SOURCE: Save the Children

Save the Children

October 13, 2009 12:51 ET

World Food Day 2009: 10 Things You Should Know About Child Hunger

Save the Children Experts Available for Interviews

WESTPORT, CT--(Marketwire - October 13, 2009) - Food prices have fallen from last year's peaks, wealthy countries are starting to recover from the financial crisis, and world leaders have pledged a $22 billion food security initiative -- yet hunger is getting worse for poor children around the world.

1. For the first time in history more than a billion people live with chronic hunger -- at least 400 million of them are children. Check out the Roadmap to End Global Hunger.

2. In the developing world, volatile, historically-high food prices together with ongoing impact of the global economic crisis continue to drive families into poverty, putting millions more children at risk of hunger and malnutrition.

3. Drought is adding to extreme food crises in Guatemala and East Africa. In Ethiopia alone, 3 million children urgently need food.

4. A child dies every six seconds from hunger-related causes.

5. When there isn't enough food, poor families resort to skipping meals, pulling children from school, selling off livestock and assets and foregoing health care. Look here to see how you can help families in need eat well and increase their income.

6. Poor families in developing countries typically spend 50 to 70 percent of their income on food. Meanwhile, U.S. families spend only 5 to 10 percent of their budget on food.

7. When small children are malnourished, their physical and intellectual development may be permanently impaired.

8. Food shortages will increase as world population grows. By 2050, 70 percent more food will be needed to meet demand. Yet investment in agriculture is historically low.

9. It takes more than food to end hunger. For instance, the most agriculturally-productive region of Mozambique has the highest rates of child malnutrition in the country. Poor families must be able to access a healthy diet.

10. There is some good news. World leaders have pledged support for a $22 billion food security initiative and the Obama administration has outlined a new strategy to fight hunger. Help these plans become reality. Contact Congress today.

Sources: 1. FAO, WFP 2. World Bank 4. FAO 6. IFPRI, USDA 7. Lancet 8.FAO

Experts Available

World Food Day is Friday, Oct. 16. Experts from the international humanitarian agency Save the Children can discuss current food crises in Guatemala, East Africa, and elsewhere, and the comprehensive strategy needed to address hunger worldwide.

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