5 Facts about global hunger

September 29, 2016

Next month many churches will observe Global Hunger Sunday (October 9) and join with others across the globe to recognize World Food Day (October 16), a worldwide event designed to increase awareness, understanding and informed, year‐around action to alleviate hunger.

Here are five facts you should know about one of the world’s most persistent, but solvable, global problems.

1. Around the world, 842 million people do not have enough of the food they need to live an active, healthy life. 98 percent of the world’s hungry live in developing countries. The highest number of malnourished people, 553 million, live in Asia and the Pacific. The second highest number, 227 million, live in sub-Saharan Africa. Another 47 million live in Latin America and the Caribbean.

2. Malnutrition affects nearly every country. Only two countries have levels of under-five stunting, anemia in women of reproductive age, and adult overweight all below public health thresholds

3. 45 percent of deaths for children under the age of five are attributable to undernutrition. “Nutritional deficiencies” are responsible for over 50 percent of years lived with disability in children age four and under. Underweight is the number-one contributor to the burden of disease in Africa south of the Sahara and number four in South Asia

4. Since 1990-92, 63 countries have reached the United Nations’ hunger target goal of halving the proportion of undernourished people, and 25 countries have achieved the goal of halving the number of undernourished people. Of the 63 developing countries, 11 already had undernourishment levels below 5 percent. 

5. Since the early 1990s, the prevalence of undernourishment has fallen from 18.7 to 11.3 percent globally and from 23.4 to 13.5 percent for developing countries. There has likely never been a time in modern human history when such a large percentage of the population has been freed from chronic hunger.

Click here to access free downloadable bulletin inserts for Global Hunger Sunday with content from Global Hunger Relief (GHR), a Southern Baptist Initiative. Learn more about GHR at globalhungerrelief.com.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is the author of The Life and Faith Field Guide for Parents, the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible, and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. He also serves as an executive pastor at the McLean Bible Church Arlington location in Arlington, Virginia. Read More