The Stunning Realities – A Fact List on Hunger
Around the world, over 850 billion people are affected by hunger.
GLOBAL ENVISION: There is enough food in the world today for every man, woman and child to lead a healthy and productive life. Yet every year, 10 million children die from preventable, poverty-related malnutrition and infections. Read the following facts to learn more about world hunger.
- Hunger is the most extreme form of poverty, where individuals or families cannot afford to meet their most basic need for food.
- Worldwide, the total number of undernourished people has risen to 854 million. Of the total, 820 million live in developing countries, 25 million in countries in transition and nine million live in industrialized countries. (2001-2003).
- One in seven people do not get enough food to lead a healthy and active life, making hunger and malnutrition the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
- Enough wheat, rice and other grains are produced worldwide to provide the entire global population of 6.4 billion people with 3,500 calories a day.
- Drought is now the single most common cause of food shortages in the world.
- A recent Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO) survey found that women farmers receive only 5 percent of all agricultural extension services worldwide.
- Children younger than five years old are the most vulnerable population, over 20 percent of the world’s hungry people are under the age of five. Pregnant or breast-feeding women and the elderly are the second most vulnerable population to hunger.
- An estimated 126.5 million children in developing countries are underweight – the result of acute or chronic hunger.
- With 212 million, India is the country with the highest number of undernourished people in the world.
- Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 25 percent of the undernourished people in the developing world, and 13 percent of its total population. One-third of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from chronic hunger.
- The Asia and Pacific Region accounts for 68 percent of the developing world’s population and 64 percent of its undernourished population.
- Latin America and the Caribbean are home to 6 percent of the developing world’s undernourished people, and 11 percent of its total population.
- Sub-Saharan Africa contributes 206 million to the world’s hungry, while North East and North Africa contribute 38 million. Asia Pacific accounts for 162 million hungry people, excluding India and China which have 150 million and 212 million respectively (2001-2003 data).
United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition