In 2005, the latest year for which data are available, 1.4 billion people in developing countries lived in extreme poverty—on less than $1.25 a day—down from 1.9 billion in 1981. In the United States, 14.6 percent of households struggle to put food on the table. Nearly one in four children is at risk of hunger. We can end hunger in our time. Everyone, including government, must do their part. By making our voices heard in Congress, we make our laws more fair and compassionate to people in need.
The world is facing a hunger crisis unlike anything it has seen in more than 50 years. Worldwide, 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty. 1.02 billion people are hungry. Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That’s one child every five seconds. There were 1.4 billion people in extreme poverty in 2005. The World Bank estimates that the spike in global food prices in 2008, followed by the global economic recession in 2009 and 2010 has pushed between 100-150 million people into poverty.
Did you know? In 2008, nearly 9 million children died before they reached their fifth birthday. One third of these deaths are due directly or indirectly to hunger and malnutrition.
Hunger and Poverty
- Despite years of progress against hunger, in 2009, it was estimated that 1.02 billion people suffer from hunger. This is due to a sudden spike in global food prices and the onset of a world-wide economic crisis. United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation
- In 2005, the latest year for which data is available, 1.4 billion people in developing countries lived in extreme poverty, or on less than $1.25 a day, down from 1.9 billion in 1981.
- Poverty has declined dramatically in East Asia and in India since 1981 relative to population growth. Sub-Saharan Africa has seen little change in the proportion of people who live in extreme poverty between 1981 and 2005, with 51% of the population living on less than $1.25 per day, down from 53% in 1981. The absolute number of people in extreme poverty has almost doubled during the same period, from 200 million in 1981 to almost 400 million in 2005. World Development Indicators 2009, World Bank Group, p. 69; http://data.worldbank.org/topic/poverty.
- About 75% of the world’s poor people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
- In 2008, nearly 9 million children died before they reached their fifth birthday. One third of these deaths are due directly or indirectly to hunger and malnutrition. Malnutrition is not having enough nourishing food, with adequate amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals and calories to support physical and mental growth and development. Children who survive early childhood malnutrition suffer irreversible harm—including poor physical growth, compromised immune function, and impaired cognitive ability.
Around the world, 178 million children under 5 are stunted, low height for age. Of all stunted children, 90 percent live in just 36 countries, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
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