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2018 Global Hunger Index by Severity


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Moreover, consumption of iodized salt, the absence of which is associated with child stunting Krämer et al. In large and highly populous Nigeria , stunting levels are dichotomous, with a stark difference between rates of stunting in the north and the south of the country. Households in the north tend to be poorer on average and depend heavily on agricultural activities, which in some northern states have been disrupted by terrorist activity; these disruptions increase food insecurity and may contribute to child stunting Akombi et al.

In northern Nigeria, stunting starts at an earlier age than in the rest of the country, suggesting that the poor nutritional status of the mother during pregnancy is a greater problem there. Efforts to address child stunting in Nigeria must take into account these and other differences Amare et al. In addition to geographic inequalities, there are other important dimensions of inequality, such as gender-based inequality, racial and ethnic inequality, and inequality based on educational status.

Disaggregated hunger and nutrition indicators other than child stunting should also be considered. In the formulation of policies and interventions to address undernutrition, the key is to consider these and other factors as a means of both diagnosing the problem and devising solutions to meet the challenges at hand.

In the case of 13 countries assessed for the GHI, data were unavailable for one or more indicators used in the GHI formula, preventing the calculation of their GHI scores. In some cases, data are unavailable as a result of violent conflict or political unrest, which are also strong predictors of hunger and undernutrition, so the countries with missing data may be the ones suffering most. Based on the data that are available and information from international organizations that specialize in combating hunger and undernutrition, we have determined that 7 of the countries with missing data are cause for significant concern.

The following is a brief explanation of what is known about the hunger and nutrition situation in each of the 7 countries; the table below shows the existing GHI indicator values for these countries. Chronic malnutrition, as measured by child stunting the prevalence of low height-for-age , is rampant in Burundi. Since the onset of political unrest in , roughly , Burundian refugees have fled to neighboring countries, where budget shortfalls for humanitarian efforts present a challenge in terms of ensuring adequate food and health services for the refugee population UNHCR c.

The DRC has been beset by ongoing conflict and far-reaching poverty in recent decades. Since , increasing levels of violence have precipitated a crisis; as of December , about 4.

Roughly 43 percent of children under the age of five are stunted, 8 percent are wasted, and the child mortality rate is 9 percent. Undernutrition in Eritrea is related to the challenges of food production that result from limited arable land, water shortages, and frequent droughts.

According to the UN Human Rights Council, human rights abuses, indefinite conscription, and a faltering economy have helped make Eritrea one of the largest refugee-producing countries in the world UNHRC A peace agreement signed between Eritrea and Ethiopia in July officially ended hostilities that have been ongoing between the two countries since Since the Arab Spring protests in and the capture and death of longtime authoritarian ruler Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has faced ongoing conflict between rival groups over control of the country.

Conflict and instability have disrupted agricultural production and diminished the supply of food available for sale in markets. In , Somalia experienced a famine that took the lives of more than , people Seal and Bailey , and in a severe drought again brought the country to the brink of famine FEWS NET While the situation has improved in , many still face food insecurity, particularly in the northern and central parts of the country.

The prevalence of undernourishment in Somalia for — is estimated to be This is the second-highest undernourishment rate in this report, after that of the Central African Republic. A civil war that began in has plunged South Sudan into crisis. Large segments of the population have been displaced.

Nearly 1 in 10 children does not survive to his or her fifth birthday. Child stunting and child wasting are estimated to be Since the onset of the Syrian civil war in , food insecurity has been a serious and ongoing concern. As of June , Furthermore, the Syrian government has been accused of using food blockades as a weapon of war, deliberately exacerbating the situation Human Appeal See Appendix B for a list of data sources. The GHI reveals that broadly speaking, hunger and undernutrition have fallen since , but progress in many areas has stagnated or even reversed in recent times.

At the regional level, this stagnation manifests itself in stalled progress on certain indicators—since the rate of child wasting in South Asia has increased, and the prevalence of undernourishment in Africa south of the Sahara has increased marginally.

Of the countries with moderate , serious , alarming , or extremely alarming hunger levels, 16 have seen no improvement or even experienced a deterioration in hunger levels since Countries facing conflict fare particularly poorly owing to disruptions to food and clean water supplies, livelihoods, and health care services, which combine to jeopardize food and nutrition security.

In many cases, the conditions precipitate crises of forced migration, and those who are displaced both within and beyond their home countries struggle to properly feed themselves and their families. This is the case in many of the countries that rank the worst according to the GHI, as well as the countries for which there are inadequate data to calculate scores.

Yet there is still hope. Countries that experienced brutal civil wars and extremely alarming hunger levels in the past have seen remarkable reductions in hunger once their situations stabilized. Although there are exceptions, the overall trends in hunger and undernutrition are promising and show improvements over time.