Hunger is the physical sensation of desiring food. Even the highly privileged sometimes experience mild hunger; brief experiences of the condition are not usually harmful. When politicians, relief workers and social scientists talk about people suffering from hunger, they usually refer to those who are unable to eat sufficient food to meet their basic nutritional needs for sustained periods of time.
Throughout history, a large proportion of the world's population have often experienced severe hunger. In many cases this resulted from disruptions to the food supply caused by war, plagues or adverse weather changes. For the first few decades after World War II, technological progress and enhanced political cooperation suggested it might be possible to substantially reduce the number of people suffering from hunger. While progress had been uneven, by 2000 the threat of extreme hunger has subsided for a great many of the world's people, especially in countries such as Brazil and Malaysia. The Millennium Development Goals included a commitment to achieve a further 50% reduction in the number of people suffering from extreme hunger by 2015. As of 2012, this target looks unlikely to be met; over the last few years the number of people suffering from hunger has stopped falling, rising sharply in 2007 and 2008.
Until 2006, the average international price of food had been largely stable for several decades. But in the closing months of 2006 it began to rise at a rapid rate. By 2008 the price of rice had more than tripled in some regions, which had an especially severe impact in developing countries. The 2008 worldwide financial crisis further increased the number of people suffering from hunger, including dramatic increases even in advanced economies such as Great Britain, the Eurozone and the United States. By mid-2012, about one billion people were suffering from chronic hunger, which is an increase of close to 200 million since the beginning of the century. According to the United Nation's World Food Programme, a child dies from hunger every six seconds.
Famous quotes related to hunger:
“It takes a heap o livin in a house t make it home,
A heap o sun an shadder, an ye sometimes have t roam
Afore ye really preciate the things ye lef behind,
An hunger fer em somehow, with em allus on yer mind.”
—Edgar Albert Guest (18811959)
“With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger and dirt
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the Song of the Shirt.”
—Thomas Hood (17991845)
“Uncontrolled, the hunger and thirst after God may become an obstacle, cutting off the soul from what it desires. If a man would travel far along the mystic road, he must learn to desire God intensely but in stillness, passively and yet with all his heart and mind and strength.”
—Aldous Huxley (18941963)
“Learn what is true, in order to do what is right, is the summing up of the whole duty of man, for all who are unable to satisfy their mental hunger with the east wind of authority.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley (182595)
“As a nation we must prevent hunger and cold to those of our people who are in honest difficulties.”
—Herbert Hoover (18741964)