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The Central African Republic, which has a population of 4.6 million, has the highest hunger levels out of 119 countries where data could be collected for the 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) launched today.
The report highlights the conflict-troubled African nation, where around half its citizens are undernourished, as being the sole country in the GHI’s most severe category of “extremely alarming” - a level no country has fallen to since 2014.
A shocking 51 other countries are ranked as having “serious” or “alarming” hunger according to the study - jointly released today by Concern Worldwide, German aid agency Welthungerhilfe and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) - in a year when famine cast a shadow over four nations where over 20 million people are still at risk of starvation.
Worryingly, a lack of data meant 13 countries were not included in this year’s GHI, despite significant concerns being raised about nine of them, including war-torn South Sudan, where famine was declared by the United Nations (UN) in February.
Somalia, another country with insufficient information for the list, was also at risk of famine this year.
Ongoing conflicts in many of these countries, including Syria, were a key factor that inhibited the collection of data necessary for calculating GHI scores.
The report also includes a stark warning that despite the global hunger dropping by 27 per cent in the last 15 years, the United Nations looks likely to fail in reaching the target it set in 2015 to have hunger eradicated by 2030.
“Shamefully, large parts of the world are falling deeper into a perpetual food crisis, despite wealthy nations having the resources, knowledge and technology to reverse this course,” said Concern Worldwide Chief Executive, Dominic MacSorley, whose organisation works in seven of the ten countries highlighted in the GHI with the highest levels of hunger.