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New update: number of people living in hunger on the rise

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The number of people living in hunger is again on the rise.

After a long period of decline, this is now the fifth year in a row that the number of people living in hunger is increasing. The 2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report released in July 2020 explores the ongoing rise in global hunger. Since the world committed to ending food insecurity and malnutrition in 2015, global hunger has steadily increased. While previous reports have focused on climate and economic barriers, this year’s report focuses on broadening the scope of food security and nutrition to include diets which are healthy and sustainable for all, especially for our environment.

Last year, SOFI reported 821.6 million people living in hunger. This year it is reporting 690 million living in hunger.

At first glance, this looks like a downward trend. This difference is due to a different use of data from China between 2000 and now. According to the new data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), there is actually a significant increase. Once we’ve considered China’s data accuracy, the number of hungry people in the rest of the world continues to climb.



5 facts about world hunger:

  1. 690 million people (1 in 11) in the world are chronically hungry, while 750 million people (1 in 10) are living in severe food insecurity.
  2. Asia is home to 381 million hungry people, Africa 250 million and Latin America and the Caribbean report 48 million people.
  3. In total, 2 billion people live every day with some form of food insecurity or hunger.
  4. There are nearly 60 million more undernourished people now than in 2014.
  5. If this trend continues, more than half of the hungry people will live in Africa by 2030 — the year by which we’re working to end hunger.

The effect of hunger on children

Hunger is about more than just undereating. Nutritious food is still too expensive and insufficiently available for many families. As many as 3 billion people worldwide do not have access to enough healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables.

47 million children have a permanent growth delay as a result, 144 million children are seriously disadvantaged, and more than 38 million children are overweight due to one-sided, incorrect nutrition.

COVID-19 could result in an additional 132 million people living in hunger.

Because the research took place last year, the impact of COVID-19 has not been included in these figures. The FAO estimates that the pandemic will force an additional 83 to 132 million people to live in hunger every day. The Hunger Project is therefore committed to working with 500,000 trained local volunteers in 13 countries so that as many people as possible can protect themselves and their families against COVID-19 and avoid falling below the poverty line. Read more about our COVID-19 response here.

Together, we can end hunger.

The Hunger Project still believes that we can drastically reverse this upward trend through continuing to run our programs that address hunger holistically and create sustainable change. Investment in the end of hunger is crucial to continue our program work and enable people to lift themselves, their families and communities out of hunger. You can find out more about our work here and invest in ending hunger here.

The  2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World  report is a publication of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Program ( WFP) and World Health Organisation (WHO).

Thanks to you, we far exceeded our COVID-19 fundraising goal.

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You reached out and helped raise $302,345!

We asked you to stay in to activate The Hunger Project’s 500,000 highly trained community leaders on the ‘village frontlines’ of this pandemic to reach out to 16.5 million people in their communities. Your generosity truly blew us away! Collectively, you invested an incredible $302,345. At a time where we know you are all navigating your own challenges, you were expansive in your thinking and actions, and gave what you could to enable others to protect themselves and their families. We thank you for that.

We are so proud to say that your generosity combined with the leadership of our village partners created outstanding results. Your investment, together with investments from all around the world, enabled our local volunteer leaders to quickly mobilise their communities and respond to COVID-19 with ingenuity and strength. They didn’t take on a victim mindset or wait for help to come from outside sources; instead, due to years of training with THP, they adopted a leader mindset and were empowered to take action themselves.

Together here’s what our village partners achieved:



  • 4,354 Tippy Taps installed in villages to bring simple handwashing stations close to the homes of people. Animators (local volunteer leaders) have led the education and training in how to properly use them.
  • 8,000 Elected Women and 3,600 Adolescent Girls trained by THP formed phone trees and What’s App groups to deliver accurate, easy-to-understand health information to 500,000 people.
  • 9,400 community members participated in specially designed Water, Sanitation and Hygiene workshops so they are personally equipped to prevent the spread.
  • 137,160 face masks made and distributed – ‘sewing armies’ have been set up in some areas to learn from one another and keep collectively strong while giving back.
  • 97,465 food rations distributed to those who have been identified by Elected Women as on the brink of absolute destitution. Although THP usually has a ‘No handouts’ policy, this new idea was put forward by Elected Women who saw the dire need in their villages.
  • 135,709 public health leaflets distributed. These have often been translated into local languages or the information is shown in pictures, so that as many people as possible can understand them.



Thank you to everyone who brought this campaign to life and made it such a success. We couldn’t have done it without you.


Our generous partners and supporters:

Bared Footwear
Business Chicks
Coffees and Style
Conexus Financial 
Diane Grady & Chris Komor
Elizabeth McIntyre
Got You Girl
Hamilton Locke
Hey Tiger
Roger Massy-Greene

Ruby PR Agency 
Simon Blackburn & Niamh Brosnan
Social Diary 
Studio 10 
The Beeren Foundation
The Brand Brigade
The Fit Foodie
The Protter Family
Ticker TV 
Urban List 
Wellness in Real Life

This #StayInReachOut campaign has once again proved to us that when like-minded and like-hearted people come together to make a difference in the world, anything is possible. Your partnership – especially at this time – means so much to us. Thank you for being part of the global THP community!

Taking action towards the global goals

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Five years ago, world leaders agreed on 17 global goals to be achieved by 2o3o.

Now that it’s 2020, we have one decade left to take action as a collective and achieve the global goals to end poverty, fix inequality and fight climate change.

We will continue focusing on making an impact on hunger and poverty through empowering women, mobilising communities and fostering effective partnerships.

These are just a few examples of how we are working towards the global goals:

  • Zero Hunger — Every program we run with our village partners in Africa, India and Bangladesh is working towards the ultimate goal of ending chronic hunger by 2030. We see people living in hunger as the solution, not the problem, and empower them with the skills, resources and knowledge they need to break the cycle of hunger and poverty themselves through a number of various programs. Find out more about the programs we run here.
  • Gender Equality — One fundamental pillar to our work is empowering women. Studies show that when women are empowered, all of society benefits. When women earn an income, they invest this on their families on things like health, education and food, therefore lifting themselves and their families out of hunger and breaking the cycle for generations to come.
  • Clean Water and Sanitation — Many communities that we work in have limited/no access to fresh water sources or basic sanitation and hygiene facilities. Through our program called WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), The Hunger Project promote the use of hygiene and sanitation services and are establishing safe water sources across communities and in schools.
  • Quality Education — Education is crucial to create opportunities for everyone. By empowering people with an education, they are mobilised to take action towards creating communities that will one day be self-reliant.The Hunger Project conducts various activities that promote education such as running literacy workshops or conducting workshops about various topics such as finance or nutrition in Africa, training Elected Women Representatives in India so they can create change in their communities, and improving facilities at schools, the negative impact of child marriage and empowering girls to go to school in Bangladesh.
  • Good Health and Wellbeing — All Epicentre buildings in the African communities we work in include a health clinic that provides crucial services to the community. The Hunger Project also runs multiple workshops to promote and improve the health and wellbeing of people, such as nutrition, sex education and HIV/AIDS workshops.

Guided by the goals, it is up to all of us to create a better future for the world.


The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: What Gets You Up In The Morning?

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Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh, has been ending hunger for 28 years! In the final video in our special series, he talks about what motivates him every day to do the work he does.

The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: Why Young People Are The Future

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Young people are the future of ending hunger. Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh, discusses how they engage young people in ending hunger in Bangladesh in the sixth video in our special series.

The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: A Big Lesson From A Small Bird

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This is the fifth video in our special series with Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh. He talks about an important lesson he learnt from a small bird.

The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: Why Poverty Is Sexist

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This is the fourth video in our special series with Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh. He explains why poverty is sexist.

The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: How We Shift Mindsets

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This is the third video in our special series with Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh.

He discusses how The Hunger Project shifts mindsets of people living in hunger from one of dependency to empowerment through our Vision, Commitment, Action workshops.


Video credit: 

Invest in a hunger-free Bangladesh here.

The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: Vision for Bangladesh

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Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh, visited Australia recently and talked at a number of events around the country.

Our team in Bangladesh are executing community-led initiatives and solutions to address the extreme cycle of hunger and poverty that exists in their country. We sat down with Dr. Badiul Majumdar to interview him about the work that he and his team are carrying out.

Watch the first video in our special series with Dr. Badiul Majumdar in which he discusses his vision for a hunger-free Bangladesh.

Video credit:

Progress is made when we all work together: The Hunger Project & The 17 Global Goals

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We’re clear that it will take more than The Hunger Project working alone to achieve the end of hunger. That’s why we were thrilled when the world’s leaders in 2015 agreed on 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The Global Goals confirmed what we’ve always known and advocated for – that hunger and poverty are complex issues that require a holistic approach; that it will take everyone working together in a strategic way to succeed; and that it IS possible to end hunger – by 2030.

The 17 Goals include No Poverty and Zero Hunger – and also cover areas from education and gender equality to climate action and peace, justice and strong institutions. As you know, despite our name, The Hunger Project works not only in food- and farming-specific education and training, but also across many diverse sectors that on first glance may seem unrelated to food or farming at all – like sanitation, gender equality or leadership. However we deliberately work in those sectors too because we know that when all these elements are addressed, it creates an environment in which people have the agency and power to lift themselves out of hunger.

Below you can see a snapshot of the breadth of The Hunger Project’s work, and how what we do addresses all 17 of the Global Goals. When The Hunger Project and others strategically work together within the framework of the 17 Global Goals, we can achieve the end of hunger in a sustainable way.

Click here to find out more about The Hunger Project’s impact in 2017.

You too can help The Hunger Project achieve the 17 Global Goals, invest now with a one-off or monthly investment.