Hunger

Hunger

Hunger is the most commonly used term to describe the social condition of people who frequently experience the physical sensation of desiring food.

Contents

Malnutrition, famine, starvation

  • Malnutrition is a general term for a condition caused by improper diet or nutrition, and can occur in conjunction with both under and over consumption of calories.
  • Famine is a widespread scarcity of food that may apply to any fauna species, which phenomenon is usually accompanied by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality.
  • Starvation describes a "state of exhaustion of the body caused by lack of food." This state may precede death.

World statistics

On October 11, 2010, it was reported that the number of malnourished people in the world exceeded 1 billion people,[1] about a sixth of the world's total population.

Six million children die of hunger every year.[2]

According to estimates by the FAO there were 925 million undernourished people in the world in 2010.[3] This was a decrease from an estimate of 1023 million undernourished people in 2009.[4] The same organization reports that there were 923 million malnourished people in the world in 2007, which in turn represented an increase of 80 million since 1990.[5] The FAO purports that the world already produces enough food to feed everyone — 6 billion people — and could feed double — 12 billion people.[6]

As the number of hungering people is a subset of the under- or malnourished number, the number of people in hunger is smaller. The statistics here may provide some indication but should not be quoted as numbers or shares of people in hunger.

Year 1970 1980 1990 2005 2007 2009
Share of malnourished people in the developing world[7][8][4] 37 % 28 % 20 % 16 % 17 % 16 %

Politics of hunger

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "850 million people worldwide were undernourished in 1999 to 2005" and the number of hungry people has recently been increasing widely.

There is a wide range of opinions as to why this problem is so persistent. Organizations such as Food First raise the issue of food sovereignty and claim that every country on earth (with the possible minor exceptions of some city-states) has sufficient agricultural capacity to feed its own people, but that the "free trade" economic order associated with such institutions as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank prevent this from happening. At the other end of the spectrum, the World Bank itself claims to be part of the solution to hunger, claiming that the best way for countries to succeed in breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger is to build export-led economies that will give them the financial means to buy foodstuffs on the world market.

Amartya Sen won his 1998 Nobel Prize in part for his work in demonstrating that hunger in modern times was not typically the product of a lack of food; rather, hunger usually arose from problems in food distribution networks or from governmental policies in the developing world.

The Fight against Hunger today

There is a growing sense among governments and global institutions that eradicating hunger is a fundamental challenge for the 21st century. The United Nations has three agencies that work to promote food security and agricultural development: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). All three of these agencies are based in Rome, Italy. FAO is the world’s agricultural knowledge agency, providing policy and technical assistance to developing countries to promote food security, nutrition and sustainable agricultural production, particularly in rural areas. FAO also acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. WFP’s key mission is to deliver food into the hands of the hungry poor. The agency steps in during emergencies and uses food to aid recovery after emergencies. Its longer term approaches to hunger help the transition from recovery to development. IFAD, with its knowledge of rural poverty and exclusive focus on poor rural people, designs and implements programmes to help those people access the assets, services and opportunities they need to overcome poverty.

In 2002, the World Bank began a study involving 61 countries and more than 400 agricultural scientists. In 2008 they released a report called the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development. It contained ideas about how to feed the world, fight poverty and address climate change. According to the report, small-scale, diverse, sustainable farms and home gardens had the most potential to solve the world’s hunger problems while reversing modern agriculture’s devastation of ecosystems. The authors concluded that “small farms are often among the most productive in terms of output per unit of land and energy.” Also, they wrote, “an increasing percentage of the funding of university science tends to be concentrated in areas of commercial interest or in advanced studies such as satellite imaging, nanotechnologies and genomics rather than in applications deeply informed by knowledge of farming practice and ecological contexts.” Regarding genetically engineered crops, the report cited “possible risks to biodiversity and human health” and the “privatization of the plant breeding system and concentration of market power in input companies.”[9] [10]

The Fight against Hunger on the Internet

Several humanitarian organizations are using the internet to raise awareness about hunger and to raise funds. Web campaigns like the 1billionhungry and websites like Freerice, where users accumulate rice for the hungry as they answer questions, or WeFeedback, where they share information about their favourite food as they donate, are examples of how internet-based tools are being used in new ways to help fight hunger.

UNICEF, UNHCR and WFP have recently built a substantial social media presence, marking a further development in the bid to engage the 1.8 billion internet users worldwide in the issue of hunger.

In the United States

The Meals On Wheels Association of America Foundation (MOWAAF) has found that hunger is a serious threat facing millions of seniors in the United States, and that understanding the problem is a critical first step to developing remedies. In 2007, MOWAAF, underwritten by the Harrah's Foundation, commissioned a research study entitled The Causes, Consequences and Future of Senior Hunger in America.[11] The report was released at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in March 2008 in Washington, D.C.

The study found that in the US, over 5 million seniors (11.4% of seniors), experience some form of food insecurity (i.e., were marginally food insecure). Of these, about 2.5 million are at-risk of hunger, and about 750,000 suffer from hunger due to financial constraints. Some groups of seniors are more likely to be at-risk of hunger. Relative to their representation in the overall senior population, those with limited incomes, under age 70, African American, Hispanic, never-married, renters, and seniors living in the Southern United States are all more likely to be at-risk of hunger. While certain groups of seniors are at greater-risk of hunger, hunger cuts across the income spectrum. For example, over 50% of all seniors who are at-risk of hunger have incomes above the poverty threshold. Likewise, it is present in all demographic groups. For example, over two-thirds of seniors at-risk of hunger are Caucasian. There are marked differences in the risk of hunger across family structure, especially for those seniors living alone, or those living with a grandchild. Those living alone are twice as likely to experience hunger compared to married seniors. One in five senior households with a grandchild (but no adult child) present is at-risk of hunger, compared to about 1 in 20 households without a grandchild present. Seniors living in non-metropolitan areas are as likely to experience food insecurity as those living in metropolitan areas, suggesting that food insecurity cuts across the urban-rural continuum.[12]

Organizations

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Hunger index shows one billion without enough food BBC News, Health, Retrieved 12 October 2010
  2. ^ http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/11/17/italy.food.summit/
  3. ^ FAO:Hunger
  4. ^ a b The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2010: Addressing Food Insecurity in Protracted Crises
  5. ^ Food and Agriculture Organization Economic and Social Development Department. “The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2008 : High food prices and food security - threats and opportunities”. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2008, p. 2. “FAO’s most recent estimates put the number of hungry [actually, malnourished] people at 923 million in 2007, an increase of more than 80 million since the 1990–92 base period.”.
  6. ^ Jean Ziegler. “Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler”. Human Rights Council of the United Nations, January 10, 2008.“According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the world already produces enough food to feed every child, woman and man and could feed 12 billion people, or double the current world population.”
  7. ^ Food and Agriculture Organization Agricultural and Development Economics Division. “The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2006 : Eradicating world hunger – taking stock ten years after the World Food Summit”. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006, p. 8. “Because of population growth, the very small decrease in the number of hungry people has nevertheless resulted in a reduction in the proportion of undernourished people in the developing countries by 3 percentage points – from 20 percent in 1990–92 to 17 percent in 2001–03. (…) the prevalence of undernourishment declined by 9 percent (from 37 percent to 28 percent) between 1969–71 and 1979–81 and by a further 8 percentage points (to 20 percent) between 1979–81 and 1990–92.”.
  8. ^ Food and Agriculture Organization Economic and Social Development Department. “The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2008 : High food prices and food security - threats and opportunities”. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2008, p. 6. “Good progress in reducing the share of hungry people in the developing world had been achieved – down from almost 20 percent in 1990–92 to less than 18 percent in 1995–97 and just above 16 percent in 2003–05. The estimates show that rising food prices have thrown that progress into reverse, with the proportion of undernourished people worldwide moving back towards 17 percent.”.
  9. ^ http://www.agassessment.org/reports/IAASTD/EN/Agriculture%20at%20a%20Crossroads_Global%20Report%20%28English%29.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.greenfacts.org/en/agriculture-iaastd/
  11. ^ Ziliak, Gundersen and Haist. (2007) The Causes, Consequences and Future of Senior Hunger in America, University of Kentucky Center for Poverty and Research, Lexington, KY. (88pages. 2MB.)
  12. ^ Excerpt from "The Causes, Consequences and Future of Senior Hunger in America", Executive Summary, pp.i-ii
  13. ^ The Alliance to End Hunger website.
  14. ^ Bread for the World website.
  15. ^ Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition (IIMSAM) website.
  16. ^ Freedom from Hunger website.


External links


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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hunger — ist eine unangenehme körperliche Empfindung, die Menschen und Tiere dazu veranlasst, Nahrung aufzunehmen. Die biologische Funktion dieses Reizes besteht darin, die ausreichende Versorgung des Organismus mit Nährstoffen und Energie sicherzustellen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hünger — ist ein ländlicher Ort und Stadtteil in Wermelskirchen in Nordrhein Westfalen. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Geographie 2 Geschichte 3 Kultur und Sehenswürdigkeiten 4 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hunger — Hun ger, n. [AS. hungor; akin to OFries. hunger, D. honger, OS. & OHG. hungar, G. hunger, Icel. hungr, Sw. & Dan. hunger, Goth. h?hrus hunger, huggrjan to hunger.] 1. An uneasy sensation occasioned normally by the want of food; a craving or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hunger — Sm std. (8. Jh.), mhd. hunger, ahd. hunger, as. hungar Stammwort. Aus g. * hungru m. Hunger , auch in anord. hungr m./(n.), ae. hungor, afr. hunger; ohne grammatischen Wechsel gt. hūhrus (mit Nasalschwund vor h), vgl. aber gt. huggrjan hungern .… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Hunger — Hunger: Das gemeingerm. Substantiv mhd. hunger, ahd. hungar, got. (mit gramm. Wechsel) hūhrus, engl. hunger, schwed. hunger gehört im Sinne von »Brennen, brennendes Verlangen« zu der idg. Wurzelform *kenk »brennen« (auch vom Schmerz, Durst,… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Hunger — Hunger, das Gefühl des Bedürfnisses nach Nahrung, welches entsteht, wenn die zur Ernährung des Körpers nöthigen Stoffe diesem fehlen. Er vergeht nach dem Genusse von Nahrung, wenn er nicht krankhaftes, durch zu scharfe Magensäfte erregtes… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • hunger — (n.) O.E. hungor unease or pain caused by lack of food, craving appetite, debility from lack of food, from P.Gmc. *hungruz (Cf. O.Fris. hunger, O.S. hungar, O.H.G. hungar, O.N. hungr, Ger. hunger, Du. honger, Goth. huhrus), probably from PIE root …   Etymology dictionary

  • Hunger — Hun ger, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Hungered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Hungering}.] [OE. hungren, AS. hyngrian. See {Hunger}, n.] 1. To feel the craving or uneasiness occasioned by want of food; to be oppressed by hunger. [1913 Webster] 2. To have an eager… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hunger — [huŋ′gər] n. [ME < OE hungor, akin to Ger hunger < IE base * kenk , to burn, dry up > Lith kankà, pain] 1. a) the discomfort, pain, or weakness caused by a need for food b) famine; starvation 2. a desire, need, or appetite for food 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Hunger — [Basiswortschatz (Rating 1 1500)] Bsp.: • Sie starben fast vor Hunger …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • hunger — ► NOUN 1) a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat. 2) a strong desire. ► VERB (hunger after/for) ▪ have a strong desire for. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary


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