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Multiple crises impeding global efforts to tackle hunger – 2023 Global Hunger Index
Multiple overlapping crises are impeding global efforts to tackle hunger, according to the 2023 Global Hunger Index (GHI) published today, which shows that hunger levels are at “serious” or “alarming” levels in 43 countries.
“This year’s report shows that the impacts of climate change, Covid-19, economic hardship and the conflict in Ukraine have slowed and even reversed years of progress made on fighting hunger worldwide,” said Danny Harvey, UK Executive Director of Concern Worldwide, which is one of the report’s co-authors.
“After all the advances made in previous years, progress to reduce global hunger is at a standstill, leaving around 735 million people to go hungry,” she said.
The GHI scores countries using a 100 point severity of hunger scale.
Nine countries in this year’s report are experiencing “alarming” levels of hunger. They include Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Niger, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
The report shows that progress against hunger worldwide has largely stalled, with 14 countries with moderate, serious or alarming hunger scores showing improvements of less than five percent this year compared to 2015. For 18 countries, hunger scores increased since 2015.
However, despite the global challenges some countries continue to make progress in reducing hunger since 2015, including Bangladesh, Chad, Djibouti, Lao PDR, Mozambique, Nepal and Timor-Leste.
The 2023 report also focuses on the future food needs of the world’s current young population – the majority of whom live in low- and middle-income countries in south Asia, east Asia and Africa. Currently 42% of the world’s population is aged under-25.
“They are emerging into adulthood in a context of inherently unequal and unsustainable food systems that fail to deliver food and nutrition security and are highly vulnerable to climate change and environmental degradation,” according to young academics Wendy Gexa and Mendy Ndlovu from the University of KswZulu-Natal, South Africa.
In their essay, commissioned for the report, they warn that young people are inheriting food systems that are failing on multiple fronts.
Food systems are the network of activities required to produce food and get it to consumers. It includes production, processing, transport and consumption.
“Young people, particularly young women, are hardest hit by the failure of food systems to provide a nutritious diet,” said Concern (UK)’s Danny Harvey.
“Yet they lack access to the land, finance, skills and voice that would enable them to engage in shaping more resilient and sustainable food systems. It is vital that young people are given the opportunity to play a pivotal role in food systems both in policy and production,” she said.
Concern Worldwide and GHI co-authors German non-governmental organisation Welhungerhilfe are calling for increased representation of young people in policy making and decision making when it comes to food systems. Governments must improve young people’s access to productive resources, reform land and property rights and enable young people to profitably and sustainably engage in farming.
To read the 2023 GHI report, visit: www.concern.org.uk
For media queries, please contact Darren Vaughan, Senior Communications Officer, Concern Worldwide (UK), at [email protected]
Notes to editor
The GHI, now in its 18th year, ranks countries based on four key indicators:
- Undernourishment – the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake;
- Child stunting – the share of children aged under-five who have low height for their age , reflecting chronic undernutrition;
- Child wasting – the share of children aged under-five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute malnutrition;
- Child mortality – the share of children who die before their fifth birthday, partly reflecting the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments.
Countries are scored on a 100 point severity of hunger scale where zero is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst:
- Extremely alarming -- equal to or greater than 50;
- Alarming – 35 to 49.9;
- Serious – 20 – 34.9;
- Moderate – 10 -19.9;
- Low – equal to or lower than 9.9.
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