The vast majority of the world’s chronically hungry and undernourished population live in the developing world: 780 million people, or almost 96 percent. In turn, the Caribbean, Oceania, Southern Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa are home to the majority of these, with, 281 million hungry people living in Southern Asia alone. In sub-Saharan Africa, 23 percent of the population is chronically hungry and undernourished. With ongoing famine in this area, the problem has reached crisis proportions and shows no sign of abating.
As with many issues that are exacerbated by extreme poverty, it is often the youngest and most vulnerable whom are hurt the most. Children are disproportionately affected by food and nutrition shortages. As of 2015, 90 million children under the age of five—one in seven worldwide—were underweight. Ninety percent of the world’s hungry children live in just two regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Living with chronic hunger and malnutrition puts children at risk of dying from common colds and infection. And even if children do recover from these diseases, their recovery times are often delayed.