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It is now essential to double down on the task of reducing hunger and undernutrition in the many parts of the world that are faltering. The child stunting rate for the region is In South Asia, the key factors that contribute to stunting are poor infant and young child feeding practices, poor nutrition among women before and during pregnancy, and poor sanitation practices Smith and Haddad A study of six South Asian countries found that a lower maternal body mass index was significantly associated with child wasting in five of the six countries.

Inadequate access to improved water sources and low family wealth were also associated with child wasting in some countries, but not systematically so.

Because a reduction in poverty does not necessarily imply adequate access to improved water sources and sanitation, poverty alleviation policies may not be sufficient to reduce child wasting Harding, Aguayo, and Webb Its child stunting rate, In India, just 9. As of —, 90 percent of Indian households used an improved drinking water source while 39 percent of households had no sanitation facilities IIPS and ICF Even with new latrine construction, however, open defecation is still practiced.

Outside of India, two countries in South Asia have made significant advances in child nutrition, and their experiences are instructive. A study sought to identify the reasons behind the decline in stunting in Bangladesh at the national level from The study attributed the decrease primarily to rising household wealth associated with pro-poor economic growth and gains in parental education, as well as health, sanitation, and demographic factors reflecting decreased fertility rates. Meanwhile, its child stunting rate, Perhaps most troubling is that while the prevalence of undernourishment consistently declined between — and —15, it has since reversed course and begun to rise FAO b.

Africa South of the Sahara is the region of the world with the highest percentage of the population employed in agriculture, at 55 percent, yet agriculture in the region faces enormous challenges World Bank a. Governments invest too little in agriculture: most countries fail to meet the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme target of directing 10 percent of government spending to agriculture Shimeles, Verdier-Chouchane, and Boly Use of irrigation is very low, and most farmers are dependent on rainfed agriculture, leaving them extremely vulnerable to drought and changing rain patterns.

Access to and use of tractors and mechanization are also extremely limited Sheahan and Barrett While hunger, in the sense of insufficient access to calories, is a pressing concern in Africa South of the Sahara, it has the potential to overshadow key nutritional concerns, including child undernutrition. Of 43 countries in the region with data or estimates on stunting for —, 21 have stunting rates over 30 percent considered very high in terms of public health significance and an additional 19 countries have stunting rates between 20 and 30 percent high.

Two countries, Sudan and Djibouti, have wasting levels exceeding 15 percent very high , 6 countries have wasting rates between 10 and 15 percent high , and an additional 21 countries have wasting rates between 5 and 10 percent medium de Onis et al. Click to enlarge:. According to the GHI, of the countries for which data are available, four suffer from levels of hunger that are alarming, and one country, the Central African Republic, suffers from a level that is extremely alarming.

The four countries with alarming levels of hunger are Chad, Madagascar, Yemen, and Zambia. Forty-three countries out of countries that were ranked have serious levels of hunger. It is critical to understand that GHI scores for several countries could not be calculated because data were not available for all four GHI indicators.

In some cases, the hunger levels might be higher than in the countries for which GHI scores were calculated. To understand how the countries included in the GHI compare with each other, Table 2. Appendix C shows the values of the GHI indicators—the prevalence of undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality—for each country, including their historic values. An examination of the individual indicators provides a useful glimpse into the nature of hunger and undernutrition in each country and how it has changed over time.

Hyperinflation, a rapidly contracting GDP, overdependence on oil revenues coupled with falling oil production, and poor governance characterized by rampant corruption and growing autocracy have all contributed to the situation Labrador Nearly half of all children in the Central African Republic are stunted, and 60 percent of the population is undernourished.

Since the country has been embroiled in a civil war, contributing to a crisis of hunger and undernutrition.


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As of June , , refugees had left the country and an additional , people were internally displaced out of a population of just 4. More than half of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance in , although security concerns often prevent aid agencies from reaching those in need USAID a. A peace agreement was signed between the government and warring factions in February , but violations of the terms threaten to undermine the agreement Schlein The situation in the Central African Republic clearly demonstrates the role that conflict plays in worsening hunger and undernutrition.

At Its child stunting and wasting rates are estimated to be The country has been affected by civil war since , although there are in fact multiple conflicts at play whose roots go as far back as the s Ahram The warring factions signed the Stockholm Agreement in December to ease the conflict and humanitarian crisis, but as of June the agreement had still not been fully implemented and some civilians and communities in need were still blocked from receiving humanitarian aid UN b.

It is estimated that 17 million people out of a population of 28 million World Bank a will face crisis-level food insecurity or worse through early , with some areas in the west of the country facing emergency-level food crises. In recent years Chad has also experienced an influx of refugees, primarily from South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria.

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By the end of the number of refugees exceeded ,, with more arriving in , putting a strain on resources in the host communities UNHCR f; UN a. Haiti, Zimbabwe, and the Central African Republic have the highest rates of undernourishment, ranging between Stunting rates are highest in Madagascar, Burundi, and Yemen, where data or estimates show that more than half of all children under five suffer from stunting.

The highest under-five mortality rates are in the Central African Republic The situation is more positive in many countries in terms of both their GHI scores and their progress in reducing hunger and undernutrition over time. Of the countries with moderate levels of hunger, two—Myanmar and Senegal—had alarming hunger levels as recently as Of the countries with low levels of hunger, five had serious hunger levels as recently as Albania, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Panama, and Peru.

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Figure 2. Perhaps most informative is the dramatic improvement in GHI scores for the countries on the lefthand side of the figure, particularly Angola, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. These countries each had GHI scores in the extremely alarming category in , largely as a result of civil wars.

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As is evident throughout this report, violent conflict and war are strong drivers of hunger and undernutrition, yet it is important to realize that even the worst situations can improve with the return of peace and stability. As noted in the About section , GHI scores are not calculated for some high-income countries where the prevalence of hunger tends to be very low. This gap occurs mainly for two reasons: 1 not all GHI indicators are appropriate for assessing hunger in these countries and 2 some data are unavailable because they are not regularly collected there.

Nonetheless, the high-income countries that are not included in the GHI are not immune to food insecurity.

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High-income countries show variable, non-negligible rates of food insecurity as measured by locally adapted household food security scales that yield comparable results: 5 percent of households were food insecure in South Korea in , 7 percent in Canada in — , 12 percent in the United States in , and 17 percent in Portugal in — Kim et al. In the United States, 16 percent of households with children under age 18 were food insecure in at some point during the year Coleman-Jensen et al. Check out the latest dating news and advice.

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Many in Zimbabwe have been critical of his handling of an outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa, and he was booed by some in the stadium. Job Sikhala said he had come to offer his condolences to the bereaved family. Walter Chidakwa, a relative of Mugabe, spoke first, and said the former guerrilla leader turned authoritarian ruler had loved his people.

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He died almost two years after former army loyalists forced him out of office in following a power struggle over what was widely perceived as his bid to have his wife, Grace, succeed him. His body was returned from Singapore on Wednesday to a country still struggling with inflation and food and fuel shortages caused by decades of economic mismanagement. Many Zimbabweans will remember Mugabe more for his economic mismanagement and increasingly tyrannical rule that followed the initial hope of liberation.