The challenge of hunger: Taming price spikes and excessive food price volatility
Today marks the launch of the 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, the sixth in an annual series, which presents a multidimensional measure of global, regional, and national hunger. This year's report shows that although the world has made some progress in reducing hunger, the proportion of hungry people remains high. The 2011 GHI has improved by slightly more than one-quarter over the 1990 GHI, but globally, hunger remains at a level categorized as “serious.”
Across regions and countries, GHI scores vary greatly. The highest GHI scores occur in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. South Asia reduced its GHI score substantially between 1990 and 1996, but this fast progress could not be maintained. Though Sub-Saharan Africa made less progress than South Asia after 1990, it has caught up since the turn of the millennium. To view individual country rankings, use the interactive widget below.
The report also examines the issue of price spikes and excessive food price volatility, which have significant effects on poor and hungry people. In addition to understanding the factors contributing to this situation, the authors argue that it is crucial to take steps to moderate food price volatility and to help the most vulnerable people achieve food and nutrition security. These include the following actions: strengthening social protection systems, improve emergency preparedness, investing in sustainable small-scale agriculture, improving livelihood opportunities for both the rural and urban poor, and strengthening the provision of basic services such as education, healthcare, and sanitation.