Myths on hunger debunked:

Most of the hungry people are found in Africa


Myth 6: Most hungry people are in Africa


FAO estimates that there were 868 million undernourished persons in the world in 2010-2012 (last official figure available at the time of drafting this text). Out of this total, 239 million people lived in Africa or less than 27% of this total.

At the same date, Asia had 568 million undernourished persons or 2/3rds of the food insecure people in the world.

India alone had 217 million undernourished persons (slightly less than all Africa), while China, despite the remarkable reduction of hunger observed over the years, still had around 158 million undernourished.

The myth that most of the hungry people live in Africa probably comes from the fact that there are more extreme situations and food crises in Africa because of war or extreme meteorological events. Hunger in Africa is therefore more present in the media who generally limit themselves to covering this type of crises. Because of this, Africa is also more visible in the campaigns organised by NGOs active in the area of emergency food assistance.

Consult FAO’s State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012

Materne Maetz

(September 2012

revised July 2013)

Last update:    September 2013

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