Hunger Current Affairs - 2019

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Global Hunger Index, 2019

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is jointly published by Concern worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. The score if the index is calculated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). It measures and tracks hunger at regional, national and global levels. The 2019 Global Hunger Index measures hunger of 117 countries. India was ranked 102nd and was the lowest ranked among ranked among South Asian countries. The rest were ranked 66, 94, etc. Especially, India was far behind as compared to the BRICS nations.

The GHI score is based on the proportion of country’s child population that is undernourished, children who are under 5 years of age and have insufficient weight for their height, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR under 5 years old children) and children whose height is not commensurate to their age

Key findings of the report

  • India was at rank 93 in 2015 and has slipped places terribly
  • Pakistan had pulled ahead and was at rank 94.
  • Among the BRICS nations, Brazil topped on 18th rank, followed by Russia on 22nd, China on 25th, followed by South Africa (59), Sri Lanka (66), Nepal (73), Bangladesh (88), Pakistan (94), and India (102).
  • India’s child wasting is extremely high at 20.8%
  • Only 9.6% of children (6 to 23 months) were fed minimum acceptable diet

The report praised Bangladesh and Nepal for their progresses.

2019 Global Report on Food Crises

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) makes the following observations in the 2019 Global Report on Food Crises report:

  • More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced “acute hunger” last year because of wars and climate disasters, with Africa the worst-hit region.
  • Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria were among the eight nations accounting for two-thirds of the total number of people worldwide exposed to the risk of famine.
  • African Nations were “disproportionally” affected as close to 72 million people on the continent suffered acute hunger.
  • The key factors which drove the hunger were Conflict and insecurity along with economic turbulence and climate-related shocks like drought and floods.
  • In countries on the verge of famine, up to 80 per cent of the populations were dependent on agriculture. They need both emergency humanitarian aid for food and measures to help boost agriculture.
  • The strain put on countries hosting a large number of refugees, including war-torn Syria as well as Bangladesh, which has received more than a million Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar has been highlighted in the report.
  • The overall situation slightly improved in 2018 compared to 2017 when 124 million people suffered acute hunger. This reduction in numbers was partially owed to the fact that some countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, for instance, were less affected by weather disasters that had struck in previous years.
  • The year-on-year trend of more than 100 million people facing famine was unlikely to change in the face of continued crises.
  • High levels of acute and chronic malnutrition in children living in emergency conditions remained of grave concern.

The Global Food Crises Report is an annual study launched three years ago which takes stock of the countries facing the greatest difficulties in tackling hunger.