The three Cs of conflict, climate change, and COVID-19 continue to hinder progress towards Zero Hunger. Faced with these challenges, here are the 10 hungriest countries as identified in this year's Global Hunger Index 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has set back progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030. Current predictions show that the world as a whole - and 47 countries in particular - will fail to achieve even low hunger within the next nine years.
But COVID isn’t the only factor here.
Recent reports have shown that undernourishment and hunger were on the rise even before last year’s global pandemic further exacerbated matters. The climate crisis has been one factor in food insecurity, but it’s conflict that continues to be the primary driver of hunger, especially within already vulnerable populations. Conflict devastates food systems, drives up undernourishment and child mortality rates, destabilises agricultural production, prevents economic investment, and forcibly displaces entire communities.
Produced annually by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, the Global Hunger Index examines the available data for hunger levels around the world. This year’s GHI shows the effects of COVID, climate, and - most evidently - conflict in the factors that are preventing us from fighting the real enemy: hunger.
Here are the world's 10 hungriest countries in 2021.
Progress in Sierra Leone has suffered from a combination of major crises and bad timing: The country had just begun to recover from an 11-year civil war (1991-2002) when it became one of the epicenters of the West African Ebola outbreak (2014-16). The following year, it had one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, and is now facing the pandemic’s impact on food insecurity. Next to Liberia (#7), another center of the world’s largest Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone has the highest hunger levels in West Africa with more than a quarter of its citizens undernourished, and a child mortality rate of 10.9%.