Hunger: An Underestimated Global Epidemic

Hunger is a global epidemic. We are not referring to being hungry, such as having the desire to eat a snack. Not that grumbling in your stomach when you are waiting for your order at a restaurant to be ready. Not the trigger you feel in your brain when you smell something delicious being prepared in the kitchen.

We mean the hunger that is defined as “a weakened disordered condition brought about by prolonged lack of food.” The hunger that is a true biological deficiency in your body, experienced day after day.

Many of us, have never and will never experience true hunger. And those of us that have been afforded with this blessing, must stand up for those who have not.

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Many people (even those who are fully nurtured and provided for with ability to reach their full potential) neglect to recognize or come to terms with the true extent of hunger in the world today. For this reason, we have decided to reveal some of the most staggering realities of hunger today.

5 Chilling Stats About the Global Hunger Epidemic

3.1 million children die because of hunger each year.

Poor nutrition is the cause of nearly half of the deaths of children under five across the globe (World Food Programme‘s Hunger Stats).

1 in 4 children in developing countries are underweight.

Almost 150 million children in the developing world simply cannot maintain a healthy body weight because of poor nutrition (UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children).

Over 65 million primary school children go to school hungry.

Every day millions of children in the developing world attend school without the proper nutrition to flourish and reach their full potential (World Food Programme‘s Hunger Stats).

Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis COMBINED.

Seriously, read that one again. Around 9 million people die of hunger and hunger-related diseases every single year, an entirely preventable condition (MercyCorps).

Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger.

In the time you have spent reading this post thus far, more than 5 children have died because of hunger somewhere in the world (MercyCorps).

These statistics are real, and yet the true extent and impact of hunger in the world today is often not widely known and understood.

There are many misconceptions about the cause of hunger and poverty in the world today. Some people claim it is because of laziness or a lack of motivation, others blame corrupt governments or a lack of jobs.

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In reality, the “Poverty Trap” is one of the largest contributing factors to the global hunger epidemic, causing a cycle of poverty and hunger without a clear end in sight. The the World Food Programme explains this concept as follows:

People living in poverty cannot afford nutritious food for themselves and their families. This makes them weaker and less able to earn the money that would help them escape poverty and hunger. This is not just a day-to-day problem: when children are chronically malnourished, or ‘stunted’, it can affect their future income, condemning them to a life of poverty and hunger.

The scariest part about the hunger epidemic is that solutions are possible, but the crisis continues.

The World Food Programme continues to stress that “Economic growth is a key success factor for reducing undernourishment. Enhancing the productivity and incomes of family farmers is key to progress.” For example, WFP estimates that if we gave male and female farmers with the same access to resources, the total number of hungry people in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.

There are many more solutions that have been proposed to end the global hunger epidemic, but the most important thing is to simply do something.


There are over 870 million people in the world who are hungry right now. – Global Citizen

So what are we waiting for?

Join us in our mission to end hunger in the Philippines and combat the global hunger epidemic by supporting one of our programs below. Each one of these programs targets low-income, rural farmers and their children in the ways they need it most.