The 2014 Global Hunger Index, now available from the International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, shows a steady decrease in hunger in most developing countries.
Some countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, could not be scored within the hunger index due to a lack of data. Plantwise country, Sierra Leone, is in the worst three countries for under-five mortality due to poor access to healthcare and malnutrition.
A more positive result from this year’s study is that sub-Saharan countries, Rwanda, Malawi and Ghana, were noted as African countries that had seen the most improvement in GHI scores since 1990. Ghana reduced child underweight and child mortality by more than 40 percent and cut the proportion of
undernourished from 44 percent in 1990–1992 to less than 5 percent in 2011–2013. Investment in agriculture in the country has had knock-on effects in other sectors, including education and health.
Four Southeast Asian and South Asian Plantwise countries, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Bangladesh, are reported to have “showed dramatically improved scores since 1990”. NGO and public programmes operating in Bangladesh have worked to improve the nutritional health of children. Economic growth and government nutrition programmes have led to progress in nutrition in Thailand.
The estimated number of children that are underweight in India dropped from an estimated 43.5% in 2005-2006 to 30.7% in 2013-2014. However, the country is still ranking below Nepal and Sri Lanka in the 2014 GHI.
The good results of this latest report for many Plantwise countries aren’t to say that efforts to tackle hunger should be reduced. Many of them are still showing a GHI described as “serious” or worse. The Plantwise approach of national plant health systems to help farmers lose less of their crop to pests can contribute to production of food, and can complement programmes that tackle the nutritional value of crops.