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Old 11-26-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
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Default World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010



Hunger concepts and definitions

Hunger is a term which has three meanings (Oxford English Dictionary 1971)

* the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also the exhausted condition caused by want of food
* the want or scarcity of food in a country
* a strong desire or craving

World hunger refers to the second definition, aggregated to the world level. The related technical term (in this case operationalized in medicine) is malnutrition.1

Malnutrition is a general term that indicates a lack of some or all nutritional elements necessary for human health (Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia).

There are two basic types of malnutrition. The first and most important is protein-energy malnutrition--the lack of enough protein (from meat and other sources) and food that provides energy (measured in calories) which all of the basic food groups provide. This is the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed. The second type of malnutrition, also very important, is micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) deficiency. This is not the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed, though it is certainly very important.

[Recently there has also been a move to include obesity as a third form of malnutrition. Considering obesity as malnutrition expands the previous usual meaning of the term which referred to poor nutrition due to lack of food inputs.2 It is poor nutrition, but it is certainly not typically due to a lack of calories, but rather too many (although poor food choices, often due to poverty, are part of the problem). Obesity will not be considered here, although obesity is certainly a health problem and is increasingly considered as a type of malnutrition.]

Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is the most lethal form of malnutrition/hunger. It is basically a lack of calories and protein. Food is converted into energy by humans, and the energy contained in food is measured by calories. Protein is necessary for key body functions including provision of essential amino acids and development and maintenance of muscles.

Number of hungry people in the world: 925 million hungry people in 2010

No one really knows how many people are malnourished. The statistic most frequently cited is that of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which measures 'undernutrition'. The most recent estimate, released in October 2010 by FAO, says that 925 billion people are undernourished. As the figure below shows, the number of hungry people has increased since 1995-97, though the number is down from last year. The increase has been due to three factors: 1) neglect of agriculture relevant to very poor people by governments and international agencies; 2) the current worldwide economic crisis, and 3) the significant increase of food prices in the last several years which has been devastating to those with only a few dollars a day to spend. 925 million people is 13.6 percent of the estimated world population of 6.8 billion, . Nearly all of the undernourished are in developing countries.

Number of hungry people, 1969-2010:

Source: FAO

The FAO estimate is based on statistical aggregates. It looks at a country's income level and income distribution and uses this information to estimate how many people receive such a low level of income that they are malnourished. It is not an estimate based on seeing to what extent actual people are malnourished and projecting from there (as would be done by survey sampling). [It has been argued that the FAO approach is not sufficient to give accurate estimates of malnutrition (Poverty and Undernutrition p. 298 by Peter Svedberg).]

Undernutrition is a relatively new concept, but is increasingly used. It should be taken as basically equivalent to malnutrition. (It should be said as an aside, that the idea of undernourishment, its relationship to malnutrition, and the reasons for its emergence as a concept is not clear to Hunger Notes.)

Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition. Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year--five million deaths. Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) (Black 2003, Bryce 2005). Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body's ability to convert food into usable nutrients.

According to the most recent estimate that Hunger Notes could find, malnutrition, as measured by stunting, affects 32.5 percent of children in developing countries--one of three (de Onis 2000). Geographically, more than 70 percent of malnourished children live in Asia, 26 percent in Africa and 4 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean. In many cases, their plight began even before birth with a malnourished mother. Under-nutrition among pregnant women in developing countries leads to 1 out of 6 infants born with low birth weight. This is not only a risk factor for neonatal deaths, but also causes learning disabilities, mental, retardation, poor health, blindness and premature death.

Does the world produce enough food to feed everyone?

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day (FAO 2002, p.9). The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.

What are the causes of hunger?

What are the causes of hunger is a fundamental question, with varied answers.

* Poverty is the principal cause of hunger. The causes of poverty include poor people's lack of resources, an extremely unequal income distribution in the world and within specific countries, conflict, and hunger itself. As of 2008 (2005 statistics), the World Bank has estimated that there were an estimated 1,345 million poor people in developing countries who live on $1.25 a day or less.3 This compares to the later FAO estimate of 1.02 billion undernourished people. Extreme poverty remains an alarming problem in the world’s developing regions, despite some progress that reduced "dollar--now $1.25-- a day" poverty from (an estimated) 1900 million people in 1981, a reduction of 29 percent over the period. Progress in poverty reduction has been concentrated in Asia, and especially, East Asia, with the major improvement occurring in China. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people in extreme poverty has increased. The statement that 'poverty is the principal cause of hunger' is, though correct, unsatisfying. Why then are (so many) people poor? The next section summarizes Hunger Notes answer.

* Harmful economic systems are the principal cause of poverty and hunger. Hunger Notes believes that the principal underlying cause of poverty and hunger is the ordinary operation of the economic and political systems in the world. Essentially control over resources and income is based on military, political and economic power that typically ends up in the hands of a minority, who live well, while those at the bottom barely survive, if they do. We have described the operation of this system in more detail in our special section on Harmful economic systems.

* Conflict as a cause of hunger and poverty. At the end of 2005, the global number of refugees was at its lowest level in almost a quarter of a century. Despite some large-scale repatriation movements, the last three years have witnessed a significant increase in refugee numbers, due primarily to the violence taking place in Iraq and Somalia. By the end of 2008, the total number of refugees under UNHCR’s mandate exceeded 10 million. The number of conflict-induced internally displaced persons (IDPs) reached some 26 million worldwide at the end of the year . Providing exact figures on the number of stateless people is extremely difficult But, important, (relatively) visible though it is, and anguishing for those involved conflict is less important as poverty (and its causes) as a cause of hunger. (Using the statistics above 1.02 billion people suffer from chronic hunger while 36 million people are displaced [UNHCR 2008])

* Hunger is also a cause of poverty. By causing poor health, low levels of energy, and even mental impairment, hunger can lead to even greater poverty by reducing people's ability to work and learn.

* Climate change Climate change is increasingly viewed as a current and future cause of hunger and poverty. Increasing drought, flooding, and changing climatic patterns requiring a shift in crops and farming practices that may not be easily accomplished are three key issues. See the Hunger Notes special report: Hunger, the environment, and climate change for further information, especially articles in the section: Climate change, global warming and the effect on poor people such as Global warming causes 300,000 deaths a year, study says and Could food shortages bring down civilization?

Progress in reducing the number of hungry people

The target set at the 1996 World Food Summit was to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015 from their number in 1990-92. (FAO uses three year averages in its calculation of undernourished people.) The (estimated) number of undernourished people in developing countries was 824 million in 1990-92. In 2009, the number had climbed to 1.02 billion people. The WFS goal is a global goal adopted by the nations of the world; the present outcome indicates how marginal the efforts were in face of the real need.

So, overall, the world is not making progress toward the world food summit goal, although there has been progress in Asia, and in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Micronutrients

Quite a few trace elements or micronutrients--vitamins and minerals--are important for health. 1 out of 3 people in developing countries are affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, according to the World Health Organization. Three, perhaps the most important in terms of health consequences for poor people in developing countries, are:

Vitamin A Vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness and reduces the body's resistance to disease. In children Vitamin A deficiency can also cause growth retardation. Between 100 and 140 million children are vitamin A deficient. An estimated 250,000 to 500 000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, half of them dying within 12 months of losing their sight. (World Health Organization)

Iron Iron deficiency is a principal cause of anemia. Two billion people—over 30 percent of the world’s population—are anemic, mainly due to iron deficiency, and, in developing countries, frequently exacerbated by malaria and worm infections. For children, health consequences include premature birth, low birth weight, infections, and elevated risk of death. Later, physical and cognitive development are impaired, resulting in lowered school performance. For pregnant women, anemia contributes to 20 percent of all maternal deaths (World Health Organization).

Iodine Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) jeopardize children’s mental health– often their very lives. Serious iodine deficiency during pregnancy may result in stillbirths, abortions and congenital abnormalities such as cretinism, a grave, irreversible form of mental retardation that affects people living in iodine-deficient areas of Africa and Asia. IDD also causes mental impairment that lowers intellectual prowess at home, at school, and at work. IDD affects over 740 million people, 13 percent of the world’s population. Fifty million people have some degree of mental impairment caused by IDD (World Health Organization).

(Updated November 14, 2010)

More info and indicators at: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

Over 3 million people urge governments to act on hunger

’The 1billionhungry project’ petition is presented to world governments

Rome - The signatures of over 3 million people calling for urgent action to end world hunger were presented to governments at a ceremony today at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Rome headquarters.

The petition — and its accompanying campaign — calls on world leaders to make the elimination of hunger their top priority.

FAO’s latest estimates put the number of chronically hungry people world-wide at 925 million. Last year, the global economic downturn and rising food prices pushed the figure past the one billion mark for the first time in history.

"People from all over the globe are demanding change, urging political leaders to take action and to tackle the root causes of hunger and food insecurity" said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.

"I very much hope that their voices will be heard. Defeating hunger is a realistic goal for our time, as long as lasting political, economic, financial and technical solutions are adopted".

Groundswell of support

The Organization’s initial goal was to collect one million signatures. But the success of the campaign has confirmed how strongly people react once made aware of the vast scale of world hunger.

Supported by international celebrities, renowned athletes, actors, singers, intellectuals, and European football stars, the petition reached people through live events on all continents and was spread further via the Internet.

FAO’s goodwill ambassadors and many other personalities joined the campaign and signed the petition.

These include actors Susan Sarandon, Gong Li and Raul Bova; athletes Carl Lewis and Roberto Baggio; singers Celine Dion, Gilberto Gil, Dionne Warwick and Anggun; writers Isabel Allende and Andrea Camilleri.

’The 1billionhungry project’ gathered steam online as people used social networks to share educational material on hunger, asked their friends to sign at www.1billionhungry.org/, and voiced their own personal appeals via social media.

On Facebook the campaign has gathered some 70 000 fans and enjoys a strong following on Twitter, Tuenti, Flickr and YouTube. Signatures were also collected at numerous rallies, meetings, parades, workshops and other events.

United against hunger

Growing numbers of political leaders around the world have also been giving their support to the 1billionhungry project.

Heads of States such as Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and the Prime Minister of Nepal, Madhav Kumar, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, President of Guatemala Álvaro Colóm Caballeros and the President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández have all signed the petition, and the list gets longer every week.

The project also enjoyed support from other UN agencies, while numerous media companies have donated free air time and advertising space. Non-governmental organizations, farmer organizations, universities, and city councils are participating as well.

The campaign enters a second phase

"The success of the 1billion campaign lends even greater urgency and meaning to our work. It gives us allies that we did not have before. And this movement will continue, as we are now entering into a new phase" Diouf said.

The next phase intends to keep the hunger problem in the public eye, offer people different ways to get involved, and shine a spotlight on the anti-hunger initiatives that are working.



Country-by-country statistics on the petition are available at www.1billionhungry.org/.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

Brazil, as good as Mauritania or Mali.

And still reelected coz "less poverty now than in 2000"

Media bullshit.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

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Brazil, as good as Mauritania or Mali.

And still reelected coz "less poverty now than in 2000"

Media bullshit.
I disagree, FAO's reports state that Brazil and other south american countries are doing well on reducing hunger and poverty. Studies made by the World Bank suggest the same.

You can check out the data here: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator

Greetings.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

United Nations Summit Addresses Poverty; Latin American Leaders Call For Change


The Associated Press — Poverty was the major talking point on the opening day of the United Nations summit on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“These Millennium Development Goals are a promise of world leaders,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to The Associated Press. “They’re a blueprint to help those most vulnerable and poorest people, to lift them out of poverty. This promise must be met.”

At the summit, Latin American leaders asked wealthy nations to democratize their economies to aid poorer countries.

“Access to international markets is as important as official development assistance,” Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said, according to the Spanish Language daily El Diario.


140 world leaders have convened at the United Nations in New York for the four day meeting to discuss achieving the MDGs agreed ten years ago to cut poverty.

The global financial crisis has caused setbacks and delays in development assistance from some rich nations that need to reduce budget gaps and focus on job losses at home.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said the current economic models are responsible for poverty and proposed that Latin American nations break away from the International Monetary Fund, while creating a system in the region to help developing countries without imposing conditions and structural adjustments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that impoverished nations should not rely on handouts and need to take development into their owns and ensure the resources are used properly.

A recent UN report shows that the world’s poorest nations, including some in Latin America, have made little headway in the fight against poverty. There has been little progress in boosting access to basic sanitation, reducing mother and child deaths and promoting women’s equality.


“The poorest people … are the ones without a voice. They’re the ones without water, sanitation. They’re the ones that are at the receiving end of violence,” Amnesty International Secretary-General Salil Shetty tol The Associated Press.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

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I disagree, FAO's reports state that Brazil and other south american countries are doing well on reducing hunger and poverty. Studies made by the World Bank suggest the same.

You can check out the data here: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator

Greetings.
By giving free money to the poor, amazing method.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:30 PM   #7
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

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’The 1billionhungry project’ petition is presented to world governments

urging political leaders to take action and to tackle the root causes of hunger and food insecurity" said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.
It doesn't matter whether there are 1 billion or 10 billion signatures. People can't eat signatures. That whole article went on and on about who signed. As if signing was something useful to do. Do you think any government is going to say, "Oh we didn't know. We were actually in favour of hunger, before the petition changed our minds. We'll fix it tomorrow.''

And the article talks of the root cause of hunger without ever saying what that is. It is overpopulation folks, but governments won't recognise that. That is a taboo subject as long as religion is around.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:22 AM   #9
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At the summit, Latin American leaders asked wealthy nations to democratize their economies to aid poorer countries.

“Access to international markets is as important as official development assistance,” Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said, according to the Spanish Language daily El Diario.
I like this bit. Honduras is a basket case because of bad governments. Lobo is no different.But he has the chutzpah to suggest wealthy countries should just keep sending money so that he and his cronies can skim a few million each off the top. Ridiculous.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:21 PM   #10
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Thanks for posting these articles, Chair Umpire.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.





GINI coefficient: The Gini coefficient is a measure of the inequality of income distribution. A value of 0 expressing total equality and a value of 1 maximal inequality.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:40 PM   #12
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China leads decline in world rural poverty

By Dario Thuburn (AFP) – China has led a dramatic decline in rural poverty rates in many parts of the world over the past decade, a report released on Monday by the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development showed.

The decline is mainly due to increased production and higher levels of private investment in the farming sector, as well as increased urbanisation across the developing world, economists from the Rome-based IFAD said.

Greater productivity of farmers and higher global food prices have also helped, as has the increase in farm market information available to small farmers in remote areas of the developing world using mobile phone technology.

"The figure of one billion poor rural people represents a substantial decline in rural poverty numbers -- down from almost 1.4 billion in the late 1980s," said IFAD's 2011 Rural Poverty Report, which comes out every 10 years.

"This has been largely due to the extraordinarily fast decline in the numbers of rural poor in East Asia particularly China," the report said.

The number of poor in East Asia has gone down from 365 million to 117 million in 2011, with the poverty rate falling from 44 percent to 15 percent.

Other regions where there have been major declines are South East Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa.

The numbers of rural poor have instead risen in South Asia and Africa.

Ed Heinemann, the report's coordinator, told AFP in an interview that poverty still remains concentrated in rural areas and he called on national governments and donor countries to design aid programmes accordingly.

He also warned the effects of climate change were beginning to be felt.

"For many, many farmers climate change is already happening. Rains aren't as reliable as they used to be. The knowledge that they had about the seasons is losing its value. There's greater uncertainty," Heinemann said.

"Longer-term we're going to see potentially devastating changes. Not just longer dry periods, more flash floods. We're going to see areas that are currently arable go out of production altogether," he added.

Heinemann said there were more positive developments in third world farming too, such as greater interest from the private sector because of higher food prices as well as greater use of mobile phones to access market information.

"It's revolutionised farming in rural areas" by allowing farmers to find out up-to-date market prices for their crops, Heinemann said.

Heinemann also said that education in rural areas in Brazil and China had helped reduce poverty but that other countries needed to do more.

Stephen Schonberger, an IFAD economist for Africa, said there needed to be more focus on the needs of smallholder farmers in the developing world because they were the key to reducing poverty amid rising population levels.

"We need to step up what we're doing... to avoid a major problem in the future," he said, adding that small-time farmers could become "a major driver of poverty reduction in rural areas."

Schonberger said the food price spike in 2007-2008, which led to food riots in some parts of the developing world, may actually have helped farming.

Ghana, he said, had seen "a dramatic decline in rural poverty" mainly because of higher prices for cocoa and cassava, as well as better infrastructure and a stable investment and political climate.

Copyright © 2010 AFP.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

is that last graphic fro this year, Chair Umpire?
and thanks again for posting these, hopefully people will read 'em.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

It's from 2007-2008. You can check out the last GINI measure (2009) in here: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo...eport_2009.png


There aren't big noticeable differences anyways.

PS- You're welcome.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics 2010.

thanks for answering. keep up the good work, champ!
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