Food rights

Vasta, 29, winnowing and drying the rice harvest, Malawi
Vasta, 29, winnowing and drying the rice harvest, Malawi
Photo: Sven Torfinn/Panos/ActionAid

Every day, one in six people goes to bed hungry. Yet the world produces more than enough food for everybody. We’re tackling the causes of hunger, so that everyone can enjoy the right to have enough to eat.

ActionAid's work on food focuses on addressing the root causes of hunger, calling for international food policies that benefit smallholder farmers, especially women, promoting women's rights to land and other natural resources, and promoting sustainable agriculture that helps farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change.

There were 925 million undernourished people in 2010, more than 1 in 10 people in developing countries. Although that number has been falling, the fact that nearly a billion people still don't get enough to eat is a scandal.

Why are so many people hungry?

There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, but food, and the economic and political power to get it, isn't equally shared out.

  • Hunger results from the unequal distribution of food, and the lack of access to and control over resources.
  • Climate change is already having a devastating impact on hungry people - Floods, droughts and other extreme weather conditions are destroying poor people’s lives.
  • Global food prices have skyrocketed by 83 percent in the last 2 years (wheat has gone up 181 percent) – The world’s poor, those who already spend 60 to 80 percent of their budget on food, are the hardest hit.
  • Growing demand for biofuels and large-scale corporate land grabs are driving poor farmers off their land and threatening their livelihoods.

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