Monrovia – The 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report recently revealed that hunger severity in Liberia is alarming and attention is needed. Global hunger levels have fallen more than a quarter ( 27%) since 2000, but more recent rising hunger scores of several countries in this year’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) underline how uneven this progress has been and how precarious it is to maintain.
The 2017 GHI was released on October 12th by Welthungerhilfe (WHH), Concern Worldwide and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The report revealed that eight out of 119 countries assessed across the world suffer from either extremely alarming or alarming levels of hunger. All of these countries are in Africa, more precisely south of the Sahara except for Yemen.
They are Liberia, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Zambia.
The report mentioned that global hunger level remains high, with great differences not only among countries but also within countries.
In the case of Liberia, the latest results are not positive as the country ranks 112th out of 119 countries, with 35.3 points out of 100.
It can be recalled in 2016, Liberia was ranked 84th out of 102 countries in the GHI report thus putting the country at the time in a category of serious severity, with 30.7 points out of 100.
This year, the GHI score places Liberia in a hunger-alarming category. Even though in general there has been good improvement in the last 10 years as compare to other years, it is no doubt that food security still remains an alarming threat in Liberia.
According to USAID office of food for peace food security desk review for Liberia (2016–2020), significant disparities in food insecurity can be found throughout Liberia, with some disparities in malnutrition prevalence as well.
In the implementation of its core mandate “Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security for the most vulnerable”, Welthungerhilfe has been supporting individual farmers, vulnerable households and communities in western Liberia (Bomi and Montserrado) and south-eastern Liberia (Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and River Gee) through activities on vegetable production and consumption, backyard gardening, nutrition awareness and hygiene promotion in schools and communities.
With its long presence in the country (since 2003) and in partnership with government line ministries (MoA, MoH, MoPW), local NGOs and internationally recognized organizations, Welthungerhilfe has been promoting agriculture, food and nutrition security actions integrated with other programmes on livelihoods, climate change, infrastructure, WASH and advocacy for farmers’ lands.
In the last 12 months, Welthungerhilfe has increased its engagement in the South East of Liberia to meet up with growing challenges in that region of the country.
These actions are part of the organization’s global strategy to fight hunger and strengthen farming families in regions mostly affected by hunger.
The GHI is released every year to provide means of comparing the levels of hunger between countries and regions and made attention call to the areas of the world in greatest need of additional resources to eliminate hunger.
It is a comprehensive tool designed to measure and track global hunger levels. Countries scores for GHI 2017 are calculated using four component indicators from available data at country level with focus on Undernourishment, Child Wasting, Child Stunting and Child Mortality.
It is evident that famine has cast a shadow over countries while conflict and climate change continue to hit the poorest the hardest.
This year’s report indicates that beyond these acute crises, long term obstacles to reducing hunger in several countries may also be threatening efforts to reach zero hunger by 2030.
Shenggen Fan, director general of the International Food Policy Institute said:
“The results of this year’s Global Hunger Index show that we cannot waiver in our resolve to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goal of zero hunger by 2030.
We have made great progress toward that goal but indications that this progress is threatened emphasizes the need to establish resilience in food systems.
"We must provide immediate aid to those areas facing the most severe crises, such as famines, and construct policies at the international and national levels to address the structural issues that create persistent food insecurity.”