It is no longer news that hunger kills more people in the world than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis put together. This is a disheartening statistics especially when it is marched with the world production charts for both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.
Another reason why this statistics is such a bitter pill to swallow is the fact that the world currently produces enough to adequately feed everyone in it, but one major problem is the issue of waste.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), “Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world.”
If we know this, then why does the world still experience so much hunger?
The Global Hunger Index – a report published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe ranks African countries bottom of the hunger chat. This further highlights the height of poverty and hunger on the continent.
The 2018 edition of the index indicates a mixed result in the status of hunger in the world.
While there has been a reduction of hunger since 2000 as projected by the FAO, some regions in the world continue to experience worsening hunger and increased under-nutrition.
According to the report, approximately 124 million people suffer acute hunger, an increase from 80 million in 2016. Africa and South Asia are on record to have the highest rates of hunger, which experts say are as a result of climate change and conflict.
The 2018 status of hunger in the world has also been affected by migration.
Below are the African countries with the highest rates of hunger:
1. Central African Republic
According to the Index, Central African Republic suffers from extreme poverty with a score of 53.7, an increase from 41.3 in 2010.
The country has been under civil strife since 2013 which has resulted in massive migration, loss of life/property and increased food insecurity. The inability of displaced people to engage in food production has led to increased levels of hunger, undernourishment and child mortality.
In second place in Africa and globally, Chad scores 45.4, a reduction from 48.9 in 2010. Considered to be experiencing extreme levels of hunger, this country has suffered following conflict and instability in neighboring countries, migration, poor agricultural output, climate change, poverty and low economic development.
In third place is Madagascar with a score of 38.0, an increase from 36.1 in 2010, making it one of the countries experiencing extreme hunger.
According to the World Food Program, at least 800,000 people are food insecure. The country’s southern regions have still been experiencing the impacts of the 2016 drought induced by El Nino. Communities have also experienced loss of harvest following a prolonged dry spell in 2018
Zambia also falls in the category of extreme hunger with a score of 37.6, a reduction from 42.8 in 2010.
According to the World Food Programme, “inadequate provision of agricultural inputs, poor access to markets, and the slow pace of change in attitudes towards crop and livelihood diversification also continue to undermine farming capacity.”
This has affected tens of thousands of people who are still food insecure.
5. Sierra Leone
Also suffering from extreme hunger is the West African country of Sierra Leone, despite a drop from 40.4 in 2010 to 35.7 in 2018.
The country, which also depends on agriculture, has been suffering from poor crop output and effects of the civil war that ended in 2001 as well as the Ebola outbreak of 2014, which affected economic development and food security.
However, the report also acknowledged that Central African Republic may have unlikely been the country with the highest hunger rates in the world if there was access to accurate data from countries like Bahrain, Bhutan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Libya, Moldova, Qatar, Somalia, South Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Tajikistan.