Global Hunger Index 2013 - Welthungerhilfe
Global Hunger Index 2013
Strengthening people's resilience
The Global Hunger Index is issued for the eigth time in 2013. The joint report by Welthungerhilfe, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Irish organisation Concern Worldwide highlights the development of the hunger situation at the global, regional and national level, and investigates the reasons of the developments.
- Global Hunger Index on the go
This year's Global Hunger Index shows how progress in the fight against hunger is secured: People receive support to increase their resistance to natural disasters, conflicts and rising food prices.
Similar to previous years, the Index classifies the situation in many countries as "serious" and even "alarming" in some countries such as Burundi and Eritrea. South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are particularly hard-hit, while East and South-East Asia, along with Latin America and the Caribbean, have made the most progress in the fight against hunger.
India, a country that enjoys steady economic growth, has nevertheless not been able to reduce the staggering amount of inequality in its population - and hence the high level of hunger. The two South-East Asian countries Vietnam and Thailand, on the other hand, used their economic growth as an opportunity and have achieved significant success in the fight against hunger since 1990.
Browse in the Global Hunger Index 2013
Breaking the spell
The management of crises is the centrepiece of the GHI 2013
The Global Hunger Index 2013 shows that many of the countries that are most severely afflicted by hunger are also most severely affected by crises. It is not enough to provide these people with short-term assistance during droughts or an explosion in food prices.
To enable them to escape the cycle of hunger of poverty, Welthungerhilfe lends long-term support to increase people’s resistance, and works with them to reduce risks. Future generations may look back on the 20th century as the proverbial calm before the storm. The number of natural disasters is rising. News about possible government insolvencies or bubbles on financial markets point to barely perceived economic risks.
Disasters as part of daily life
At the same time, political unrest and civil wars are also on the rise. To many people in developing countries, the persisting nature of crisis is nothing new. More than half of the rural population in the African Sahel zone lacks permanent secure access to adequate food supplies; in South-East Asia, the floods that follow tropical storms have become a part of normal life.
When a disaster hits, people must deal with the effects: the risks to their health, the loss of material things or the destruction of harvests. People have little in the way of options in the absence of private insurance or rescue funds that cover damages, or when there are no provisions to fall back on. Should they take their children out of the school if they can no longer afford the fees? Or eat less? Or sell their only cow?
Outside aid as a last chance
The intervals between disasters are too short and people’s resources too inadequate to restore the living standard that existed before the disaster. The next crisis could hit people even harder. For many, outside humanitarian aid is the only chance of survival. People are caught in a downward spiral of crises, emergency aid and a worsening living situation.
New approaches are needed to break up this cycle. It is important to strengthen the resistance (resilience) of people and structures. To this end, existing capacities and mechanisms that help to overcome crises must be expanded.
Better handling of emergency situations
At the same time, people need assistance for better handling acute emergency situations and chronic problems such as droughts, without putting their future perspectives at risk. This requires the establishment of early warning systems, the storage and processing of food, and the construction of irrigation systems. A stronger village community watches that authorities also maintain transparency with respect to emergency spending, and that help arrives where it is needed the most.
And it is also important to try new things. Farmers in Haiti have converted to growing onions, because they are more profitable when they are sold, which enables them to build up emergency reserves for bad times. In Kenya, farmers grow gardens in addition to keeping animals as an additional source of support.
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International Food Policy Research Institute, USA
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Washington, DC 20006-1002
52-55 Lower Camden Street
Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland
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