The 1,000 days of life “from conception to two years” go a long way in setting a child’s health, education, and productivity patterns, she says, adding: “In order to improve the hunger index, countries will have to accelerate progress in child nutrition.”
The Global Hunger Index, or GHI, is a country-by-country report card issued to correspond with World Food Day on Oct. 16. Two international poverty- and hunger-reduction nongovernmental organizations, Germany’s Welthungerhilfe and Ireland’s Concern Worldwide, team up with IFPRI to deliver the annual snapshot of global hunger.
The report comes as the world makes some progress in reducing the spike in global hunger that followed an onslaught of food shortages and food price hikes in 2008, food experts say. But they add that the world remains far from achieving the goal, set by world leaders in 2000, of cutting world hunger in half by 2015.
“The number of hungry people has actually been increasing … on the heels of a global food price crisis and in the midst of worldwide recession,” says the foreword to the report. The good news, it adds, is that the number of undernourished people globally is estimated to have fallen from the spike of more than 1 billion in 2009 to 925 million this year.
Global hunger has fallen by about a quarter since 1990, Ms. Ruel notes. And some food experts say they are seeing the focus on early childhood nutrition that is necessary to sustain that progress.