Hunger: number of hungry people in the world 1969 to 2007 with sources.
Number of Undernourished People from 1970 to Present Day (Sources at bottom of blurb) "FAO hunger statistics go back to the period 1969-1971, when 878 million people were recorded as hungry. Earlier statistics are based on a different methodology and are thus not comparable. " The number of undernourished people in developing countries fell from 920 million in 1980 to 798 million in 2001. While the proportion of people living under such conditions dropped from 28% to 17%. Progress in hunger reduction slowed considerably during late 1990s: between 1995 and 2001, the number of undernourished people in developing countries increased by more than 18 million (All information paraphrased from source 1, but most of the primary information all comes from source 2). Since 1990 to 1992 the number of undernourished people in developing countries has declined by only three million – a number within the bounds of statistical error (2). (Most of the information from this resource was found in the FAO source (2)) 820 million people are undernourished today. The proportion of people suffering from hunger has fallen by half since the 1960s, from more than one-in-three to one-in-six, even as the world's population has doubled (3). By 2050 the world population is estimated to grow to between 9 and 10 billion, this is due to increases in both population and income. There is a projected 70% increase in demand for food and other agricultural products by 2050 (3). The proportion of undernourished people in developing countries has fallen from 37% in 1969 to 1971 to 17% in 2001 to 2003. Most of the reduction occurred in the first two decades, but when using 1990 to 1992 as base years the proportion of undernourished people fell only 3% points (3). The number of undernourished people declined from 960 million in 1969-1971, to 820 million in 2001-2003, but the majority of the decline occurred before 1990-1992. The Near East, North Africa, Central America, East Asia (excluding China), and Central Africa experienced an increase in both the number and proportion of undernourished people since 1990-1992 to present day (3). "No one really knows how many people are malnourished. The statistic most frequently cited is that of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which measures 'undernutrition'. The most recent estimate (2006) of the FAO says that 854 million people worldwide are undernourished. This is 12.6 percent of the estimated world population of 6.6 billion. Most of the undernourished--820 million--are in developing countries. The FAO estimate is based on statistical aggregates. It looks at a country's income level and income distribution and uses this information to estimate how many people receive such a low level of income that they are malnourished. It is not an estimate based on seeing to what extent actual people are malnourished and projecting from there (as would be done by survey sampling)." (4) The number of hungry people increased by about 50 million in 2007 as a result of high food prices, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said today addressing a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. Dr Diouf said that the present crisis is a combination of rising demand for agricultural products, due to population growth and economic development in emerging countries; the rapid expansion of biofuels; and insufficient supply as production is negatively affected by climate change, in particular drought and floods, at a time when cereal stocks, at 409 million tonnes, are at their lowest levels in 30 years. These trends are exacerbated by restrictive measures taken by some exporting countries to protect their consumers and the speculation of hedge, index and other funds on the futures markets. High prices of agricultural inputs are a major obstacle for developing countries to increase agricultural production. From January 2007 to April 2008, fertilizer prices in particular shot up at a much faster rate than food prices (5). (Information on WHO website is a bit outdated but I included it anyway) Chronic food deficits affect about 792 million people in the world (FAO 2000), including 20% of the population in developing countries. Worldwide, malnutrition affects one in three people and each of its major forms dwarfs most other diseases globally (WHO, 2000). Malnutrition affects all age groups, but it is especially common among the poor and those with inadequate access to health education and to clean water and good sanitation. More than 70% of children with protein-energy malnutrition live in Asia, 26% live in Africa, and 4% in Latin America and the Caribbean (WHO 2000) (6). In the final quarter of the 20th century, humanity was winning the war on its oldest enemy. From 1970-1997, the number of hungry people dropped from 959 million to 791 million -- mainly the result of dramatic progress in reducing the number of undernourished in China and India. In the second half of the 1990s, however, the number of chronically hungry in developing countries started to increase at a rate of almost four million per year. By 2001-2003, the total number of undernourished people worldwide had risen to 854 million and the latest figure is 963 million.Today, one in nearly seven people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life, making hunger and malnutrition the number one risk to health worldwide -- greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined (7). Resources: 1) FAO Hunger Portal, "when did the FAO start counting the hungry?" http://www.fao.org/hunger/en/ 2) "New Risks and Opportunities for Food Security: Scenario Analyses for 2015 and 2050" by Joachim von Braun, Mark W. Rosegrant, Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Marc J. Cohen, Sarah A. Cline, Mary Ashby Brown, and María Soledad Bos. 2020 Discussion paper 39, published by International Food Policy Research Institute, February 2005. 3) FAO "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006: Eradicating world hunger – taking stock ten years after the World Food Summit" ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/a0750e/a0750e01.pdf 4) Pingali, Prabhu, Meete Wik and Sumiter Broca. "Global Agricultural Performance: Past Trends and Future Prospects". Background Paper for the World Development Report 2008. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWDR2008/Resources/2795087-11914279... 5) "World Hunger Notes Website: World Hunger Facts" http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm 6) " About 50 million more hungry people in 2007" FAONewsroom, July 3rd 2008, http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000866/index.html. 7) "World Health Organization Official Website" http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/malnutrition/en/ 8) WFP: United Nation's World Food Programme - Offical website - http://beta.wfp.org/hunger