September 15, 2017

World Hunger Increases for The First Time in Nearly a Decade

Children retrieving water. Imperial College London

Washington, D.C. – A new report released today by the United Nations says that 815 million people in the world suffered hunger in 2016. This marks the first increase in hunger rates since the food price crisis of 2007 and 2008, and is a significant increase from the 777 million who suffered from hunger in 2015.

According to the report, State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, this reversal is due to conflict and the effects of climate change in parts of Southeast and West Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

“The progress the world has made against hunger is nothing short of remarkable – a sign that God is indeed moving in our time,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “However, this report raises the alarm that conflict and climate change stand in the way of ending hunger within our lifetimes.”

The report finds that hunger is now increasingly concentrated in fragile and conflict-affected areas. This is consistent with the analysis in Bread for the World Institute’s 2017 Hunger Report, Fragile Environments, Resilient Communities.

Famine and near famine conditions threaten at least 20 million people. The long-term consequences of hunger and malnutrition, conflict, and climate change risk hampering the strong economic growth that has helped lift hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty worldwide.

“Clearly, this is not the time for Congress to cut the foreign aid budget,” Beckmann said. “We need to use all of the resources at our disposal, both humanitarian and diplomatic, to prevent tragedy. USAID Administrator Mark Green’s recent trip to famine-affected countries is a great start. Now we need the State department’s diplomacy to help resolve these conflicts so we can end hunger.” 

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...


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