While progress has been made in the effort to end world hunger, one in nine people around the world still go to bed hungry. Here are 20 world hunger facts:
Top World Hunger Facts
- Roughly 795 million people, or one in nine, of the 7.3 billion people in the world are suffering from chronic undernourishment.
- Of the 795 million suffering from hunger, 780 million live in developing countries. That is 12.9 percent of developing countries’ population.
- World hunger is dropping. The number of undernourished people in developing countries was reduced by 42 percent between 1990 and 2014.
- Hunger is most prevalent in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Two out of three of the world’s undernourished people live in Asia. In addition, one in four people in sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished.
- There are two types of malnutrition. The first is protein-energy malnutrition, which is a lack of calories and protein. The second is micronutrient deficiency, which is a shortage of vitamins and minerals. While both are important, protein-energy malnutrition is the focus of world hunger discussions.
- Every year, hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
- Sixty percent of the world’s hungry people are women.
- Hunger affects women’s pregnancies. Each year, around 17 million children are born undernourished because their mother was undernourished while pregnant.
- Every 10 seconds a child dies due to a hunger-related disease.
- World hunger is caused by inequality and poverty, not a shortage of food. The world already produces enough food to feed roughly 10 billion people.
- Food waste contributes to global hunger. One-third of the food produced each year is wasted, which costs the global economy close to $750 billion annually.
- In developing countries, approximately 896 million people live on $1.90 a day or less.
- Food aid, not including emergency relief, is often more damaging in the end. This is because free or subsidized food shipped from the U.S. and Europe and sold below market prices hurt local farmers who cannot compete.
- Approximately 66 million primary school-age children in the developing world attend classes hungry. This has a negative impact on their futures, as hungry children spend fewer years in school and cannot concentrate.
- The U.N.’s World Food Programme works to end world hunger by providing free meals and snacks in schools around the world. In 2015, the program provided 17.4 million children with meals or snacks. This not only helps to feed children around the world but is also an incentive for parents to send them to school.
- People involved in agriculture are especially susceptible to hunger. Fifty percent of hungry people in the world are farming families.
- Gender equality is a vital part of efforts to end world hunger. Around half of the world’s farmers are women, but they do not have access to the same tools, such as training and land rights, as men. If men and women had the same resources, female farmers could increase their productivity to help reduce world hunger for approximately 1.5 million people.
- One possibility for reducing world hunger is sustainable agriculture, which aims to preserve the Earth’s natural resources, through things like crop waste recycling and more precise fertilizer use.
- Microfinance also has the potential to end world hunger. These programs help to reduce poverty and improve gender equality through providing poor people, particularly women, with credit to develop small businesses.
- The U.N. estimated that it would take roughly $30 billion a year to end world hunger.
Undernourishment remains a pressing issue in both developing and developed countries; however, new research and technology reveal promising solutions to help end world hunger.
– Alexi Worley