From the Field

5 worst spots for hunger

Woman sitting with children among a crowd of other hungry families. South Sudan is among the worst spots for hunger.

Hunger appears to be on the rise again after a years-long decline. But there were still fewer people going hungry last year than the 900 million chronically hungry in 2000.

Around the world, 815 million people regularly go to bed hungry, according to a report from the United Nations food agencies. That’s about 11 percent of the world’s population. Despite overall improvements in food security, some areas of the world are lagging behind in providing adequate nutrition for healthy development, according to The State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the World 2017, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Learn more about these hungry places, what we’re doing, and how you can help hungry children and families in need.

Where are the five worst spots for hunger?

Where is hunger? Developing nations account for 791 million or 98 percent of chronically undernourished people. The five regions with the highest number of hungry people as a proportion of population include:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa: 22.7 percent
  • Caribbean: 17.7 percent
  • Southern Asia: 14.4 percent
  • Southeastern Asia: 11.5 percent
  • Western Asia: 10.6 percent

The report notes that “the greatest food security challenges overall remain in sub-Saharan Africa,” where every day more than 1 in 4 people lack adequate food. Yet, Asia has the highest number of hungry individuals: 525.6 million people.

Agreement for an end to hunger in Africa by 2025

In July 2014, African heads of state committed to ending hunger in the region by 2025. Integrated steps they discussed include:

  • Boosting food security and agricultural production growth
  • Using cash transfer programs for social protection and poverty reduction
  • Promoting peace and stability to eliminate armed conflict — the cause of  hunger problems

How we work to fight hunger

A basic component of World Vision’s work includes fighting hunger, especially for children, by promoting food security and livelihood stability in local communities. Much of this work is funded by faithful donors who sponsor children, and some of it is supported by government and private grants.

During disasters and other food crises, World Vision provides immediate food aid to help people get through the worst days and save the lives of children and other vulnerable people. When the situation improves, we continue to help communities recover and build their capacity to provide food for themselves and their families.

Since many people in developing countries are smallholder farmers, our programs help growers with agricultural inputs, such as durable and drought-resistant seeds, crop diversity and rotation techniques, livestock farming, and water retention and irrigation. These measures help families to make the best climate-smart improvements for their long-term food security, while minimizing soil erosion, water loss, and other harmful results.

We also help local farm groups organize themselves for marketing and crop storage purposes to take advantage of pricing and discounts, while eliminating middlemen and product loss.

In addition, our staff teaches mothers and fathers about proper nutrition with locally available foods and new preparation techniques, so children are better nourished. Loans and business training also help participants capitalize on their business ideas — such as owning a small store or making furniture — to stabilize their livelihoods.

How you can help end world hunger

  • Pray for children and families affected by chronic hunger, the long-term effects of which are devastating to their future. Pray that nutritious food will be readily available in hungry communities that they can afford to buy or raise themselves.
  • Sponsor a child today. Sponsorship is the most powerful way you can fight poverty. When you sponsor a child, you provide access to life-saving basics like nutritious food, healthcare, clean water, education, and more. You will help change the life of your sponsored child, his or her family, and their community.
  • 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.

Hunger

View All Stories
Conflict in South Sudan has uprooted families and led to hunger and suffering. The U.N. refugee agency announced August 17 that South Sudanese refugees in Uganda now exceed 1 million. World Vision is bringing healing and sustenance to children and families in need.
From the Field

East Africa hunger, famine: Facts, FAQs, and how to help

Around the world, 815 million people regularly go to bed hungry. Here are five facts you should know about global hunger and nutrition.
From the Field

5 global hunger facts you need to know