(Washington, DC, Thursday, December 20, 2018) – For the third year in a row, there has been a rise in world hunger. The absolute number of undernourished people, i.e. those facing chronic food deprivation, has increased to nearly 821 million in 2017, from around 804 million in 2016. These are levels from almost a decade ago.

The world has made tremendous progress against hunger and malnutrition. Unfortunately, after decades of decline, the hunger rate has increased.

More than one-fifth of the children under the age of five in developing countries are stunted (a reduced growth rate in human development) due to poor nutrition. Chronic malnutrition contributes to an early death for millions of children and to irreparable damage to the brains and bodies of those who survive.

The United States has long been a leader on global nutrition efforts. And if the world is going to keep making progress against hunger that leadership must not only continue, but the U.S. needs to scale up the impact our investments are making.

Two Christian anti-hunger groups, Bread for the World Institute and Food for the Hungry, are urging our leaders to accelerate the progress on global nutrition. With appropriations deadlines coming up and a new Congress about to be seated in January, we think now is the time to make this happen.

  • While the world has made tremendous progress against hunger and malnutrition, as the past three years show that progress is tenuous.
  • Last year, the U.S. government provided agricultural assistance to more than 11 million farmers and nutrition assistance to nearly 23 million children.
  • Addressing global nutrition is a bipartisan effort that has been, and continues to be, an important piece of U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy.

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