UN World Food Programme

World Food Day 2009

World Food Day...

Or should that be "No Food Day"?

For the 1.02 billion undernourished people in the world, every day is "No Food Day" or something very close to it.

Yes - you read that correctly - 1.02 billion.

So - what do we understand by the word "hunger"? How many times have you heard someone say:

"I am so hungry" when what they really meant was: " I am going to sit down and eat pretty shortly."

On the other hand, for almost 1 person in 6 of the world's population, "I am hungry!" has another meaning altogether. Though it's often seen as a minor inconvenience for those fortunate enough to be born into societies where food security is not a problem, hunger is a killer - and it bites worlwide.

To give some idea of the scale of this problem, in 2009, World Food Programme aims to reach 108 million people with food assistance, in some 74 countries around the globe.

Even given our reach, World Food Programme could only help around 10 percent of those who are in need of food assistance.

  

Things you should know about hunger on "No Food Day":

Every day, 14000 children die of hunger related causes - that's one every six seconds.

There are 1.02 billion undernourished people in the world today - that's almost 1 person in 6 of the world's population.

Hunger is the number 1 risk for health.

Most of the world's hungry live in developing world.

There is enough food in the world to feed the whole world's population - over 1 billion people don't have access to it.

Malnutrition is the largest single contributor to disease.

Poor families in developing countries spend 50 to 70 percent of their income to food.

Halving the number of hungry people in the world is part of  Millennium Development Goal number 1.

So what can we do to fight hunger? Step up and take action is the simple answer. Raise awareness about the issues any way you can.

Short of ideas? Well here are few:

A Billion for a Billion: Coincidentally, just as there are over 1 billion hungry people in the world, there are over 1 billion internet users who can help. Spread the word, donate or just get informed here.

"hunger bytes!": In another strange coincidence, video footage on youtube receives around 1 billion views per day. Join in and make a video about hunger with WFP's "hunger bytes!" competition. (you might win a prize, too!)

Teachers and Educators: get hunger into the classroom with cross-curricular lesson plans. Inform yourself and your students about the issues at www.wfp.org/students-and-teachers.

And remember, hunger bites everywhere - it's time to bite back...