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Myths About Hunger Myths »

M Y T H 1 : T HER E IS NO T ENO UGH FO O D T O GO A R O UND. REALITY: Enough food is available to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food to every

person on this planet every day. That’s enough food to make most people fat! The problem is that many people don’t have access to adequate resources to produce or purchase food.


M Y T H 2 : T HER E A R E T O O MA NY PEO PLE. REALITY: Global population is growing but so is agriculture productivity. Although

rapid population growth remains a serious concern in some countries, population density itself does not lead to hunger. Hunger results from underlying inequities that deprive people, especially women, of economic opportunity and security.


M Y T H 3 : N AT UR E IS T O B LA ME. REALITY: Food is always available for those who can afford it. Starvation during

hard times hits only the poorest people living on the brink of disaster because they are deprived of land, trapped in the grip of debt, or poorly paid. Natural events are rarely the sole culprit for deaths; they are simply the final push over the brink. The blame belongs on the shoulders of governments that fail to offer their citizens employment opportunities and societies that accept hunger as inevitable.

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M Y T H 4 : T HER E A R E NO T ENO UGH NAT UR A L R ESO UR C ES TO SU PPORT E V E RY O N E . REALITY: The world is capable of producing enough food for everyone in a sustainable

way. But as people without access to resources struggle to survive, they are often forced to farm marginal lands that are susceptible to erosion, flooding, or drought.


M Y T H 5 : N EW T EC HNO LO GY IS T HE A NSWER . REALITY: Thanks to new seeds and improved agriculture techniques, millions more

tons of grain are being harvested each year. But increasing crop production alone doesn’t alleviate hunger. People with economic power determine who is able to access additional food. That’s why in countries where grain production has increased, such as India, Mexico, and the Philippines, hunger persists.


M Y T H 6 : W E NEED LA R GE FA R MS IN T HE DEV ELO PING WO RLD . REALITY: We need both large and small scale farms in the fight against global hunger.

In some cases, smaller farms achieve four to five times greater output per acre than larger farms because they use more “hands-on” farming practices. A World Bank study done in northeastern Brazil estimates that moving farmland into smaller holdings would actually raise output by an astonishing 80 percent.


M Y T H 7 : T HE FR EE MA R K ET C A N END HUNGER . REALITY: Unfortunately, market efficiencies only work to eliminate hunger when

purchasing power is widely dispersed. We must therefore concentrate on promoting not only the market but also the ability of people to participate in the market in ways that reduce poverty.


M Y T H 8 : P EO PLE A R E T O O HUNGRY T O HELP T HEMSELV ES. REALITY: People will feed themselves if given the opportunity. Because we are often

bombarded with despairing images of those who are poor, we tend to forget that for people with very few resources, survival actually requires tremendous effort. If people who are poor were truly passive, few of them would survive. Our responsibility is to remove the obstacles in their paths.


M Y T H 9 : T HER E IS LIT T LE WE C A N DO A B O UT HUNGER . REALITY: World hunger can be ended. The outcome of the war on hunger will be

determined not by forces beyond human control but by decisions and actions well within the capability of nations and people. (Sources: UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2009; FAO and Briefing Paper, Hunger on the Rise, 2008; WFP Facts and Figures) During the preparation of this resource, all citations, facts, figures, Internet URLs, and other cited information were verified for accuracy. World Vision Resources has made every attempt to reference current and valid sources, but we cannot guarantee the content of any source and we are not responsible for any changes that may have occurred since our verification. If you find an error in, or have a question or concern about, any of the information or sources listed within, please contact World Vision Resources. Copyright © 2010 World Vision, Inc., Mail Stop 321, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716, All rights reserved.

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About World Vision W O R L D V IS IO N is a Christian humanitarian organization

dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, World Vision serves alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people. We see a world where each child experiences “fullness of life” as described in John 10:10. And we know this can be achieved only by addressing the problems of poverty and injustice in a holistic way. That’s how World Vision is unique: We bring 60 years of experience in three key areas needed to help children and families thrive: emergency relief, long-term development, and advocacy. And we bring all of our skills across many areas of expertise to each community we work in, enabling us to care for children’s physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Partnering with World Vision provides tangible ways to honor God and put faith into action. By working, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of children and families who are struggling to overcome poverty. To find out more about how you can help, visit

About World Vision Resources E NDING GL O B A L PO V ERT Y and injustice begins with education:

understanding the magnitude and causes of poverty, its impact on human dignity, and our connection to those in need around the world. World Vision Resources is the publishing ministry of World Vision. World Vision Resources educates Christians about global poverty, inspires them to respond, and equips them with innovative resources to make a difference in the world.

For more information about our resources, contact: World Vision Resources Mail Stop 321 P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 Fax: 253-815-3340

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Myths About Hunger  
Myths About Hunger  

This article explores and debunks the most common misperceptions about hunger.