World Hunger, Population, and Food Supplies
Kenneth L. Leonard
In the Ethiopian Famine of 1983-1985, 300,000 people died.
More recently, we have famines in Sudan, North
Korea, southern Africa, and Niger.
It is estimated that 100-200 thousand people died from starvation every year
in the 1990s
However, compared to the past, this is good news.
In the past, famines were worse. The Ukrainian Famine of
1921-1922 might have killed up to 9 million people.
The Bengal famine of 1770 killed 10 million people.
The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) estimates that 11 million children under 5 die every year.
million of these die directly from hunger, and many others die from causes that are indirectly related to hunger.
Even without starvation, hunger can lead to death, especially in children, because it causes them to die of other
Of the 840 million under-nourished people in 1998-2000, 799 million of them live in under developed countries.
This is 20 million less hungry people than in 1990-1992, so even though the population of the world is growing,
fewer people are undernourished.
This might suggest that we’re making progress. However, this is all due to progress in several countries:
In the rest of the world, hunger has increased by 96 million people.
In this class you will learn that:
We can feed everyone: there is enough food
We cannot redistribute the food in the world so that hunger is eliminated
We have to help the poor, but they must be able to help themselves first
We can choose to address the
(get food to the people who are hungry), or we can choose to address
(make sure everyone can grow or buy enough food to feed themselves.)
The Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are 8 goals that all 191 UN member states have agreed to try to
achieve by the year 2015. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000, is the formal
declaration of the goals. The MDGs are a set of internationally agreed upon goals to reduce poverty and hunger in
the world by the year 2015.
is the starting point (in this case, the year 1990)
is a qualitative description of what we want to achieve
is a quantitative (measurable) description of how we will achieve the goal