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$3.5 Tr Malnutrition: The Zero Hunger Challenge

Hunger and malnutrition are pervasive problems that affect millions of people in the world today, especially in developing countries. Although steady progress has been made in recent years—under-nourishment is down 17% from 1992—there is still considerable room for improvement.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Zero Hunger Challenge is predicated on the common belief that with a concerted effort across multiple sectors, we can end hunger in our lifetime.

• Between now and 2050, the global population is projected to rise from about 7 billion to 9.2 billion, demanding a 60 percent increase in global food production
• A total of 842 million are estimated to be suffering from chronic hunger, regularly not getting enough food to conduct an active life
• The vast majority of hungry people—827 million—live in developing regions, where the prevalence of undernourishment is estimated at 14.3%
• In developing countries, almost five million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every year
• Malnutrition is the single largest contributor to disease in the world
• Severe acute malnutrition affects nearly 20 million preschool-age children, mostly from Africa and South-East Asia
• 1/3 of the developing world’s population suffers micronutrient deficiencies leading to blindness, mental retardation and early death
• 162 million children are stunted ; 99 million are underweight and 51 million are wasted due to acute malnutrition
• The cost to the economy caused by malnutrition could be up to 5 percent of GDP—US$3.5 trillion per year or US$500 per person
• The costs of under-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are estimated at 2–3 percent of global GDP, or US$1.4–2.1 trillion per year

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