Poverty and Hunger Worldwide

Poverty is a pervasive problem around the world. According to the World Bank, in 2012 there were 896 million people living in extreme poverty – less than $1.90 a day. This represents over 12% of the world’s population. In 2011, the World Bank estimates there were 2.2 billion people living on less than $3.10 a day, which is the poverty line in developing countries and represents an extremely low standard of living.

Poverty often goes hand-in-hand with hunger. The United Nations World Food Programme estimates there are 795 million undernourished people in the world today. This means that 1 out of every 9 people in the world does not get enough food for a healthy, active life. Hunger is the number one risk to health worldwide, greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Hunger is particularly difficult for children. The UN World Food Programme estimates that:
  • Poor nutrition causes 45% of the deaths in children under 5.
  • One out of six children in the developing world is underweight.
  • One in four of the world’s children are stunted.
  • 66 million primary-school aged children go to school hungry every day.