caused by poor sanitation, hygiene, or contaminated drinking water
  • 80% of wastewater is discharged into the environment without being processed or reused

Possible solutions to the water pollution issue:

The most efficient technique to reduce water pollution is to treat water (filtration, disinfection, etc.) before it reaches the waterway system. Clearing wastewater of pollutants can be performed via biological, physical, and chemical operations.

Human rights violation

Human rights are universal, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or any other status but what if this only happens on paper?

Indeed, the problems in today’s society are linked with the constant violation of human rights – gender inequality, human trafficking, the lack of freedom of speech – all of these can be witnessed in the 21st century in every country, even in developed nations.

Gender Equality

50% of the world’s population are women and girls. Gender equality is not only a crucial human right, it is also necessary for a peaceful society, the full development of human potential, and long-term evolution.

Possible solutions to gender inequality:

  • Speak up for what you believe in
  • Pay attention to what others have to say
  • Defend yourself from discrimination
  • Raise public awareness of a problem
  • Get the media to talk about it
  • Demonstrate to those in positions of power that they are being watched

Global health issues

There is no comprehensive list of the top global health challenges because this field is dynamic and ever-evolving. In addition, new threats and hazards related to global health are constantly emerging as seen by the monkeypox outbreak that occurred in 2023. On the other hand, certain global health problems are long-term and may be on the list forever including cancer, air pollution, and tuberculosis.

Major health problems in the world include:

  • Communicable diseases

Influenza outbreaks and COVID-19 are examples of pandemics that highlight our susceptibility to widespread infections, many of which begin in animals. Anxiety and fear are common reactions to pandemics. Other worrisome infectious diseases worth attention are HIV/AIDS, malaria, and Ebola which have remained deadly for decades.

  • Environmental factors

Air pollution and climate change have a serious impact on our health. Hurricanes, floods and droughts make disease transmission easier among large populations of people.

  • Inequalities and poor healthcare access

Poor access to healthcare, increased infant mortality rates, mainly in low-income nations, and income inequality around the world make it virtually impossible for many families to afford healthcare.

  • Political aspects

People become increasingly exposed to diseases as wars within or between countries damage essential infrastructure. As a result, they look for ways to escape the harmful situations that jeopardize their safety but diseases can spread swiftly when people migrate.

  • Mental health

A major contributor to disability is depression, and among those aged 15 to 29, suicide caused by depression is the main cause of mortality. Individuals suffering from serious mental health issues frequently encounter stigma, discrimination, and infringements of their human rights which can lead to earlier death. In less severe cases, mental health conditions can impact participation in social activities, close interpersonal connections, and academic or professional performance.

  • Noncommunicable diseases (NDCs)

Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are just a few examples of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The risk factors for NCDs include the use of tobacco products and alcohol, obesity, a poor or unbalanced diet, and lack of exercise. Although these global health concerns are present everywhere and are responsible for almost 3 out of every 4 deaths worldwide, low- and middle-income nations make up 77% of NCD deaths.

Possible solutions to global health issues:

  • Empower marginalized populations
  • Encourage physicians to work in rural regions
  • Implement policies that eliminate obstacles and improve access to healthcare
  • Promote health breakthroughs (improve research, increase funding)
  • Education can help people recognize and improve lifestyle variables such as poor diets, obesity, cigarette use, and alcohol intake which can lead to NCDs.
  • Veterinary medicine can enhance global health since diseases originating from livestock play an important role in the spreading of diseases.

Global poverty

Although there has been a decline in extreme poverty in middle-income nations, poverty in the world’s poorest nations and those impacted by instability, wars, or violence remains higher than it was before COVID-19.

Currently, about 700 million people worldwide face extreme poverty, meaning that their daily income is less than the $2.15 poverty-line established by the World Bank. The majority of these individuals reside in sub-Saharan Africa. All in all, the places where it is most difficult to tackle extreme poverty are rural areas and regions impacted by conflicts. It’s worth mentioning that 50% of the people who live in extreme poverty are children.

Possible solutions to poverty:

  • End marginalization by ensuring equality and representation for all
  • Provide preventative education and treatment assistance during an epidemic
  • Offer recovery interventions during climate disasters
  • Help refugees and internally displaced people in terms of health, nutrition, and shelter
  • Improve education
  • Increase the level of food security and clean water access
  • Put an end to conflicts

See also: Absolute poverty vs relative poverty, what is the difference?

Children’s poor access to healthcare, education and safety

Every child must benefit from the right to proper healthcare, access to education, and grow in safety, and every society benefits from increasing children’s life prospects. Despite this, millions of children worldwide face serious challenges linked with their birthplace, gender, or circumstances.

Over 72 million children around the world who are old enough to attend elementary school are not enrolled. Marginalization and poverty are two major social issues.

Possible solutions to protect children’s rights:

  • Encourage education for both children and adults in less developed countries
  • Provide clean water
  • Ensure basic healthcare
  • Tackle gender inequality
  • Improve childhood nutrition

Access to food and hunger

By 2030, it is less likely that the world will achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger, according to international agencies and media. The situation in countries that have faced food insecurity and where populations suffer from hunger has worsened further as a result of the health and socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our planet houses over 8 billion people, and there is enough food to feed them all. Sadly, 828 million face hunger on a daily basis despite the quantity of available food.

According to the World Food Program, more than 40% of these people face severe hunger. At the same time, around 2.3 billion people lack proper access to food. Statistics also show that around 9 million people die each year from hunger-related factors – most of them being children aged 5 or younger.

Possible solutions:

  • In regions impacted by conflict, humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding initiatives should be rolled out quickly
  • The resilience of those who are more prone to economic hardship should be increased
  • To reduce the cost of nutritious foods, governments should intervene at various points in the food supply chain
  • Deal with poverty by focusing on interventions that help those suffering
  • Food environments should be reinforced. In addition, it is important to influence consumer behavior to encourage eating habits that are good for both people and the environment.
  • Experts believe that the immediate solution to the food crisis linked to the conflict in Ukraine could be monetary, mainly because of the rising food prices. If governments and donors are able to help people to pay for food, fewer will go hungry.


Massive migration movements impact all UN Member States, necessitating greater collaboration and responsibility-sharing.

The United Nations Member States endorsed the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (A/RES/71/1) wherein they acknowledged that there is a need for a comprehensive strategy for migration. The New York Declaration recognizes the beneficial contributions of migrants to inclusive and sustainable development and pledges to defend their dignity, human rights, and basic freedoms, irrespective of their migration status.

Weapons accessibility

Multilateral disarmament and armaments restriction are the aims that have been important to the United Nations’ attempts to keep international peace since its inception.

The United Nations has placed a high priority on decreasing and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons, abolishing chemical weapons, and reinforcing the ban on biological weapons, all of which pose the greatest dangers to humanity.

  • A number of multilateral treaties and procedures have been developed as a result of worldwide efforts to regulate, limit, or eliminate specific weapons, including:
  • Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – one of its goals is to stop nuclear weapons and weapons technology from spreading
  • Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty – its goal is to prohibit nuclear weapons trial explosions, as well as any other nuclear explosions
  • Biological and Chemical Weapons Convention – forbids biological and toxin weapon manufacturing, procurement, transmission, storage, and use
  • Arms Trade Treaty – controls the international conventional armaments trade.

Final word

Although the top 10 global issues certainly help to establish what governments and ordinary people around the world should focus on, there are many other problems that everyone should be aware of, including the aging of the population, AIDS, and law and justice. Tackling at least some of these is possible but requires a lot of effort, patience and understanding.