World Hunger Day 2017: The Hidden Causes of Hunger

May 19, 2017

On May 28, 2017, join The Hunger Project in celebrating the seventh annual World Hunger Day! World Hunger Day aims to raise awareness of global hunger and to inspire people around the world to be a part of the solution.

Did you know that, worldwide, there are 795 million people who are chronically hungry? Contrary to popular belief, the causes of chronic hunger are not limited to war and natural disaster. In fact, hunger is often a silent, invisible symptom of poverty, and is exacerbated by a host of socioeconomic causes. That’s why this year’s theme for World Hunger Day highlights the Hidden Causes of Hunger, including child marriage, climate change, lack of women’s empowerment, lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and lack of education and literacy.

What you can do:

  • Invest now in the sustainable end of hunger.
  • Share the message. Tell your friends, family and colleagues about World Hunger Day and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #WorldHungerDay!
  • Download the World Hunger Day Social Media Toolkit here

Learn more at www.worldhungerday.org.


Together, with our community partners, The Hunger Project champions efforts to overcome these challenges via sustainable, gender-focused strategies. We prioritize three critical elements that, when combined, empower people to make significant progress in overcoming hunger:

  • Mobilizing people at the grassroots level to build self-reliance,
  • Empowering women as key change agents, and
  • Forging effective partnerships with local governments.

For 40 years, The Hunger Project has demonstrated that, by building on the creativity and self-reliance of the people living in conditions of poverty, entire communities can act as agents of their own development and lift themselves out of hunger.

Facts & Figures:

  • About 795 million people were chronically undernourished in 2015, with insufficient food for an active and healthy life.
  • 98% of the world’s chronically hungry live in the developing world.
  • Yields for women farmers are 20-30% lower than for men, due to lack of access to improved seeds and equipment. Giving women farmers more resources could decrease the number of hungry people in the world by 100-150 million people!
  • Women make up 43% of farmers in developing countries. Closing the agricultural gender gap could increase agricultural production by 2.5-4% and reduce the number of people hungry by 12-17%.
  • Malnourished mothers are more likely to give birth to underweight babies, and underweight babies are 20% more likely to die before the age of five.
  • Rural children are twice as likely to be stunted due to malnutrition than urban children.
  • Half of all deaths of children under the age of five are attributable to undernutrition.
  • In every region, the poor are the most at risk of child marriage. Globally, 1 in 4 women alive were married in childhood, and currently, 22 million girls have already been married. Ending child marriage will break the cycle of intergenerational poverty that often results in hunger.
  • Climate change is projected to cause an additional 250,000 deaths annually among children due to malnutrition, diarrhea and heat stress.
  • In low and middle-income countries, lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities result in 1,000 deaths of children under five every day.
  • When mothers are educated, they are better able to provide better nutrition and secure access to better healthcare for their children. If all mothers achieved secondary education, there would be 2.8 million fewer deaths of children under the age of five in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
  • Research has shown that improving women’s education contributed to a 43% decrease in child malnutrition, while increasing food availability contributed only to a 26% decrease in child malnutrition. Education is key!

For more Facts and Figures, check out our Knowledge Center

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