Global hunger affects nearly a billion people, which is an overwhelming number. Severe acute malnutrition, on the other hand, affects 34 million children worldwide and is predictable, preventable, and treatable. But where do the acutely malnourished reside?
Acute Malnutrition Around the World
On a world map, areas prone to deadly outbreaks of malnutrition often overlap areas of war and conflict, but nutritional emergencies are just as likely to occur as seasonal phenomenon in more stable regions. Agricultural communities, for example, are routinely exposed to seasonal hunger during the annual hunger gap, that predictable period when a family’s food stocks run out before new harvests are available—a seasonal predicament that results in life-threatening malnutrition among young children across the globe.
Add climatic shocks, shifting weather patterns, political upheavals, and instability in global commodity markets and these patterns grow more complex, but their outcomes are still largely predictable.