To mark World Food Day on October 16, Action Against Hunger, a nonprofit leader in the global movement to end hunger, released the results of a survey of over 2,000 US adults conducted on their behalf by The Harris Poll showing that 86% of Americans believe global hunger remains a serious problem. An additional 73% of Americans say climate change will increase hunger among the world’s poorest communities, and more than half (56%) of respondents say richer countries, like the U.S., should help low-income countries pay for the costs of adapting to climate change.
“The vast majority of Americans recognize that global hunger is a serious problem, and that the climate crisis is a hunger crisis. Now, our leaders must step up to act on our concern,” said Dr. Charles Owubah, CEO, Action Against Hunger. “Around the world, 811 million people go to bed hungry every night — and in too many parts of the world, hunger can be deadly. We must make every day World Food Day until we achieve our mission of ending hunger for everyone, for good.”
Additional survey findings include:
- Nearly half of all Americans worry about increases in food prices as a result of climate change. In addition, 46% of Americans said that among their greatest climate worries for the next generation is “living in a world with less food (i.e., more food scarcity because of climate shocks).”
- Boomers are most likely to say that global hunger remains a serious problem. Awareness of global hunger as a serious issue is statistically significant among Boomers (ages 57-75) who are more likely than Gen Z (ages 18-24) and Gen X (ages 41-56) to believe global hunger is still a serious issue in the world today (89% vs. 81% and 83%).
- 75% of Americans think climate change poses a threat to the future of the human race, and 74% believe we all – including groups like government, nonprofits, and business – should do more to tackle climate change. A similar study from Action Against Hunger UK found similar concerns among the public there.
- 60% of men, 68% of Gen Z, and 76% of Black Americans believe that richer countries, like the U.S., should help low-income countries pay for the costs of adapting to climate change. Among men, 60% agree with this approach, as compared with 53% of women. 76% of non-Hispanic Black Americans agree with this sentiment, as compared to just 50% of non-Hispanic White Americans and 61% of Hispanic Americans. 68% of Gen Z and 65% of Millennials agree, as just 52% of Gen X and 47% of Boomers.
Action Against Hunger’s findings come on the heels of the 2021 Global Hunger Index, which found that hunger remains “serious, alarming, or extremely alarming in nearly 50 countries” and a United Nations report that 1 in 33 people globally need humanitarian assistance.
“Awareness if an important first step. Now, the world needs more effective and accountable ways to address hunger and climate change as growing public health threats,” Dr. Owubah said. “A failure to address hunger can be deeply destabilizing to already-fragile states, since hunger is both a cause and effect of conflict. When we invest in fighting hunger and saving lives, we invest in the future: research has shown that every $1 spent combating malnutrition deliver as much as a $16 return to society.”