The three UN agencies dealing with food and development just released their flagship State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012, which finds that nearly one in eight people around the world–or 870 million — suffer from food insecurity. Here’s the top line findings:
The vast majority of the hungry, 852 million, live in developing countries — around 15 percent of their population — while 16 million people are undernourished in developed countries.
The global number of hungry people declined by 132 million between 1990-92 and 2010-12, or from 18.6 percent to 12.5 percent of the world’s population, and from 23.2 percent to 14.9 percent in developing countries – putting the MDG target within reach if adequate, appropriate actions are taken.
The number of hungry declined more sharply between 1990 and 2007 than previously believed. Since 2007-2008, however, global progress in reducing hunger has slowed and leveled off.
“In today’s world of unprecedented technical and economic opportunities, we find it entirely unacceptable that more than 100 million children under five are underweight, and therefore unable to realize their full human and socio-economic potential, and that childhood malnutrition is a cause of death for more than 2.5 million children every year,” say José Graziano da Silva, Kanayo F. Nwanze and Ertharin Cousin, respectively the Heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP, in a foreword to the report.
For the wonkishly inclined, here’s an interview with one of the economists involved in the report, who explains the findings in detail.