In politics, humanitarian aid, and social science, hunger
is a condition in which a person, for a sustained period, is unable to eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs.
Throughout history, portions of the world's population have often experienced sustained periods of hunger. In many cases, this resulted from food supply disruptions caused by war, plagues, or adverse weather. For the first few decades after World War II, technological progress and enhanced political cooperation
suggested it might be possible to substantially reduce the number of people suffering from hunger. While progress was uneven, by 2000 the threat
of extreme hunger subsided for many of the world's people. According to the WFP some statistics are that, "Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world's hungry people live in developing countries
, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished."
Until 2006, the average international price of food had been largely stable
for several decades. In the closing
months of 2006, however, prices began to rise rapidly. By 2008, rice had tripled in price in some regions, and this severely affected developing countries. Food prices fell in early 2009, but rose to another record high in 2011, and have since decreased slightly. The 2008 worldwide financial crisis
further increased the number of people suffering from hunger, including dramatic increases even in advanced economies such as Great Britain, the Eurozone and the United States.
The Millennium Development Goals included a commitment
to a further 50% reduction in the proportion of the world's population who suffer
from extreme hunger by 2015. As of 2012, this target appeared difficult to achieve, due in part to persistent inflation
in food prices. However, in late 2012 the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated it is still possible to hit
the target with sufficient effort. In 2013, the FAO
estimated that 842 million people are undernourished (12% of the global population). Malnutrition
is a cause of death
for more than 3.1 million children under 5 every year. UNICEF estimates 300 million children go to bed hungry each night; and that 8000 children under the age of 5 are estimated to die
of malnutrition every day.