World hunger continues
The Central African Republic, Chad, and Zambia has the highest levels of hunger in the 2016 Global Hunger Index report. Seven countries had “alarming” levels of hunger, while 43 countries – including high-population countries like India, Nigeria, and Indonesia – had “serious” hunger levels.
This report was announced as the globe celebrated October 16 as World Food Day.
The global community was not on course to end hunger by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal deadline of 2030, according to data from GHI.
Regionally, Africa South of the Sahara has the highest hunger level, followed closely by South Asia. Rounding out the top 10 countries with the highest levels of hunger after Central African Republic, Chad, and Zambia are: Haiti, Madagascar, Yemen, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, and Niger.
Around half of the populations of Haiti, Zambia, and the Central African Republic are undernourished—the highest in the report. In Timor-Leste, Burundi, and Papua New Guinea, approximately half of children under five are too short for their age due to nutritional deficiencies.
IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan said in a statement that if hunger declined at the same rate as the report found it had since 1992, more than 45 countries - including India, Pakistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Afghanistan - will still have “moderate” to “alarming” hunger scores in the year 2030, far short of the goal to end hunger by that year.
“Simply put, countries must accelerate the pace at which they are reducing hunger or we will fail to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal. Ending global hunger is certainly possible, but it’s up to all of us that we set the priorities right to ensure that governments, the private sector and civil society devote the time and resources necessary to meet this important goal.”
The report outlined some bright spots in the fight to end world hunger. The level of hunger in developing countries as measured by the Global Hunger Index has fallen by 29 percent since 2000. Twenty countries, including Rwanda, Cambodia, and Myanmar, have all reduced their GHI scores by over 50 percent each since 2000. And for the second year in a row, no developing countries for which data was available were in the “extremely alarming” category.
"The 2030 Agenda set a clear global objective for an end to hunger - everywhere - within the next 14 years," says David Nabarro, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change. "Too many people are hungry today. There is a need for urgent, thoughtful and innovative action to ensure that no one ever goes hungry again."