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Produced by Bread for the World Institute
Hunger and Poverty Facts
Hunger and Poverty
- Despite years of progress against hunger, in 2010, it is estimated that 925 million 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 and South and Central Asia.
- In countries with high levels of childhood malnutrition, the economic loss can be as high as 2-3 percent of GDP.
U.S. Development Assistance
- U.S. development assistance accounts for about 0.2% of gross national income.
- Since 2000, U.S. poverty-focused development assistance has tripled, and currently totals a little over $28 billion (Bread for the World estimate), but this amount still represents less than 1% of the federal budget.
- From 1985 to 2005, U.S. development assistance to support agriculture and rural development declined from 12 percent of all official development assistance to just 3.1 percent.