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Sub-Saharan Africa off-track MDG targets

afrol News, 12 October - Many Sub-Saharan African countries are presently off-track to reach all Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets to half hunger and child mortality in 2015.

This news is contained in the Global Hunger Index report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and German Agro-Action and Concern Worldwide.

Of the 42 sub-Saharan countries, 38 are off-track regarding child mortality, 35 are out of track on reducing child malnutrition while 27 are off-track to reduce the proportion of calorie deficient people.

Worldwide, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo experienced the greatest setbacks towards achieving the Global Hunger Index target for 2015, followed by Swaziland, Liberia, and North Korea.

"Despite these negative setbacks, there is good news. Every region of the world is experiencing some progress," Wiesmann said. "In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, Mozambique, Ghana, and Malawi have made considerable progress towards reducing hunger."

Ethiopia and India have also made notable progress, and are very close to being on track to achieve the Global Hunger Index target based on the (MDGs) by 2015. Mozambique, Ghana, and Malawi have made considerable progress towards reducing hunger.

“Because hunger has many faces, the Global Hunger Index uses a multidimensional approach that simultaneously captures various aspects of hunger and under nutrition,” said Doris Wiesmann, IFPRI Index Researcher. “By combining three indicators into one index and ranking countries accordingly, the Index gives us a very comprehensive picture of hunger in developing and transitional countries.”

New this year, the Global Hunger Index assesses whether developing countries are on track to reach MDG targets that relate to the three Index indicators - the proportion of people who are calorie deficient, child malnutrition, and child mortality.

The Index ranks countries for six different years, beginning in 1981. The most recent round was calculated for 2004 and ranks 118 countries. Nine of the ten countries with the highest levels of hunger are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Wiesman said the leaders of 189 countries signed the Millennium Development Declaration [a global plan to met the needs of the world’s most poor and hungry by 2015] in September 2000.

"We are now midway between the declaration and the deadline,” the IFPRI Researcher noted while urging “countries and regions that are not on track to meet the goals for reducing hunger and child mortality, we hope the Global Hunger Index motivates world and national leaders to take increased action to ensure that the goals are achieved."

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