Development Works Number 7, December 2012

Number 7, December 2012 Development Works Bread for the World Institute provides policy analysis on hunger and strategies to end it. The Institute educates opinion leaders, policy makers and the public about hunger in the United States and abroad. Snapshot Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World • Today, one in six people around the world is malnourished—far too many, but only half as many as 50 years ago. In just the past 20 years, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty has been cut in half. Sandesh Rai (leaning forward), 5, and his mom Sapana Rai (in yellow) wait for a nutrition education seminar to start in Bandarkharka, Nepal. An increasing share of Nepali children are surviving to celebrate their fifth birthdays thanks to better nutrition and basic health care. Development Assistance: Where Does It Lead? Just 50 years ago, one person in three around the world was malnourished. Now, hunger is less common, affecting one in six people. Has there been enough progress if “only” one-sixth of the global population is hungry? No. But it’s a big improvement over a time—still in living memory—when twice as many people were hungry. In just the past two decades the global community has also made impressive progress: • The percentage of people living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.25/day) has been cut in half. • Low-income countries as well as wealthier nations are making rapid progress against child mortality. For example, Liberia, Rwanda, and Bangladesh have each reduced their child death rate by more than two-thirds. 1 • Such dramatic progress shows that it is now well within human capabilities to end mass hunger and extreme poverty within a generation. • The idea of “building resilience” is simply that poor communities can better fight hunger by identifying potential threats to their livelihoods and developing workable alternatives before they are desperately needed. • Safety net programs are a key part of building resilience. Emergency feeding programs, too, can distribute food in exchange for work that contributes to the community’s future food security. • Country-led plans to reduce hunger help build the resilience of the country itself. U.S. assistance helps support these plans. Countries with effective governments and strong civil societies are also more resilient.