Big numbers can make the eyes glaze over, but Richard Swerdlow says the statistics on world hunger are truly horrifying.
This month, the United Nations released their 2022 report on the “State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.” The 260-page report is not easy reading. Written in the dry language of a bureaucratic agency, it’s filled with graphs, charts, statistics and phrases like “the data contained herein are derived from indicators.”
The report described “345 million acutely at the brink of starvation.” And thumbing through the report, it’s easy to not really consider what all those large numbers mean.
Here’s what the numbers mean: each day, about 25,000 people die from hunger. Of those, 10,000 are children. These bland statistics mean one in five children on earth suffers from malnutrition. These boring figures mean the biggest global food crisis since World War II.
And here’s a number which was not listed in the UN report: In 2021, total military spending world-wide was about $2,197,000,000. Reading all those long strings of numbers in the UN report on world hunger, it occurred to me how different this report would look if even a tiny percentage of the – yes – $6 billion spent every single day on the business of killing our fellow humans were spent on feeding them instead.