World agriculture produces enough to provide everyone in the world with sufficient daily food (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.
Poverty is the principal cause of hunger
The causes of poverty include a lack of resources among the poor, an extremely unequal income distribution, conflict, and hunger itself. Extreme poverty remains an alarming problem in the world’s developing regions.
Through intentional efforts and programming, the number of people living on a “dollar a day” has been reduced from 1.23 billion people to 982 million in 2004 (a 20% reduction) since the 1990s. Progress in poverty reduction has been most evident 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.
Hunger is also a cause of poverty
By causing poor health, low levels of energy, and even mental impairment, hunger can lead to still greater poverty by reducing people’s ability to work and learn. Efforts to reduce hunger can also consume the resources of national governments and global institutions, increasing poverty levels and limiting other services in developing countries.
For more information visit WorldHunger.org