The 10 worst places for hunger

The number of hungry people in the world has decreased over the past 20 years, but more recently, progress toward reducing undernutrition has slowed.

By James Addis, World Vision U.S.
Published October 16, 2012 at 12:00am PDT

The proportion of hungry people in the world continues to decline, but progress has slowed since 2007, a new report reveals.

Global hunger decreasing, but still significant

The “State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 ,” published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Program, shows that 12.5 percent of the world’s population is undernourished today, compared to 18.6 percent 20 years ago.

According to the report, regions with the highest proportion of hungry people include: 

1. Sub-Saharan Africa: 26.8 percent
2. Caribbean: 17.8 percent
3. South Asia:  17.6 percent
4. Oceania:  12.1 percent
5. East Asia:  11.5 percent
6. Southeast Asia 10.9 percent
7. West Asia: 10.1 percent
8. Latin America:   7.7 percent
9. Caucasus and Central Asia: 7.4 percent
10. North Africa: 2.7 percent

The report estimates 870 million people in the world are undernourished — about one in eight people.

Action needed to revitalize progress

Since 2007, a series of economic shocks and food price hikes have made it more difficult for the poor to get enough to eat.

The report says the world could meet the Millennium Development Goal  of halving the prevalence of undernourishment in the developing world by 2015 — but only if action is taken to counter the recent slowdown in progress.

To speed up progress in reducing hunger, the report’s recommendations include increasing awareness about nutrition, enhancing opportunities for the poor to diversify their diets, and bolstering agricultural production among small-scale farmers, especially women.

World Vision’s response

World Vision works in the regions of the world where need is greatest to provide immediate and long-term solutions to hunger and malnutrition, paying special attention to the needs of children.

We provide short-term food aid to make sure children and families get essential nutrients during a time of crisis. At the same time, we help families strengthen and improve their ability to produce or purchase their own food. This approach helps families become more resilient and better equipped to handle future food challenges.

To help meet long-term needs and help families become food-secure, we:

> Increase agricultural productivity through durable seeds and improved farming practices
> Improve access to markets so farming families can sell their surplus food
> Teach families and communities how to improve nutrition and dietary diversity
> Manage resources in a sustainable way to prevent soil erosion, maintain soil fertility, use water more efficiently, and protect the environment

How you can help

Pray for children and families affected by hunger. Pray that familes would gain access to nutitious food and the resource they need to acheive long-term food security.

Contact your members of Congress. Voice your support for the International Affairs Budget, which makes up less than 1 percent of the overall federal budget but funds life-saving interventions to assist hungry children and families around the world There are few places in the federal budget where dollars translate so directly into lives saved.

Make a one-time gift to help provide life-saving food and care. Your gift will help provide interventions like emergency food aid, agricultural support, clean water, medicine, and other essential care to hungry children and families around the world.