world hunger facts
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

  1. Roughly 795 million people, or one in nine, of the 7.3 billion people in the world are suffering from chronic undernourishment.
  2. Of the 795 million suffering from hunger, 780 million live in developing countries. That is 12.9 percent of developing countries’ population.
  3. World hunger is dropping. The number of undernourished people in developing countries was reduced by 42 percent between 1990 and 2014.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Every year, hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
  7. Sixty percent of the world’s hungry people are women.
  8. Hunger affects women’s pregnancies. Each year, around 17 million children are born undernourished because their mother was undernourished while pregnant.
  9. Every 10 seconds a child dies due to a hunger-related disease.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. In developing countries, approximately 896 million people live on $1.90 a day or less.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. People involved in agriculture are especially susceptible to hunger. Fifty percent of hungry people in the world are farming families.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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

Photo: Flickr

World Hunger Facts
You have been asked to write a school report on world hunger.  What kinds of information would you find and possibly include?  Well, as a start, hunger is defined as “the continuing deprivation in a person of the food needed to support a healthy life.”  For millions of people around the world, food insecurity and hunger are a daily part of their lives.  Millions of human beings, young and old alike, are not getting enough vitamins and minerals their bodies need to properly function, causing damage to their health and ultimately destroying their lives.

World hunger is a problem that can be solved.  The first step is being educated on what it is.  Below is a list of ten world hunger facts to help get you started.

1. Out of the nearly 7 billion people in the world, there are roughly 870 million who are hungry (more than the populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union combined).  This means that around 12 percent of the global population is undernourished, consuming less than the minimum amount of calories necessary for strong health and growth.

2. Causes of hunger include: natural disasters (accounting for less than eight percent of victims), conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure, environmental exploitation, climate change, harmful economic systems and unstable markets.

3. The majority of hungry people (nearly 98 percent) live in developing countries, with over half in Asia as well as the Pacific and a quarter in Sub-Saharan Africa.

4. In the developing world, 66 million primary school-age children go to class hungry.  The United Nations World Food Programme calculates that $3.2 billion is needed annually to reach these children.

5. Women account for 60 percent of the world’s hungry.  The number of those hungry could be reduced by up to 150 million people if female farmers had equal access to resources.

6. Each year, 17 million children are born undernourished, due to the mother’s lack of nutrition during pregnancy.  Roughly 100 million children (1 out of 6) are underweight.

7. Annually, 15 million children die due to hunger-related causes.  Poor nutrition, specifically, accounts for nearly 3.1 million children’s deaths.

8. The world produces 10 percent more food than is needed to feed the entire globe. International trade and distribution imbalances affects poorer countries the most, as food tends to get distributed to those with the most money.

9. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 people in developing countries face vitamin and mineral deficiencies, with deficiencies in vitamin A, iron and zinc ranked among the leading causes of death through disease.

10. Effects of hunger include: high infant-mortality rate, susceptibility to common illnesses, increased risk of infection, increased vulnerability in times of disaster, stunted development and stunted economic growth

The above statistics are meant to serve as a preliminary overview of world hunger.  When writing any report, it is important to think critically about the statistics and facts you come across.  A critical thinker will dig deeper into the causes and consequences of an issue, and what can or should be done to address it.

Stand out among your classmates and focus on a specific aspect of world hunger that allows you to develop a meaningful analysis and conclusion.  The first step to becoming an advocate for change starts with knowing your cause and all the factors that surround it.

Rifk Ebeid

Sources: World Food Programme, Do Something Org, United Nations Resources for Speakers on Global Issues, Womenaid International, World Hunger Education Services, Freedom from Hunger, The Hunger Project, World Food Programme Hunger
Photo: Food Navigator