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Food has never before existed
in such abundance, so why are
870 million people in the world
Hunger is a term which has three meanings (Oxford English Dictionary 1971)
• the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving
appetite. Also the exhausted condition caused by want of food
• the want or scarcity of food in a country
• a strong desire or craving
The want or scarcity of food in a country, aggregated to the world level.
It is a general term that indicates a lack of some or all nutritional
elements necessary for human.
War and conflict
Weather and Climatic change
War and Conflict
• It’s no coincidence that many of the world’s “conflict hot spots” are also the
regions most ravaged by hunger.
• Imagine how difficult it is for a community stressed by violence, crumbling
infrastructure, and fleeing refugees to support stable food systems.
• In many cases, a family whose life has been interrupted by war will see a drop in
income and access to arable land.
• War and conflict drastically impact food supply and security.
Weather and Climate Change
• Natural disasters leave dramatic impact on the production of arable land.
• Between droughts, floods, and tropical storms, weather can be unpredictable and
• Although a natural disaster may strike quickly, its long-term damage can be
• In many developing countries, farmers depend on one small plot of land.
• If this land is destroyed by natural disaster, their source of food and livelihood is
washed away with it.
• In recent years, farmers have seen an increase in deforestation, desertification,
soil erosion, and drought.
• Combined with overgrazing, over-cropping, and deforestation, the impact of poor
agricultural practices can destroy arable land.
• By improving farming practices and increasing access to quality infrastructure,
we can make huge strides in eliminating hunger.
• As the populations of countries rise, so too does the demand for food.
• Population growth has hit developing countries especially hard.
• Compounded with rising food prices, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to
match food production rates with population growth rates.
• Like hunger, poverty is often a cyclical, structural crisis.
• In most cases, poverty and hunger go hand-in-hand.
• As a family sinks into poverty, they are forced to stretch their meager income. As
more money is spent on food, less money is available to spend on health care,
savings, and education.
• Farmers may find themselves unable to purchase seeds, tools, or farming
• Poverty is a cause of hunger, but it is an effect as well.
Malnutrition - Types
There are two basic types of malnutrition.
1. The first and most important is protein-energy malnutrition
The lack of enough protein (from meat and other sources) and food that provides
energy (measured in calories) which all of the basic food groups provide. This is the
type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed.
2. The second type of malnutrition, also very important, is micronutrient (vitamin
and mineral) deficiency.
This is not the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is
discussed, though it is certainly very important.
• Recently there has also been a move to include obesity as a third form of
• Considering obesity as malnutrition expands the previous usual meaning of the
term which referred to poor nutrition due to lack of food inputs.
• It is poor nutrition, but it is certainly not typically due to a lack of calories, but
rather too many (although poor food choices, often due to poverty, are part of
• Obesity will not be considered here, although obesity is certainly a health
problem and is increasingly considered as a type of malnutrition.]
• Children are the most visible victims of under nutrition.
• Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year.
• Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year--five million
• Under nutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria.
• The estimated proportions of deaths in which under nutrition is an underlying cause are roughly
similar for diarrhoea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) (Black 2003,
• Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhoea, by
reducing the body's ability to convert food into usable nutrients.
The 2010 estimate, the most recent, says that 925 million people were undernourished
in 2010 (FAO 2010).
• As the figure below shows, the number of hungry people has increased since 1995-97.
• The increase has been due to three factors:
1) Neglect of agriculture relevant to very poor people by governments and international
2) The current worldwide economic crisis
3) The significant increase of food prices in the last several years which has been
devastating to those with only a few dollars a day to spend.
925 million people is 13.6 percent of the estimated world population of 6.8
billion. Nearly all of the undernourished are in developing countries.
How much food does India waste?
• Well, it is indeed a startling figure.
• A fresh estimate from the ministry of food processing says a whopping Rs 58,000 crore (Rs 580
billion) worth of agriculture food items get wasted in the country every year.
• Quoting from the report, Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahai told the
Parliament that the fact that such a huge quantity of food items goes as waste in the country is an
eye-opener for every Indian.
• The report said the food wastage is mainly due to lack of post-harvest infrastructure such as cold
chain facilities, transportation and proper storage facilities, etc.
In round numbers there are 7 billion people
in the world. Thus, with an estimated 925
million hungry people in the world, 13.1
percent, or almost 1 in 7 people are
Does the world produce enough food to
• The world produces enough food to feed everyone.
• World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it
did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase.
• This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories
(kcal) per person per day according to the most recent estimate that we could
find.(FAO 2002, p.9).
• The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land
to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.
Progress in reducing the number of
• The target set at the 1996 World Food Summit was to halve the number of undernourished
people by 2015 from their number in 1990-92.
• (FAO uses three year averages in its calculation of undernourished people.) The (estimated)
number of undernourished people in developing countries was 824 million in 1990-92.
• In 2010, the number had climbed to 925 million people.
• The WFS goal is a global goal adopted by the nations of the world; the present outcome indicates
how marginal the efforts were in face of the real need.
• So, overall, the world is not making progress toward the world food summit goal, although there
has been progress in Asia, and in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Use these tips to reduce food waste:
Having regularly scheduled meals can reduce unnecessary eating and food
At the end of each meal, check how much food is leftover and ask yourself why
so you can consider making different decisions next time.
Explore the menu options before you fill your plate.
Check the menu online before you arrive.
Take smaller portions and go back for seconds.
• While millions are struggling to put two meals on the table and
thousands are starving in Africa and in some Indian states, there are
people, primarily in the developed world, who continue to waste
tonnes of food every day.
• So, on the one hand, there are children who are dying because they
do not have anything to eat, while, on the other hand, there are
people who have so much that they simply throw away a good part of
The source of hunger in the world is poverty, and the source of poverty
is ignorance and neglect.
When you provide people with the tools and knowledge necessary to
bring change about and maintain it, they will welcome the change with
pride and will be compelled to sustain it.
All we need is just a push of confidence in the right direction…..