Thursday, November 8, 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~HUNGER: First Course~~~~~~~~~~~

Hunger  (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
925 million hungry people in 2010
As the figure above 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 agencies; 2) the current worldwide economic crisis, and 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.
Women make up a little over half of the world's population, but they account for over 60 percent of the world’s hungry.
(Source:  Strengthening efforts to eradicate hunger..., ECOSOC, 2007)
Number of children in the world 2.2 billion
Number in poverty 1 billion (every second child)
Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition.  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 deaths.
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.

Harmful economic systems are the principal cause of poverty and hunger.
Region % in  $1.25 a day poverty Population (millions) Pop. in $1 a day poverty (millions)
East Asia and Pacific 16.8 1,884 316
Latin America and the Caribbean  8.2 550 45
South Asia 40.4 1,476 596
Sub-Saharan Africa 50.9 763 388
  Total Developing countries 28,8 4673 1345
Europe and Central Asia 0.04 473 17
Middle East and North Africa 0.04 305 11
Total 5451 1372
Source:  See World Bank PovcalNet "Replicate the World Bank's Regional Aggregation" at

More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.
An analysis of long-term trends shows the distance between the richest and poorest countries was about:
  • 3 to 1 in 1820
  • 11 to 1 in 1913
  • 35 to 1 in 1950
  • 44 to 1 in 1973
  • 72 to 1 in 1992


1 comment:

  1. Is it coincidence that the graph immediately above crosses the crisis threshold in mid-December 2010.......corresponding with the self-immolation of the Tunisian merchant on December 17 and followed by the Arab spring?