Batswana are hungrier than their Southern African counterparts in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, the Global Hunger Index (GHI) released last week has revealed.
Despite concerted efforts by President Lt Gen Ian Khama to eradicate poverty, Botswana the latest index places Botswana under the “serious hunger” classification and shows that the country has been slipping down the rakings over the years.
The Global Hunger Index is a multidimensional statistical tool used to describe the state of countries’ hunger situation. The GHI measures progress and failures in the global fight against hunger. The GHI is updated once a year.
The Index was adopted and further developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and was first published in 2006 with the Welthungerhilfe, a German non-profit organization (NPO). Since 2007, the Irish NGO Concern Worldwide joined the group as co-publisher.
The 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) reportÔÇöthe twelfth in an annual series shows that although the world has made progress in reducing hunger since 2000, Botswana has been overtaken by a number of African countries which were hungrier in 1992.
Botswana for example has now been overtaken by Kenya, Cameroon, Togo, Gambia, Ghana and Senegal some of which at some stage were classified under “Alarming Hunger” and are now classified under less and moderate hunger which places them above Botswana.
The Index ranks countries on a 100-point scale, with 0 being the best score (no hunger) and 100 being the worst, although neither of these extremes is reached in practice. Values less than 10.0 reflect low hunger, values from 10.0 to 19.9 reflect moderate hunger, values from 20.0 to 34.9 indicate serious hunger, values from 35.0 to 49.9 reflect alarming hunger, and values of 50.0 or more reflect extremely alarming hunger levels.
The GHI combines 4 component indicators: 1) the proportion of the undernourished as a percentage of the population; 2) the proportion of children under the age of five suffering from wasting; 3) the proportion of children under the age of five suffering from stunting; 4) the mortality rate of children under the age of five.[GHI2016 1]
The data and projections used for the 2017 GHI are for the period from 2011 to 2016ÔÇöthe most recent available data for the four components of the GHI. The data on the proportion of undernourished come from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and include authors’ estimates. Data on child wasting and stunting are collected from UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, WHO, MEASURE DHS.