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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Food for Thought: Food Facts

Food for Thought: Food Facts

by freeform | June 8, 2008


  • At the beginning of the 21st century 1.2 billion people live in abject poverty, most of them women
  • An estimated 852 million people suffer from chronic hunger, and 50,000 people die every day from poverty-related causes
  • The world produces enough food to feed everyone. The principal problem is in the distribution of food and the resources with which to access it.
  • Poverty is the primary cause of hunger. The causes of poverty include a lack of resources for people who are poor, an extremely unequal income distribution in the world and within specific countries, conflict, and hunger itself.
  • Conflict causes hunger and poverty. At the end of 2003, there were approximately 17.1 million refugees and displaced persons worldwide, largely as a result of wars, political turbulence, civil conflict and social unrest. In such emergencies, malnutrition runs rampant, increasing the risk of disease and death.
  • Hunger causes poverty. Hunger leads to poor health, low levels of energy, and even mental impairment, resulting in even greater poverty by reducing people’s ability to work.
  • Today, six or fewer companies control around 70 percent of the world’s agricultural commodity trade. More and more of the food we eat is owned and controlled by food multinational corporations who dominate every sector from seed to transportation to processed TV dinners. Multinational companies make money at every step in the food production chain – at the expense of the small farmers who produce the food and people who pay more money each year to eat a less diverse and more processed diet.
  • Over 2.5 billion people depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
  • Two out of three people who work on the land are women.
  • Seven out of every ten people in the world’s poorest countries are employed in agriculture, but many poor farmers are finding it impossible to even earn a subsistence living. Many are simply leaving their land and heading for crowded urban slums and uncertain futures. Poor farmers in Africa, Asia, Central and South America are finding they cannot compete with rich farmers and huge agribusinesses in the north.

Related Files

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Publication date: August 2013

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