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Africa Tops Global Hunger Index, Driven By War And Climate Shocks

Global hunger has fallen more than a quarter since 2000, but conflict and climate shocks are beginning to reverse these gains, an annual global hunger index said on Thursday.
A child is checked for signs of malnutrition by a United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) health worker during a registration prior to a humanitarian food distribution carried out by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Thonyor, Leer county, South Sudan, February 25, 2017. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

 

“Conflict and climate related shocks are at the heart of this problem. We must build the resilience of communities on the ground, but we must also bolster public and political solidarity internationally. The world needs to act as one community with the shared goal of ensuring not a single child goes to bed hungry each night and no one is left behind.” said Concern Worldwide CEO Dominic MacSorley

Nearly half of the 119 countries surveyed had “serious”, “alarming” or “extremely alarming” hunger levels between 2012 and 2016, the report said.

Central African Republic topped the list of the worst affected, followed by Chad, Sierra Leone, Madagascar and Zambia.

The report indicated that beyond these acute crises, long term obstacles to reducing hunger in several countries may also be threatening efforts to reach zero hunger.

Dominic MacSorley, the chief executive of Concern, said that conflict and climate related shocks are at the heart of this problem.

According to the report, about half of the populations in the hungriest countries were short of food.

According to the report, roughly half of the populations of Central African Republic, Haiti and Zambia are undernourished-the highest number recorded in the report.

“The results of this year’s global hunger index show that we cannot waiver in our resolve to reach the UN sustainable Development Goalk of zero hunger by 2030.” Shenggen Fan, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute said.

According to a UN report recently, global hunger levels have risen for the first time in more than a decade, now affecting 11 percent of the world’s population – or 815 million people, the report said.

Of the countries for which scores could be calculated, the top 10 countries with the highest level of hunger are Central African Republic, Chad, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Zambia, Yemen, Sudan, Liberia, Niger and Timor-Leste.

Yemen came sixth in the index as its hunger crisis has spiked since 2015 when civil war erupted.

Although most of Nigeria is relatively food secure, the eight-year Islamist Boko Haram insurgency has left millions in the northeast at risk of starvation.

14 countries – including Senegal, Azerbaijan, Peru, Panama, Brazil and China – have made significant improvements since 2000, the report noted.

The index is based on levels of hunger in the general population, and rates of wasting, stunting and deaths among children under five years old.

According to the report, women, girls and ethnic minorities are most at risk of hunger, which causes nearly half of deaths in under-fives.

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