By REBECCA MUSHOTA –
ZAMBIA has recorded an increase in its score on the Global Food Security index by 1.7 points while maintaining the 98th position out of 109 countries.
The 2014 Global Food Security index was released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study, commissioned by DuPont Institute.
The index is measured on food availability, affordability and safety and quality.
Zambia scored 32.6 out of 100 points in 2014 recording an increase of 1.7 points from 2013 while maintaining the same position.
Zambia shared the increased score of 1.7 points with the United States (US), Chad and Italy while Uganda was the most improved on the index with 5.8 points.
Myanmar recorded the most declined score with -4.1 points followed by Madagascar.
South Africa with 61.1 points is the best performing African country followed by Botswana.
Zambia performed better than three of its neighbours Tanzania, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The first top five countries are US, Austria, Netherlands, Norway and Singapore while the last five are Burundu, Togo, Madagascar, Chad and the DRC.
Overall, the report said food security had slowly, but markedly, improved during the past year.
“Approximately 842 million people today are estimated to be experiencing chronic hunger, down from 868 million a year ago, an almost three per cent decline. This caps a quarter of a century of progress, with the number of undernourished individuals falling by 17 per cent since 1990,” the report said.
Improvement was evident across the globe, but particularly in developing countries, which generally started with more food-insecure environments.
Low-and lower-middle-income countries (a group in which Zambia falls) particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, recorded the largest gains despite facing the weakest food security environment.
Notwithstanding such progress, global food insecurity remained a challenge.
In particular, food price inflation appeared to be negatively impacting food security in many regions.
Although advanced countries generally outperformed their developing neighbours, they experienced their own challenges caused by lower economic growth rates.
The index builds on existing food security research and frameworks, including the annual State of Food Insecurity in the World report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Global Hunger Index of the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the Maplecroft Food Security Risk Index, among others.