New Concern Worldwide report finds people in 50 countries around the world are suffering alarming food problems or starvation this year
More than three-quarters of a billion people are going hungry every day according to the latest Concern Worldwide Global Hunger Index.
The report found hunger levels are "alarming" in seven countries, with the Central African Republic, Chad and Zambia experiencing the worst levels.
Haiti, reeling from last week's Hurricane Matthew and still recovering from a massive 2010 earthquake, is fourth on the list, with about half of its 10 million people undernourished.
Another 43 countries, including India, Nigeria and Indonesia, have "serious" hunger levels.
Speaking at the launch of the report Concern Worldwide CEO, Dominic MacSorley spoke of the experiences of staff in Niger, where parents must decide, “which child gets to eat the one meal they have to offer them a day.”
“According to the United Nations, around 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger related causes, which means it would take just 219 days for hunger to wipe out the entire population of Ireland,” he said.
“These levels of hunger and malnutrition are just not unacceptable in the 21st century, it is immoral and shameful.”
Hunger levels in developing countries are on the decline according to the report with a 29% fall in global hunger since 2000.
World leaders agreed a 2030 deadline for ending global hunger last year as part of the Sustainable Development Goals - an ambitious plan for tackling poverty, hunger and inequality.
However Mr MacSorley said strong international leadership will be required in order to meet the globally agreed target.
“We have the technology, knowledge and resources to achieve that vision. What is missing is both the urgency and the political will to turn commitments into action,” he said.
The Labour Party's Spokesperson for Urban Regeneration, Joe Costello has called for Budget 2017 to include a significant increase in Ireland’s international aid fund.
"We have always prided ourselves on our generosity to those who are less well off, so the budget should include a realistic contribution to alleviate the poverty and hunger of those millions of people who are living on the margins," he said.