Global food security is currently under stress. Although the world’s leaders, through the first Millennium Development Goal, adopted a goal of halving the proportion of hungry people between 1990 and 2015,we are nowhere near meeting that target. The percentage of undernourished people fell from 20 percent in 1990–92 to 16 percent in 2004–06. In recent years, however, the number of hungry people has actually been increasing. In 2009, on the heels of a global food price crisis and in the midst of worldwide recession, the number of undernourished people surpassed 1 billion, although recent estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations suggest that number will have dropped to 925 million in 2010. Within this group, one population is especially vulnerable – young children. Undernutrition in the first two years of life threatens a child’s life and can jeopardize physical, motor and cognitive development. For those who survive, having been undernourished during the first two years of life can cause irreversible, long-term damage. It is therefore of particular importance that we take concerted action to combat hunger, especially among young children. This is the central thematic focus of the Global Hunger Index 2010, published jointly by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide, and Welthungerhilfe.
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