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Sunday, October 20, 2013

GHI calls for efforts to boost food, nutrition security

Anthony Nwakaegho/NaijaAgroNet

 The 2013 Global Hunger Index (GHI), released for the eighth year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, calls for greater resilience-building efforts to boost food and nutrition security.

NaijaAgroNet noted from the 2013 Index  that global hunger is decreasing as the 2013 world GHI score has fallen by 34 percent from the 1990 GHI score, yet world hunger still remains “serious,” with 19 countries suffering from levels of hunger that are either “alarming” or “extremely alarming.”

The Index identifies hunger levels and hotspots across 120 developing countries with South Asia having the highest regional GHI score, followed by Africa south of the Sahara, Burundi, Eritrea and Comoros have the highest levels of hunger while countries where situation is already “alarming” or “extremely alarming” are vulnerable to the negative effects of extreme weather events, climate change, population pressure, conflicts and economic crises.

 Welthungerhilfe’s Chairlady,  Bärbel Dieckmann said “2.6 billion people have to live on less than two dollars a day. For them a sick family member, a single drought or the job loss of someone working abroad is a major crisis. As a consequence, a child can no longer afford to go to school, the family diet is reduced to often one meal a day or livestock needs to be sold. These people have simply no coping mechanisms left to react to a crisis.” 

The IFPRI research fellow Derek Headey said that adopting a resilience lens is challenging because there was need to build consensus on what it means and on that basis adopt programs and policies that bridge the relief and development sectors.

Concern Worldwide ‘s Chief Executive Officer Dominic MacSorley explained “We must focus on those living in extreme poverty, learn the lessons of the past and be clear what measures are needed to enable the very poorest to become more resilient in the longer term. Concern’s work in Kenya, Ethiopia, Niger and Chad is demonstrating how a resilience approach can deliver significant and sustainable change at community level. Turning this evidence into policy change is the next important step.”

NaijaAgroNet recorded from the report that developing high-frequency surveillance systems for the most vulnerable regions, focusing on community as well as individual and household resilience should be incorporated into national and regional development strategies as something distinct from conventional growth, poverty, or development objectives as pursuing this will improve food and nutrition security for the world’s most vulnerable.

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