-2017 Global Hunger Report
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) report for 2017 says hunger severity in Liberia is alarming and ranked the country 112 out of 119 countries assessed across the world, with 35.3 points out of 100.
The report has been released by Welthungerhilfe (WHH), Concern Worldwide and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
GHI 2017 scores are calculated using four component indicators from available data at country level with focus on undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality. This report is released every year by the three organizations to provide a means of comparing the levels of hunger between countries and regions and call attention to the areas of the world in greatest need of additional resources to eliminate hunger.
Long-term progress in reducing hunger in the world is highlighted in the 2017 GHI. The advances have been uneven, however, with millions of people still experiencing chronic hunger and many places suffering acute food crises and even famine, the report indicated. According to this year’s GHI scores, the level of hunger in the world has decreased by 27 percent from the 2000 level. Of the 119 countries assessed in this year’s report, one fell in the extremely alarming range on the GHI Severity Scale; seven in the alarming range; 44 in the serious range; and 24 in the moderate range. Only 43 countries had scores in the low range. In addition, nine of the 13 countries that lack sufficient data for calculating 2017 GHI scores still raised significant concern, including Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.
The regions of the world struggling most with hunger, the report showed, are South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara, with scores in the serious range (30.9 and 29.4, respectively). The scores of East and Southeast Asia, the Near East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States ranged from low to moderate (between 7.8 and 12.8). These averages conceal some troubling results within each region, including scores in the serious range for Tajikistan, Guatemala, Haiti, and Iraq and in the alarming range for Yemen, as well as scores in the serious range for half of all countries in East and Southeast Asia, whose average benefits from China’s low score of 7.5.
Eight countries suffer from extremely alarming or alarming levels of hunger. Except for Yemen, all are in Africa south of the Sahara: Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Liberia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Zambia. Many of these countries have experienced political crises or violent conflicts in the past several decades, the report stated. CAR and Yemen, in particular, have been riven by war in recent years.
From the 2000 GHI to the 2017 GHI, the scores of 14 countries improved by 50 percent or more; those of 72 countries dropped by between 25 and 49.9 percent; and those of 27 countries fell by less than 25 percent. Only CAR, the sole country in the extremely alarming range, showed no progress. This year’s report provides a look at subnational-level data on stunting, which revealed great disparities within countries. Differences in hunger and nutrition profiles mean that, in most countries, a one size-fits-all approach to tackling hunger and under nutrition is unlikely to yield the best results. Region or state-level data, together with other information—for example, from focus group interviews—can serve as a solid foundation for good program and policy design. Within countries in all regions of the world are wide variations in subnational-level rates of childhood stunting. Even in some countries with a low national average, there are places where childhood stunting levels are high, the report revealed.