Food insecurity is one of the saddest humanitarian crisis that some parts of the world is still battling with. Over 870 million people in the world people are starving out of hunger right now. However, since 2000 there has been decline by 28% in the global hunger level.
But, in almost half of the 119 countries, hunger levels are alarming.
Unfortunately, despite adequate agricultural produce which is enough to feed everyone there are an estimated 98% hunger-stricken people still starving. It is due to extremely unequal distribution of the food. The rich who can afford good food stay healthy and hearty and the poor with no money are left to starve.
Hence, zero hunger is not a dream but an obligation to the global community. As stated in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “Every human has the right to adequate, sufficient and healthy food”.
Here let’s look at the top hungriest countries and cause according to the 2018 Global Hunger Index.
Timor-Leste is one of Asia’s poorest countries is the small island nation. The children here suffer from stunting which means low height for a child’s age.
One in every two children suffers from stunting. Therefore due to prolong lack of nutrition can cause stunting which often impacts a child’s cognitive development as well.
As per the United Nations prediction, over two million people will soon become severly insecure in Afghanisthan. Severe drought has impacted the families to go hungry who have already relocated due to conflicts.
Violence and conflict including two civil wars since decades have ripped off Sudan. Thus, more than 2.4 million refugees who have fled to neighboring Sudan, requires emergency food assistance
About 40% of children under five are stunted due to lack of nutrition and current food insecurity . Morover, El Niño have led to drop in food production and rise in hunger level.
In the western Hemisphere, Haiti has the highest level of hunger. A destructive combination of natural disaster like earthquakes, hurricanes and floods and political instability has highly affected this island nation. Half the polpulation survives on less than $2 a day.
The enivornmental degradation has also limited the food production. The most strcking evidence of poverty in Haiti is the mud cake which is now a delicacy for the poor. These mud cakes are made with a special kind of mud, salt and water that are dried and eaten.
The brutal conflicts in Yemen has driven most of the populations from their homes. The food crisis in Yemen is the consequence of the civil war that continues over the years. About 18 million people suffer from hunger and 8 million are at risk of starvation. Just for the survival about 11 million people need humanitarian assistance.
Sierra Leone is one of among the six African countries with alarming levels of hunger. Rampant poverty prevails despite relative political stability and peace after a decade-long civil war. Therefore, the Human Development Index is the lowest in this country.
Just a few Years ago, Sierra Leone was hard hit by Ebola and immidietely a widespread food shortages followed. Recently, flooding and mudslides, where hundreds died have again highly impacted the nation.
Zambia is adversely affected by Climate change despite of enjoying peace and stability for a long time. Most of the farmers rely on rains to grow their crops but inadequate hampers the agricultural produce. Hence, 60% of the population lives in poverty, and stunting impacts 40% of Zambia’s children.
In Africa the highest number of cyclones occur in Madagascar. Hence , every year this country is hit by an average of 1.5 cyclones. Natural calamities includes extreme storms, long periods of drought and locust attacks has worsen the situation. This combination of natural calamities happening together leads to failed harvests and widespread hunger. The 50% of the children are under the grip of chronic hunger and are stunted.
In Chad, the harvest fails due to continuous drought or unpredictable rains. Due to poor harvest, there is acute food insecurity. Hence, one-third of the population suffers undernourishment and 40%.
Moreover, conflicts in this region have drawn hundreds of thousands of refugees from Nigeria, Sudan and the Central African Republic to enter Chad, as a result, there is a dire need for emergency food assistance.
THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Central African Republic tops the list as the “hungriest country in the world.” The ethnic violence and conflict since 2012 have caused instability in the country that disturbs the food production. Moreover, such unrest has displaced over one million people. About half the population are in need of humanitarian assistance.
However, the international agencies like the World Bank and United Nations looks forward to end extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.