FACTS ABOUT HUNGER
- More than 840 million people in the world are malnourished — 799 million of them live in the developing world.
- More than 153 million of the world's malnourished people are children under the age of 5.
- Six million children under the age of 5 die every year as a result of hunger.
- Malnutrition can severely affect a child's intellectual development. Malnourished children often have stunted growth and score significantly lower on math and language achievement tests than do well-nourished children.
- Lack of dietary diversity and essential minerals and vitamins also contributes to increased child and adult mortality. Vitamin A deficiency impairs the immune system, increasing the annual death toll from measles and other diseases by an estimated 1.3 million-2.5 million children.
- While every country in the world has the potential of growing enough food to feed itself, 54 nations currently do not produce enough food to feed their populations, nor can they afford to import the necessary commodities to make up the gap. Most of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Most of the widespread hunger in a world of plenty results from grinding, deeply rooted poverty. In any given year, however, between 5 and 10 percent of the total can be traced to specific events: droughts or floods, armed conflict, political, social and economic disruptions.