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Mexico World Leader in Hunger Reduction!

15 October 2010 No Comment

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) has been issued by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) since 2006. The GHI evaluates hunger for 122 non-industrialized countries from a multidimensional perspective, considering three basic indicators: 1) the proportion of undernourished people, 2) the proportion of underweight children under five and 3) the infant mortality rate.

According to GHI, eradicating malnutrition is one of the main challenges in the world if we consider that child malnutrition can cause serious damage to health in the adult life, besides affecting the productivity and earning potential of individuals in the long term.

In its most recent version, the 2010 GHI evaluates malnutrition for the last 20 years, between 1990 and 2009. The GHI has a base of 100 points, where “0″ is the best rating possible, and that means no hunger, and “100″ is the worst possible rating. In practice there are no cases that come to “0″ or “100″, but the values lower than 4.9 represent “low hunger”, between 5.0 and 9.9 “moderate hunger”, values between 10.0 and 19.9 are a problem of “serious hunger.” Values between 20 and 29.9 show malnutrition levels that are considered “alarming” and values above 30.0 are “extremely alarming.”

In general, this rate has been declining consistently over the past 20 years globally. However, in the African continent the higher rates of malnutrition are observed and it is also precisely where the GHI has had its largest increase, reflecting a higher level of malnutrition. For example, in the last 20 years in Gambia and Liberia, the index has risen 6 percent in Zimbabwe 12 percent and in the Democratic Republic of Congo 66 percent which represents the largest increase.

Mexico is one of the leading countries in reducing global hunger due to results achieved in the last 20 years. The study places Mexico as a country with a low rate or “low hunger” level, with a score lower than 5. Moreover, Mexico is the fourth place in countries that have managed to reduce hunger with a 62 percent reduction in child malnutrition, as well as Turkey. Other Latin American countries like Nicaragua and Peru, have reduced hunger in 58 and 54 percent respectively. Tunisia and Ghana are among the African countries that have successfully managed to reduce this problem, having reduced hunger in 58 and 57 percent respectively. In Latin America, Bolivia and Guatemala are the countries that observed higher levels of hunger.

Mexico is a country that has managed to lower its level of hunger in a remarkable way, moving closer to comparable levels in some industrialized countries. Why is it then that we continue to see Mexico as a country with widespread hunger? Does it have to do with the Context from which we see Mexico? Let’s acknowledge what Mexico has accomplished as a country and identify new opportunities to make a difference in what is really missing. Anything is possible through a powerful Context.

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