Hundreds of millions of people living in developing countries survive on $1.90 a day or less. Between 1990 and 2008, efforts to impact this issue were successful, and the number of people living in poverty decreased by nearly half, from 48 to 26 percent. However, food prices are back on the rise and have caused this trend to revert.
Poverty, food prices and hunger are inextricably linked. Poverty causes hunger. Not every person living in poverty faces chronic hunger, but almost all people facing chronic hunger are also living in poverty. Millions live with hunger and malnourishment because they simply cannot afford to buy enough food, cannot afford nutritious foods or cannot afford the farming supplies they need to grow enough good food of their own. Hunger can be viewed as a dimension of extreme poverty. It is often called the most severe and critical manifestation of poverty.
Rural households are the most heavily burdened by the consequences of poverty and hunger. In addition to causing hunger, poverty limits a rural community’s ability to invest in its own development. Often, rural girls living in poverty will be kept out of school to save money. This contributes to the disparity in the eduction of rural and urban girls. Studies have shown that lack of general education leads to higher adolescent birth rates; births that in turn over-burden an already economically strained community, perpetuating a cycle of gender inequality, poverty and hunger.