• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Nigeria’s ranking in global hunger index unchanged

Nigeria’s ranking in global hunger index unchanged

For the second year in a row, Nigeria has ranked 103rd out of 121 countries in the recently released 2022 Global Hunger Index report (GHI).

With a GHI score of 27.3, the index termed the level of hunger in the country as serious.

“Nigeria, with a serious hunger level, has the second-highest child mortality rate, at 11.4 percent, just after Somalia, at 11.5 percent,” the report stated.

The report also identified conflict as a key contributor to food insecurity or hunger for many of the Africa South of the Sahara region’s countries, including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.

“Awareness of which countries struggle the most according to each indicator is urgently required to ensure these problems do not go unheeded.”

The index, prepared by concern worldwide and Wellthungerhilfe, is a tool for measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels. It is aimed to trigger action to reduce hunger around the world.

For the GHI score, the international organisations calculated four indicators, undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and the mortality rate of children under the age of five.

“Thirteen percent of the population in Nigeria is undernourished, 6.5 percent of children under five are wasted, 31.5 percent of children under five have stunted growth and 11.4 percent of children die before their fifth birthday,” it stated.

According to the United Nations (UN), food insecurity is the lack of consistent access to food, which diminishes dietary quality, disrupts normal eating patterns, and can have negative consequences for nutrition, health and well-being.

For Africa’s biggest economy, the impact of the Ukraine-Russia crisis which started in February this year has led to a surge in food prices, worsening the living standards of Nigerians, especially the vulnerable, thereby leading to an increase in poverty.

“Rising prices have already put even the most basic foods beyond the reach of many poor families across the globe. If the war in Ukraine continues, food inflation will spell greater disaster, especially for poorer countries.

Damilola Adewale, a Lagos-based economic analyst also noted that the development has added more strain on consumers’ finances with their purchasing power becoming weaker.

In September, the country’s inflation surged to 20.77 percent, the highest in 17 years compared to 20.52 percent in the previous month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows.

Also, food inflation, which comprises more than 50 percent of inflation, rose for the seventh consecutive month to 23.34 percent to 23.12 percent.

Before inflation started rising, there were 82.9 million poor Nigerians but the number has risen to 90.1 million in 2021 and is projected to hit 95.1 million in 2022, the World Bank report states.

Basically, all the people who live below the poverty line in Nigeria are food insecure, says Matthias Schmale, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria

If we want to avoid serious damage to the house and serious hunger, there needs to be an element of social protection and direct support to these people,” Schmale said.

Earlier in the year, the World Food Programme projected in its 2022 Global report on food Crises that the number of Nigerians facing acute food insecurity would increase by 6.7 million to 19.5 million in 2022 from 12.8 million in 2021.

“Some food-crisis countries are of particular concern due to their high dependency on both food and fertiliser imports from Ukraine and the Russian Federation, and their vulnerability to global food price shocks,” the report stated.

It added that the largest of these importers included Yemen, Sudan, Nigeria and Ethiopia, which are consistently among the world’s ten largest food-crisis countries.