800 million people go to bed hungry each night.
That’s 1 in 9 people on a world population estimate of 7.6 billion today.
98% of the world’s hungry live in developing regions, mostly in Asia.
Some 550 million are in Asia and the Pacific, in countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. Another 220 million are in Africa, in arid sub-Saharan countries like Ethiopia, Niger and Mali. The remaining is in Latin America and the Caribbean, in places like Guatemala and Haiti.
75% of the world’s poorest don’t buy their food – they grow it.
Many poverty-stricken families depend on their land and livestock for both food and income, leaving them vulnerable to natural disasters. Drought – as a result of climate change and unpredictable rainfall – is one of the most common causes of food shortages in the world. It causes crop failures, kills entire herds of livestock, and dries up farmland in poor communities that have no other means to survive.
Surprisingly, many hungry people live in countries with food surpluses, not food shortages.
The issue, largely, is that the people who need food the most simply don’t have steady access to it. In the hungriest countries, families struggle to get the food they need because of issues such as lack of infrastructure like roads and storage facilities, frequent war and displacement, natural disaster, climate change, and chronic poverty.
1/3 of the food produced around the world is never consumed.
Much food is wasted in developing countries due to inadequate food production systems. Some of the factors responsible for food losses include inefficient farming techniques, lack of post-harvest storage and management resources, and weak market connections.
60% of the world’s hungry are women and girls.
In many places, male-dominated social structures limit the resources women have to job opportunities, financial services and education, making them more vulnerable to poverty and hunger. This, in turn, impacts their children. A malnourished mother has an increased risk of delivering an underweight baby, which can mean physical and mental stunting right from childbirth.
Empowering female farmers can pull 150 million people out of hunger.
Empowering women is essential to global food security. Almost half of the world’s farmers are women, but they lack the same tools – land rights, financing, training – that their male counterparts have, and their farms are less productive as a result. If women and men had equal agricultural resources, female farmers could increase their productivity enough to help lift millions of people out of hunger.
Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger.
Poor nutrition is responsible for nearly half (45%) of all deaths in children under the age of 5 – about 3 million children die each year because their bodies don’t have enough of the basic nutrients they need to function and grow.
Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Around 9 million people die of hunger and hunger-related diseases every year, more than double the lives taken by AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in 2012.
The world produces enough food for everyone to live a healthy, productive life.
There is now 17% more food available per person than there was 30 years ago. If all the world’s food were evenly distributed, there would be enough for everyone to get 2,700 calories per day – which is more than the minimum 2,100 requirement for proper health. So the challenge is not a lack of food, it’s making food consistently available to everyone who needs it. – Source: mercycorps.org & FAO