TV journalists bring the world pictures of extreme hunger in countries hit by civil war or natural disasters, but these emergencies account for less than 8% of the world’s hungry.
The World Food Programme recommends the average daily food intake a person needs to maintain a healthy life is 2,100 calories.
But in many places victims of hunger spend months or even years trying to survive on less.
The statistics are shocking.
Delving into the numbers monitored by the WFP reveals a world where millions are deprived of enough to eat.
Hunger – the shocking statistics
Here are the latest official statistics from the WFP:
- One in nine people on the planet – around 800 million people – suffer from not having enough food to eat
- People in developing countries suffer the most – around 13% of the population of these places is undernourished
- Two thirds of the world’s hungry live in Asia
- A huge 25% of the population in sub-Sahara Africa are victims of hunger – that’s one in every four people
- More than 3 million children die from malnutrition each year – this is 45% of all deaths of children under five years old
- 100 million children – one in every six in the world – are underweight because they do not get enough to eat
- Growth in 25% of children is stunted due to lack of food
- 66 million school age children are hungry in class – with a third of these (23 million) in Africa
- Wealthy countries need to give $3.2 billion in aid to help these 66 million children get enough food
- Giving women farmers the same resources as men farmers would help reduce the number falling victim to hunger by up to 150 million
Disasters affect the poorest
These facts show that the pictures on TV and in the media, can distort the reality of how hunger affects the world.
Nevertheless, disasters have a disproportionate effect on the poorest people, says the WFP, so reducing their exposure to risk from these events can stop them suffering from having no food.
“More than 80% of the world’s most food-insecure people live in countries prone to natural disasters with high levels of environmental degradation,” says the WFP.