In this year’s annual Global Hunger Index, the good news that the hunger levels in developing countries have fallen by 29 percent since 2000 was flanked by a caution to countries, on the need for them to accelerate their efforts to curb hunger in order to meet the international target to eradicate it by 2030.
The Global Hunger Index, which was published on Tuesday, showed that hunger levels are “alarming” in seven countries, with Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and Zambia experiencing the worst levels.
Haiti, which is still shaken from hurricane Matthew (the hurricane that swept through the nation last week after the country was still attempting to recover from a massive 2010 earthquake), had the fourth highest hunger score on the index.
Following the seven countries with alarming levels of hunger were another 43 countries that were grouped as having “serious” hunger levels. They included India, Nigeria and Indonesia.
The authors of the Glabal Hunger index said that at the current rate of decline, over 45 countries could have “moderate” to “alarming” hunger scores in the year 2030. For this reason, Shenggen Fan, director general of the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), said in a statement that;
“Countries must accelerate the pace at which they are reducing hunger”
“Ending global hunger is certainly possible, but it’s up to all of us … (to) set the priorities right to ensure that governments, the private sector and civil society devote the time and resources necessary,”
The goal for ending hunger had been agreed upon last year as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which is an ambitious plan for tackling poverty, hunger, and inequality. World leaders had agreed on a 2030 deadline for ending global hunger.
The Global Hunger Index ranks countries based on undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting (low weight for height) and child stunting (low height for age). The 2016 report ranked 118 developing countries and found that over 795 million people go to bed hungry every night.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) produces the annual index along with aid agencies Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
Dominic MacSorley, CEO of Concern Worldwide said of the hunger problem;
“We have the technology, knowledge and resources to achieve (zero hunger). What is missing is both the urgency and the political will to turn commitments into action.”
Sub-Saharan Africa currently has the highest hunger levels, followed closely by South Asia.