Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Global Hunger Index Released

It should go without saying, but hunger is closely tied to poverty. There are many hungry people in middle to low income countries. A report released today gauges the number of hungry thought the world.

The International Food Policy Research Institute says that thirty three countries have dangerously high levels of hunger.

The report is unable to take into account the current food price crisis, as the statistics used only go up to the year 2006. Which is the last year available.

Also, the report does not rank industrialized nations.

The five least hungry countries were Mauritius, Jamaica, Moldova, Cuba and Peru. While the hungriest were Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by Eritrea, Burundi, Niger, Sierra Leone.

You can download and view the full report here.

Here is more from the organizations press release. Our snippet also includes some police changes the institute suggests.

The Index measures global hunger by ranking countries on three leading indicators and combining them into one index. The three indicators are prevalence of child malnutrition, rates of child mortality, and the proportion of people who are calorie deficient.

In the nearly two decades since 1990, some regions—South and Southeast Asia, the Near East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean—have made major headway in improving food security. But South Asia still suffers from high levels of hunger, along with Sub-Saharan Africa. While South Asia has made significant strides since 1990, progress in Sub-Saharan Africa has been minimal.

In South Asia, the major problem is a high prevalence of underweight in children under five, resulting largely from the lower nutritional and educational status of women, poor nutrition and health programs, and inadequate water and sanitation services. In contrast, the poor performance of Sub-Saharan Africa is due to high rates of child mortality and a large proportion of people who cannot meet their calorie requirements. Government ineffectiveness, conflict, and political instability, as well as high rates of HIV/AIDS, have driven these two indicators in the region.

To address the current food crisis and improve the long-term functioning of the world food system, IFPRI recommends three areas for high-priority policy actions:

1. Productivity and Research: undertake fast-impact food production programs in key areas and scale up investments for sustained agricultural productivity, including agricultural science policy and appropriate finance.
2. Nutrition and Social Protection: expand emergency responses and humanitarian assistance to food-insecure people and invest in social protection for nutritional improvement.
3. Markets and Trade: eliminate agricultural trade restrictions and facilitate rule-based and fair global and regional trade openness; change biofuel policies; support market-oriented regulation of speculation, and implement innovative virtual grain reserve policies.

IFPRI estimates that the additional global public investment required to overcome the food crisis, and still meet the first Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015, is at least US$14 billion per annum. For Sub-Saharan Africa, the annual additional investment is estimated to be about US$5 billion, if African governments fulfill their commitment to invest 10 percent of their national budgets to agriculture.

1 comment:

Paul Bass said...

story you might wish to link to: