Biotech Updates

Chronic Hunger Estimated to Affect 925 M People

September 16, 2010

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimate the number of people who will suffer chronic hunger in 2010 at 925 million. This is 98 million less than the 1.023 billion in 2009. The figure is discussed in The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) report to be jointly published by FAO and WFP in October.

"But with a child dying every six seconds because of undernourishment related problems, hunger remains the world's largest tragedy and scandal," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. "This is absolutely unacceptable." He added that achieving the international hunger reduction target is at a "serious risk" and could be aggravated by recent increases in food prices.

The SOFI report also gave these key findings:

  • Two thirds of the world's undernourished live in just seven countries — Bangladesh, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.
  • The region with the most undernourished people continues to be Asia and the Pacific with 578 million.
  • The proportion of undernourished people remains highest in sub-Saharan Africa at 30 percent in 2010, or 239 million.

See the FAO release at