What is Hunger?

The Meriam Webster dictionary definition of hunger is a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient. Another definition is a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by a lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat. Descriptions that every single one of us can relate to as at what time or the other we have all experienced this feeling of hunger.

In politics, humanitarian aid and the social sciences hunger is defined as a condition in which a person is unable to eat sucient food to meet their basic nutritional needs for a sustained period thus impacting their ability to lead a normal, active and healthy life. In the field of hunger relief, the term hunger is used in a sense that goes beyond the common desire for food that all humans experience .

The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) uses the 'Prevalence of Undernourishment' indicator to estimate the extent of hunger in the world and this is the globally recognized and accepted approach for defining and measuring hunger. Thus 'hunger' may also be referred to as chronic undernourishment.

What is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity and hunger are interlinked. An individual or family are considered food insecure when they are uncertain about where their next meal will come from; according to the FAO people that don't have regular access to safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life are food insecure .

Food insecurity can be experienced at dierent levels as outlined below using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)

Hunger: A Global Problem

World hunger is on the rise


690 million

people (8.9% of the world) go to bed on an empty stomach

An estimated

100 million

more people became chronically hungry because of the pandemic

Sub-Saharan Africa has the
highest share of hunger in the world

226.7 million

people (1 in 4 Africans) suffer from hunger

~ 50%

of the populace live below the poverty line

Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world

Nigeria ranked

103rd of 116

countries in terms of hunger (2021
Global Hunger Index)

An estimated

82 million

Nigerians (4 in 10 people) live below the poverty line