Global Poverty And Hunger: Take Action!

Photo: Florian Seriex for Action Against Hunger, Yemen
Photo: Florian Seriex for Action Against Hunger, Yemen

Around the world, 767 million people live in extreme poverty with less than $1.90 per person per day, an amount which is impossible to support a healthy livelihood in any part of the world.

Poverty Leads to Hunger

One in three children in low- and middle-income countries suffers from chronic undernutrition. Without a sustainable source of income at a sufficient level, young children and their families do not have access to nutritious food, clean water or health care. And the deadly effects of undernutrition cannot be underestimated: 

45% of all child deaths worldwide are from causes related to undernutrition, or 3.1 million children a year.

At Action Against Hunger, we believe that no child should die from hunger. We help over 14.9 million people every year gain access to sustainable sources of income, clean water, nutritious food, and health care, but there is still so much to be done.

Global Poverty Facts

Here are some statistics that show the scale of global poverty and its devastating effects.

1) 767 million people, or 10.7 percent of the population, live in extreme poverty with less than $1.90 per day.

2) 2.1 billion people live on less than $3.10 per day.

3) 328 million children are living in extreme poverty.

4) At least 17 million children suffer from severe acute undernutrition around the world. Severe acute malnutrition is the direct cause of death for 1 million children every year.

5)Every single day, 1,000 children under 5 die from illnesses like diarrhoea, dysentery, and cholera caused by contaminated water and inadequate sanitation.

Stats 1-3: World Bank, 4-5: UNICEF

Where is extreme poverty?

Africa is the continent with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty. See below for a breakdown of where people living with less than $1.90 per day are located.

  • 383 Million in Africa
  • 327 Million in Asia
  • 19 Million in South America
  • 13 Million in North America
  • 2.5 Million in Oceania
  • 0.7 Million in Europe

poverty tree map

Children living in extreme poverty

It is estimated that 104 million children under 5 are living in extreme poverty, while that number extends to 328 million for children under 18 (World Bank, 2016).

Children suffer the most when living in poverty. Their young, developing bodies are less resilient to the effects of living without clean water, food or health care. As a result, many children living in poverty suffer from malnutrition and disease. If left untreated—which is common due to limited access to health care—they cannot survive. It is estimated that only 10% of children suffering for severe acute acute malnutrition receive treatment.

Watch the story of 13-year-old Keynyang, a brave young boy trying to support his family after conflict forced them to flee their home in South Sudan. With no money or food, his family is trying to survive by eating leaves.

Keynyang's story demonstrates that extreme poverty is often the result of external factors that are far beyond the family's control. However, with the right support, there is hope. We have over 35 years of experience of saving lives and supporting self-sufficiency for some of the world's most vulnerable populations. We are able to help communities become more resilient to external factors that cause extreme poverty, and help families recover from natural disasters or forced displacement. 

Solutions to Poverty and Hunger

Hunger and undernutrition are often linked to extreme poverty and lack of access to available, sufficient, nutritious food.

Action Against Hunger's food security and livelihoods programs aim to empower vulnerable communities to improve their access to food, income, and markets.  We train and build the capacity of small-scale farmers to increase production, and safely store and market their crops.

In humanitarian emergencies, we provide cash transfers or cash-for-work programs to help families in crisis buy food and support local markets while also enabling them to make their own choices about their most urgent needs. 

Every year we reach 14.7 million people with lifesaving programs in 50 countries. 

We are there for children and families before and after disaster strikes. We enable people to provide for themselves, see their children grow up strong, and for whole communities to prosper. We constantly search for more effective solutions, while sharing our knowledge and expertise with the world. We push for long-term change. We will never give up. Until the world is free from hunger.

Take Action!

You can have a direct impact on children living in poverty and facing the devastating effects of hunger.

Our expert teams can restore a young child suffering from severe acute malnutrition to full health in just 45 days. The lifesaving treatment costs just $1 per day using therapeutic foods. That means we can save a child's life for just $45. 


Investing in nutrition is an extremely affordable and highly effective way to have a lasting impact on the lives of people around the world.

Your lifesaving donation will also help us work with their families to build sustainable income and provide access to clean water, nutritious food and healthcare so their children can grow up healthy and strong.

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Where your money goes


Over 93 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to those in desperate need—an efficiency rating that is held by very few organizations. 

We're top rated

charity ratings

You can trust Action Against Hunger. Here’s why:

  • Highest four-star rating from Charity Navigator, ten years in a row
  • Listed as an “A” rated organization by CharityWatch
  • We're accountable, meeting all 20 Better Business Bureau standards
  • Earned Guidestar's Gold Participant Seal for our commitment to transparency
  • Awarded the “Best in America” seal by the Independent Charities of America

Learn more about how we save lives:

About Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children. We ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and health care. We enable entire communities to be free from hunger. With more than 6,500 staff in over 45 countries, our programs reach 14.9 million people.

Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children. We ensure everyone can access clean water, food, training and healthcare. We enable entire communities to be free from hunger.