Portal:Hunger relief

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Introduction

The FAO's food price index reflects changes in the average international price of food. The sharp rise in 2007/08 caused a global food crisis, with food riots in dozens of countries, and pushed well over a hundred million into extreme hunger. The rise in 2010/11 contributed to the Arab Spring.

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.

Selected article

A soup kitchen in Montreal, Canada in 1931
A soup kitchen is a place where food is offered to the hungry for free or at a below market price. Frequently located in lower-income neighborhoods, they are often staffed by volunteer organizations, such as church or community groups. Soup kitchens sometimes obtain food from a food bank for free or at a low price, because they are considered a charity, which makes it easier for them to feed the many people who require their services.

In the 21st century, the use of soup kitchens expanded in both the United States and Europe, following the lasting global inflation in the price of food which began in late 2006. Demand for their services grew as the 2007–2012 global financial crisis began to worsen economic conditions for those on low income. In much of Europe, demand further increased after the introduction of austerity-based economic policies from 2010.


Selected biography

John Boyd Orr nobel.jpg
Lord Boyd-Orr CH, DSO, MC, FRS (23 September 1880 – 25 June 1971), known as Sir John Boyd Orr from 1935 to 1949, was a Scottish teacher, doctor, biologist and politician who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his scientific research into nutrition and his work as the first Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He was the co-founder and the first President (1960–1971) of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS).

After the Second World War, Boyd Orr resigned from the Rowett Institute, and took several posts, most notably at the FAO, where his comprehensive plans for improving food production and its equitable distribution failed to get the support of Britain and the US. He then resigned from the FAO and became director of a number of companies and proved a canny investor in the stock market, making a considerable personal fortune. When he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, he donated the entire financial award to organizations devoted to world peace and a united world government. (The American Friends Service Committee was one of his nominators.


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Did you know

...that according to a May 2013 report by Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty , about half a million Britons have now used food banks?
Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

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If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.
— Buzz Aldrin

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