NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.N. Says 830 Million People Go Hungry

January 9, 2001

Poverty, natural disasters such as drought, and armed conflict are responsible for leaving 830 million people around the globe undernourished, according to a report from the United Nations World Food Program. Under the program's definition, a diet of 1,800 calories a day or less constitutes undernourishment. The generally recommended level is 2,100 calories a day.

The report, based on data collected for 1995 to 1997, says 791 million of the 830 million found to be undernourished lived in developing countries.

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, 180 million people were reportedly undernourished -- primarily in Angola, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Somalia, Sudan Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • Some 525 million go hungry in Asia -- with the worst famines found in North Korea, Mongolia, Cambodia and Bangladesh.
  • Some 53 million people lack enough food in Latin American and Caribbean countries such as Haiti, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Honduras.
  • Elsewhere, one of the countries with the greatest problem is Afghanistan -- which is ravaged by civil war, as well as the worst drought in decades, the report said.

Source: Christopher S. Wren, "U.N. Report Maps Hunger 'Hot Spots,'" New York Times, January 9, 2001.


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