Portal:Hunger relief

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Introduction

The FAO's food price index reflects changes in the average international price of food. The sharp rise in 2007/08 caused a global food crisis, with food riots in dozens of countries, and pushed well over a hundred million into extreme hunger. The rise in 2010/11 contributed to the Arab Spring.

In politics, humanitarian aid, and social science, hunger is a condition in which a person, for a sustained period, is unable to eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs.

Throughout history, portions of the world's population have often experienced sustained periods of hunger. In many cases, this resulted from food supply disruptions caused by war, plagues, or adverse weather. For the first few decades after World War II, technological progress and enhanced political cooperation suggested it might be possible to substantially reduce the number of people suffering from hunger. While progress was uneven, by 2000 the threat of extreme hunger subsided for many of the world's people. According to the WFP some statistics are that, "Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world's hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished."

Until 2006, the average international price of food had been largely stable for several decades. In the closing months of 2006, however, prices began to rise rapidly. By 2008, rice had tripled in price in some regions, and this severely affected developing countries. Food prices fell in early 2009, but rose to another record high in 2011, and have since decreased slightly. The 2008 worldwide financial crisis further increased the number of people suffering from hunger, including dramatic increases even in advanced economies such as Great Britain, the Eurozone and the United States.

The Millennium Development Goals included a commitment to a further 50% reduction in the proportion of the world's population who suffer from extreme hunger by 2015. As of 2012, this target appeared difficult to achieve, due in part to persistent inflation in food prices. However, in late 2012 the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated it is still possible to hit the target with sufficient effort. In 2013, the FAO estimated that 842 million people are undernourished (12% of the global population). Malnutrition is a cause of death for more than 3.1 million children under 5 every year. UNICEF estimates 300 million children go to bed hungry each night; and that 8000 children under the age of 5 are estimated to die of malnutrition every day.

Selected article

World Hunger Year is an organization that seeks to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. WhyHunger was founded in 1975 by folk singer Harry Chapin, a social activist who was as well known for his humanitarian efforts as for his guitar ballads, and 95.5 WPLJ New York, legendary radio D.J. Bill Ayres. Its Board of Directors is currently chaired by Jen Chapin.

WhyHunger is convinced that solutions to hunger and poverty can be found at the grassroots level. WhyHunger advances long-term solutions to hunger and poverty by supporting community-based organizations that empower individuals and build self-reliance, i.e., offering job training, education and after school programs; increasing access to housing and healthcare; providing microcredit and entrepreneurial opportunities; teaching people to grow their own food; and assisting small farmers. WhyHunger connects these organizations to funders, media and legislators.


Selected biography

Borlaug speaking at the Ministerial Methodist Conference and Expo on Agricultural Science and Technology, June 2003
Norman Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) was an American agronomist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution", "agriculture's greatest spokesperson" and "The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives". He is one of seven people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal and was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honor.


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Did you know

...that about 50 million Americans face food insecurity, including many who are employed, with the 2013 movie A Place at the Table featuring a cop who needs to use food banks?
Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

Selected quote

The real cause of hunger is the powerlessness of the poor to gain access to the resources they need to feed themselves.
— Frances Moore Lappé

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  • FAO hunger portal
  • Hunger Statistics from the UN's World Food Programme
  • Hunger Notes from the World Hunger Education Service
  • Hunger Relief research on IssueLab
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