The Atlas of World Hunger

The Atlas of World Hunger

by Thomas J. Bassett, Alex Winter-Nelson

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Earlier this year, President Obama declared one of his top priorities to be “making sure that people are able to get enough to eat.” The United States spends about five billion dollars on food aid and related programs each year, but still, both domestically and internationally, millions of people are hungry. In 2006, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations counted 850 million hungry people worldwide, but as food prices soared, an additional 100 million or more who were vulnerable succumbed to food insecurity.

If hunger were simply a matter of food production, no one would go without. There is more than enough food produced annually to provide every living person with a healthy diet, yet so many suffer from food shortages, unsafe water, and malnutrition every year. That’s because hunger is a complex political, economic, and ecological phenomenon. The interplay of these forces produces a geography of hunger that Thomas J. Bassett and Alex Winter-Nelson illuminate in this empowering book. The Atlas of World Hunger uses a conceptual framework informed by geography and agricultural economics to present a hunger index that combines food availability, household access, and nutritional outcomes into a single tool—one that delivers a fuller understanding of the scope of global hunger, its underlying mechanisms, and the ways in which the goals for ending hunger can be achieved. The first depiction of the geography of hunger worldwide, the Atlas will be an important resource for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in understanding the geography and causes of hunger. This knowledge, the authors argue, is a critical first step toward eliminating unnecessary suffering in a world of plenty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226039084
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 05/15/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 216
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Thomas J. Bassett is professor of geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is the author or coauthor of six books. Alex Winter-Nelson is professor of agricultural and consumer economics.

Table of Contents

List of Maps
List of Figures
List of Tables 
List of Boxes


      1. Introduction

Part I. Locating Hunger

Indicators of Malnutrition

      2. Food Availability
      3. Prevalence of Undernourishment (POU)
      4. Micronutrient Malnutrition 
      5. Malnutrition and Obesity
      6. Growth Failure   
      7. Household Poverty 
      8. The Hunger Vulnerability Index 

Patterns of Hunger within Countries     

      9. Child Growth Failure in Uruguay     
      10. Food Insecurity in the United States
      11. Malnutrition within India and Mexico 

Part II. The Sources of Hunger  

National Resources 

      12. Population Growth  
      13. Arable Land per Capita 
      14. Environmental Systems Health
      15. Human Resources: Literacy 
      16. Built Resources: Roads 
      17. Change in Resource Base   
      18. Climate Change   


      19. College and University Enrollment and Research and Development 
      20. Agricultural Technology: Fertilizer   

Institutions and Power Relations  

      21. Colonialism and Neocolonialism  
      22. Debt and International Power Relations 
      23. Political Freedoms 
      24. Income Inequality  
      25. Gender Inequality 


      26. National Income per Capita 
      27. Extreme Poverty   

Exacerbating Conditions and Events   

      28. Dependency Ratio 
      29. HIV/AIDS 
      30. Malaria
      31. Health Expenditures per Capita    
      32. Unsafe Water and Poor Sanitation 
      33. International Trade and Primary Products   
      34. International Terms of Trade   
      35. Terms-of-Trade Shocks 
      36. Food Trade  
      37. Food Price Shocks 
      38. Development Aid and Food Aid  
      39. War 
      40. Natural Disasters 


Appendix 1. Map Data Sources 
Appendix 2. The Hunger Vulnerability Index 


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