Hunger Knows No Boundaries
It has been two years since the United Nations proposed its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the clock is ticking to reach the goal of ending hunger by 2030. The poorest and most vulnerable of the 7 billion people on our planet are still being left behind — and not just in the developing world. No country is exempt from food insecurity. People everywhere — including millions of children — lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food.
Using data collected via the Gallup World Poll in 147 countries between 2014 and 2015, a new working paper by the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti provides estimates of food insecurity among households with children younger than age 15 using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES).* These estimates are the first to quantify the extent of the food insecurity among households with children and ideally will encourage and motivate continued global efforts to address this issue and monitor progress toward the SDGs.
Across the countries surveyed, 41% of children under age 15 live with an adult who faces moderate or severe food insecurity; 19% of them live with an adult who faces severe food insecurity. Using child-weighted data and assuming that children face the same food insecurity as the adult respondent, these estimates translate to approximately 605 million and 260 million children under 15 years of age, respectively. The results also show that food insecurity persists in high- and low-income countries alike.**