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Malawi, others to miss hunger ending target

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Malawi is vying in the category of 46 other developing countries that could miss the target of completely eradicating hunger by 2030.

This is according to the 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI) jointly issued by Hunger Hilfe and Concern Worldwide.

Titled Hunger and Food Systems in Conflict Setting, the report points to a grim hunger situation in the said countries fueled by a toxic cocktail of the climate crisis, the Covid pandemic and increasingly severe and protracted violent conflicts.

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“Progress toward Zero Hunger by 2030, already far too slow, is showing signs of stagnating or even being reversed,” the report reads.

Based on current GHI projections, the world as a whole—and 47 countries in particular—will fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030 according to the report.

Conflict, climate change, and the Covid pandemic— three of the most powerful and toxic forces driving hunger— threaten to wipe out any progress that has been made against hunger in recent years.

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It recommends that governments must actively follow up on the United Nations Food Systems Summit by addressing the structural challenges embedded in our food systems—including inequities and threats to social cohesion, health, environment and climate.

This comes as Malawi is reported to have, however, made strides towards eradicating hunger.

Estimates show that maize production increased by 17.5 percent to 4,447,494 metric tonnes from 3,785,712 metric tonnes produced last season.

In an interview yesterday, Concern Worldwide Country Director Yousaf Jogezai said if Malawi were unable to meet the 2030 target, this could worsen poverty levels.

“This evidence shows that there are current setbacks in the fight against hunger and suggests trouble ahead” Jogezai said.

In a separate interview yesterday, Civil Society Agriculture Network Executive Director Pamela Kuwali said as report was a true reflection that over one million Malawians were experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity, despite Malawi’s record high maize production of 46 percent above the five-year average.

“The population experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity require urgent action to reduce food gaps, protect and restore livelihoods and prevent acute malnutrition” Kuwali said.

She said some people in some districts and cities experienced severe dry spells and earlier than normal rainfall.

A recent Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee report indicates that about 1.4 million Malawians face the risk of hunger this year.

The GHI is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional and national levels.

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