30 Alarming United Nations & WFP Hunger Statistics To Know In 2022




United Nations fights to change the course of hunger and its impact on the world population. The starvation rates are increasing on a daily basis and United Nations’ program Zero Hunger isn’t looking too optimistic at the moment.

What are the UN hunger statistics? How many people are suffering from malnutrition? What does the Zero Hunger program stand for?

In today’s article, we’re going to talk about the United Nations’ hunger data and statistics, especially about the World Food Programme, a specialized agency of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization for fighting hunger and promoting food security.

8 Key United Nations Hunger Statistics (Editor’s Pick)

  • 9.9% of the world’s population suffers from hunger.
  • Madagascar, Yemen, and South Sudan may face famine. 
  • 135 million people suffer from acute hunger.
  • 584,000 people may already live in famine-like conditions.
  • Undernutrition impacts more than 150 million children.
  • 144 million children were stunted in 2019.
  • Life-saving help is mostly provided in conflict-affected countries.
  • The UN program Zero Hunger by 2030 is failing.

30 United Nations & WFP Hunger Statistics

1. There are 811 million hungry people in the world.

According to the data by World Food Programme, 811 million people go to bed hungry every day. World hunger have been steadily declining for a decade before it began to rise again. A high number of more than 800 million people makes up 9.9% of the world’s population who suffer from hunger and starvation.

Source: World Food Programme

2. About 60% of people are hungry due to conflict.

Out of the 811 million hungry people we already mentioned, 60% of them are living in areas affected by armed violence. Conflict is one of the greatest drivers of food insecurity and hunger. It also presents the greatest challenge in fighting those problems and increasing the rates of hunger, starvation, and death.

30 Alarming United Nations & WFP Hunger Statistics To Know In 2022 - Conflict

Source: World Food Programme

3. The risk of famine is high for 45 million people.

The World Food Programme data states that 45 million people in 43 countries are at risk of famine. Famine is the most extreme form of hunger which mostly results in death from starvation or some other hunger-related disease. Some parts of Madagascar, Yemen, and South Sudan are at the very edge of sliding into famine.

Source: World Food Programme

4. By 2030, there might be more than 840 million people suffering from hunger.

The United Nations estimated that by 2030, the number of people affected by hunger could surpass 840 million people if the numbers keep on increasing as they are now. COVID-19 had a massive impact on global hunger and it only speeded up the increase in the last years. Due to the fact that the pandemic is still going strong, the world may have 840 million hungry people before 2030.

Source: United Nations

5. COVID-19 could double up the number of people suffering from acute hunger.

Man-made conflicts, unstable economies, and climate change are the reasons why 135 million people suffer from acute hunger. Acute hunger or acute malnutrition is a form of under-nutrition caused by a decrease in food consumption or illness that results in sudden weight loss or fluid retention. COVID-19 pandemic could double up that number.

Source: World Food Programme

6. More than a quarter of a billion people are potentially at the brink of starvation.

Millions and millions of people are fighting hunger and starvation every single day. A quarter of a billion people might face the brink of starvation. They do not have enough food nor they’re getting proper vitamins and minerals in order to maintain a healthy life. People are starving and that could lead them to severe health problems and death.

Source: World Food Programme

7. At least 20% of households face extreme food shortages.

Many families and households are experiencing extreme food shortages. That leads to food insecurity and not knowing when they’ll be able to put food on their table. These problems are common in low-income families or the ones that are already fighting poverty. COVID-19 had a huge impact on these problems too.

Source: World Food Programme

8. Around 584,000 people may already live in famine-like conditions.

The World Food Programme estimated that in 2021, 584,000 people will likely face famine-like conditions. The countries at risk are Yemen, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. Burkina Faso and Nigeria are also at a high risk of facing famine.

30 Alarming United Nations & WFP Hunger Statistics To Know In 2022 - Africa Famine

Source: World Food Programme

9. More countries are at risk of famine and starvation.

Besides the already mentioned countries that are most likely facing famine and high rate of starvation in 2021, the rates are also growing in Afghanistan, Haiti, Honduras, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,  Sudan, Uganda, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. As we stated, 45 million people in 43 countries are on the very edge of famine and starvation and that number has highly increased from 27 million people in 2019.

Source: World Food Programme

10. In 8 out of 10 of the worst hunger crisis, conflict is one of the main drivers.

Besides poverty, conflict is one of the main reasons for hunger and starvation. As the data provided by the World Food Programme, in 8 out of 10 worst hunger crises ever, conflict was and still is one of the main drivers. Besides, we already said that conflict also presents one of the main challenges while trying to fight hunger and starvation and lower their rates.

Source: World Food Programme

11. Every year, 9 million people die of malnutrition.

The daily death rate from starvation or a combination of malnutrition and disease exceeds 2 people per 10,000. Every year, 9 million people die of hunger and hunger-related diseases. This is a global problem that needs to be solved immediately. However, with the ongoing pandemic, the number of hunger deaths will only grow more.

World Food Programme

12. There are 73 million extremely poor children in the world.

Globally, there are 73 million children who are living in extreme poverty. That means that their households live on less than $1.90 per day. Due to that, they can’t afford food or normal and healthy living conditions. According to the World Food Programme, such children are located in 60 countries and are in need of urgent nutritional assistance.

Source: World Food Programme

13. Undernutrition impacts more than 150 million children.

Inadequate energy and nutrients or in one word, undernutrition, affects more than 150 million children all around the world. What’s make this problem even bigger are conflict, natural disasters, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Malnutrition can cause severe problems and at some point, it can be a matter of life and death.

Source: World Food Programme

14. At least 30% of children suffer from acute malnutrition.

According to the NCBI, acute malnutrition is a nutritional deficiency that is a result of inadequate energy or protein intake. The disease can lead to serious health issues such as stunted growth, diabetes, eye problems, and heart disease. Acute malnutrition also leads to various disorders and poor educational performance.

30 Alarming United Nations & WFP Hunger Statistics To Know In 2022 - Children malnutrition

Source: World Food Programme, NCBI, and BMC

16. In 2021, there was a 0.2% decrease in wasted children.

In 2019, 47 million children under the age of 5, or 6.9% of them, were affected by acute undernutrition or wasting. This condition is caused by infection and limited nutrient intake. In 2021, the rate decreased for a bit and 45 million children under the age of 5, or 6.7% of them, were wasted.

Source: United Nations

17. More than 140 million children were stunted in 2019.

Back in 2019, 144 million children under the age of 5 were affected by stunting. According to the United Nations, three-quarters of children were living in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. These parts have the highest ranks of hunger and starvation in the world.

Source: United Nations

18. World Food Programme helped 10.3 million children fight malnutrition.

World Food Programme managed to reach 10.3 million children under the age of 5 to prevent and treat malnutrition. Despite there was significant progress in fighting hunger, poor nutrition still remains a big problem. And the problems are exacerbated by the already mentioned conflict and natural disasters.

19. Every year, 17 million babies are born undernourished.

Besides children, various prevention programs, malnutrition treatments, and food assistance conducted by the World Food Programme reached 6.3 million pregnant and nursing women. In case a woman is undernourished during pregnancy, the baby is often born undernourished too. 17 million babies are born undernourished every year because of a mother’s lack of nutrition.

Source: World Food Programme

20. Hunger impacts children’s concentration and learning abilities. 

Millions of children all around the world go to school on an empty stomach. Hunger impacts their concentration and learning abilities. Millions of girls simply don’t go to school because their families need them to help to work in the fields or perform domestic duties. In the countries which are affected by conflict, children are twice as likely to be out of school compared to their peers in stable countries –  2.5 times more likely in the case of girls.

Source: World Food Programme

21. More than 70 million children are in need of school meals.

School feeding programs are in high demand. Such programs provide meals for children and for some of them, that is the only meal they get in a day. According to the World Food Programme, 73 million primary school-aged children are in need of school meals. School feeding programs give children the much-needed food and nutrients which help them concentrate on learning and education.

30 Alarming United Nations & WFP Hunger Statistics To Know In 2022 - Hunger In Schools

Source: World Food Programme

22. COVID-19 closed schools and 370 million children missed guaranteed meals.

COVID-19 pandemic brought a massive impact on the entire world. Due to the lockdowns and school closures, 370 million children missed school meals. And for most of them, that was the only meal they could count on, on a daily basis.

Source: World Food Programme

23. There is a high demand for investments in school meals.

School feeding programs require a lot of money and investments, especially in those areas where schools are isolated and due to that, harder to reach. According to the report by World Food Programme, every $1 which is invested in school meals has a $9 return on investment.

Source: World Food Programme

24. School meals are 10% of the income of a poor household.

The schools that provide meals for their students massively help the low-income and poor families and households. Since schools meal present 10% of the income of such a family, that is a significant saving, especially for those families with more than one child. Poverty, along with conflict, is the most common reason for food insecurity and eventually, hunger and starvation.

Source: World Food Programme

25. In 2019, billion people didn’t have access to food.

In 2019, about 2 billion people didn’t have regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food. Food is an essential need in life and if it isn’t consumed on a daily basis in the proper amounts, people can suffer from severe health problems, starvation, and even death. And for 2 billion people in the world, that is living on the edge.

Source: United Nations

26. Almost 750 million people were food insecure in 2019.

Still speaking of the problems in 2019, nearly one in ten people, or in numbers, almost 750 million people in the world were exposed to severe levels of food insecurity. They didn’t have access to affordable and nutritious food and they were facing hunger on a daily basis without knowing when there will be food on their table.

Source: United Nations

27. Two-thirds of life-saving assistance is provided in conflict-affected countries.

World Food Programme has various life-saving assistance targeted at the people facing a food crisis, food insecurity, hunger, starvation, and many hunger-related illnesses. About two-thirds of such assistance is provided to hungry people in the countries where the conflict is the main cause of starvation.

Source: World Food Programme

28. By 2050, there will be additional 2 billion hungry people.

According to the data from the study conducted by the United Nations, by 2050, there will be additional 2 billion hungry people in the world. In order to help and to prevent getting to such a high number, the world needs to increase agricultural productivity and sustainable food production. These are the crucial factors needed to help alleviate the impacts of hunger and starvation.

30 Alarming United Nations & WFP Hunger Statistics To Know In 2022 - Future Of Hunger

Source: United Nations

29. There is a demand for a stronger food system.

The predictions stated that there will be a 35% increase in the global food demand in the upcoming years. That means that the world will require a stronger food system by 2030. However, 811 million hungry people today suggest that the food system is already failing and it requires massive changes.

Source: World Food Programme

30. The UN program Zero Hunger by 2030 is failing.

The United Nations launched a program called Zero Hunger by 2030 back in 2015. The program focuses on finding sustainable solutions to stop world hunger and by 2030, the goal is to end all forms of malnutrition. At the moment, the world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger, but the contrary. If the current trend continues, the number of hungry people will surpass 840 million by 2030.

Source: United Nations

To Wrap It Up

The United Nations and its agency World Food Programme are fighting hunger and starvation in the world in the best possible way. They’re reaching millions and millions of people and providing them with food assistance and medical care. However, the world needs to make a significant effort too if the Zero Hunger program could have the possibility to work and end all forms of malnutrition in the near future.




Ana
Ana has received a Bachelor’s in Journalism. Through education and volunteering, she has improved her writing skills as well as researching skills which helps her to find the right experts who can educate her about the topic she writes about. Her interest in cooking, home design, and kitchen appliances as well as her technology knowledge ensure her membership in the Kitchentoast team she has joined in 2020. She spends up to 80 hours weekly on researches and writing.