World Food Day is a day of action against hunger. On October 16, people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. Because when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number in the world is zero.
World Food Day celebrates the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Canada. First established in 1979, World Food Day has since then been observed in almost every country by millions of people. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-2016. Almost all the hungry people, 780 million, live in developing countries, representing 12.9 percent, or one in eight, of the population of developing counties. There are 11 million people undernourished in developed countries.
Some causes of hunger
1. 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 2016 (2012 statistics), the World Bank has estimated that there were 896 million poor people in developing countries who live on $1.90 a day or less.
2. Harmful economic systems. Hunger Notes believes that a 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.
3. Conflict. For 2012, the first and latest year for which its estimates are available, the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) estimates that more than 172 million people were affected by conflict worldwide. Of this total 149 million or 87 percent were conflict-affected residents (CARs). Internally displaced persons (IDPs) accounted for another 18 million and refugees for five million.
4. 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.
Important food facts
• Conflict with Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria has left a large part of the population without access to enough food, water and health services.
• Nigeria is a food deficit country and is Africa’s largest importer of rice
• Number of people struggling with severe food insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states: Over 1 million
• Organic food products saw a 7.7% growth rate in 2010, compared to 2009. Organic food accounts for nearly 4% of all food products sold in the U.S.
• 60% of the hungry in the world are women.
• Industrialized and developing countries dissipate roughly the same quantities of food — respectively 670 and 630 million tones.
• Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tons) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons).
• Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food.
• The amount of food lost or wasted every year is equivalent to more than half of the world's annual cereals crop (2.3 billion tones in 2009/2010).
• Almost 5 million children under the age of 5 die of malnutrition-related causes every year.
• 4 in 10 children in poor countries are malnourished damaging their bodies and brains.
• Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tones — gets lost or wasted.
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