What causes
Hunger?
Image depicting What causes Hunger?
It's Not What You Think

Ending hunger isn’t a question of supply. The world produces enough food to feed everyone on the planet. The problem is about access and availability, both of which are disrupted by things like extreme weather, food waste, one’s gender and – worst of all – conflict.

Ending hunger is the greatest challenge of our time, but together it’s solvable.

The Biggest Drivers of Hunger

Conflict

Conflict is the #1 driver of hunger in the world, and it’s entirely preventable. It uproots families, destroys economies, ruins infrastructure and halts agricultural production.

Photo: AP/CARE/Josh Estey
Extreme Weather

Climate change is one of the leading causes of global hunger, causing more frequent and intense extreme weather events. Over 80% of the world’s hungry people live in disaster-prone countries.

Women & Hunger

In nearly two-thirds of countries around the world, women are more likely than men to suffer from hunger and malnourishment. That’s because in many cases, women eat last and least.

Photo: Photo: WFP/Will Baxter
Food Waste

Nearly one-third of all the food produced globally each year is lost or wasted. If we could recover all the food we waste, we could feed every hungry person on the planet twice over.

Extreme Poverty

Half the world's population lives on less $5.50 a day. Poverty is often at the heart of hunger - it's brought on or made worse by drivers like conflict and natural disasters. When people can’t afford the food their families need, it limits their children’s physical and emotional development and perpetuates the cycle of hunger and poverty.

Here's what we're doing about it

Photo: WFP/Luis Tato

Hunger and malnutrition are part of an ongoing cycle, as both a cause and effect of many other factors too, like inequality and lack of education.

These factors are within our power to change.

That’s why hunger is also the world’s most solvable problem.

Take Action

Take the Hunger Quiz

How much do you know about the causes of global hunger? Let’s find out! The answers may surprise you.

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Sign the ZeroHunger Pledge

Families caught in crisis need your help. Your signature is more powerful than you know. Sign our pledge today.

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Interact With Our Infographic

Conflict is the #1 cause of hunger in the world. Click and scroll through our interactive infographic to learn more.

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Play the Freerice Game

For every question you answer correctly, the equivalent of 10 grains of rice are donated to WFP.

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