Understanding global hunger requires an appreciation of the global and national contexts within which millions of people are denied access to food. The probability of suffering from hunger is greater in Southern countries than in Northern ones but contrasts between states in the South are enormous too; analysis at the sub-national level reveals more contrasts. Not all regions, or groups of people, have the same probability of suffering hunger within developing countries, that is entitlements display marked intra-national contrasts which are often crucial to explanations of the incidence of chronic or acute hunger. Some important factors operative at the sub-national level have been examined already: Chapter 5 explored some of the most important connections between gender and hunger, and contrasts between urban and rural populations and their command over food have been considered already. This chapter examines other variables, operative at the sub-national level, which influence command over food, namely regional contrasts, minority status and contrasts between households.
Some regions have markedly better food security than others. Regions which are economically or politically marginal have a higher incidence of hunger than more prosperous regions. Some regions become marginal because of the nature of their integration into the national economy, their environmental endowments, and their past and/or current economic and political relations to more powerful regions. I open by considering a region which is distinct because of its success in reducing hunger.