10 Hunger Facts For 2014

A young Syrian girl carries part of her family's WFP food rations away from a distribution in Syria in early 2013. See 12 photos that look back on a year in WFP's fight against hunger. (Copyright: WFP/Abeer Etefa)

How many hungry people are there in the world and is the number going down? What effect does hunger have on children and what can we do to help them? Here is our list of top 10 hunger facts that everyone ought to know going into 2014.

1. About 842 million people in the world do not eat enough to be healthy.  That means that one in every eight  people on Earth goes to bed hungry each night. (Source: FAO, 2013)

2.The number of people living with chronic hunger has fallen by 17 percent since 1990–92. If the trend continues, we will fall just short of the hunger target in the Millennium Development Goals. (Source: FAO, 2013)

3. Most of the world’s undernourished people are still to be found in Southern Asia, closely followed by sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Asia. (Source: FAO, 2013)

4. A third of all deaths in children under the age of five in developing countries are linked to undernutrition. (Source: IGME, 2011)

5. In the developing world, one child in four is stunted, meaning that their physical and mental growth is impaired because of inadequate nutrition. (Source: The Lancet, 2013)

6. The first 1,000 days of a child’s life, from pregnancy through age two, are critical. A proper diet in this period can protect children from the mental and physical stunting that can result from malnutrition. (Source: IGME, 2011)

7. If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.  (Source: FAO, 2011)

8. It costs just US $0.25 per day to provide a child with all of the vitamins and nutrients he or she needs to grow up healthy. (Source: WFP, 2011)

9. By 2050, climate change and erratic weather patterns could have pushed another 24 million children into hunger. Almost half of these children would be in sub-Saharan Africa. (Source: IFPRI, 2009)

10. Hunger can be eliminated in our lifetimes. The Zero Hunger Challenge, launched by the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, works to galvanise global support around this very objective. Learn more

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