Life on the Magins

brief notes on people affected by food insecirity, MEGs linked to food security, conserns about our food supply and famine and malnutrition. 

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Key Facts about Food Insecurity

  • Globally there were 870 million chronically undernouished people (850 million in developing countries)

Areas of Food Insecurity - most food insecure:

  • South Asia has 35% of the world's undernourished people - 304 million
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has 27% of the world's undernourished people - 243 million
  • Western Asia and North Africa has 29% of the world's undernourished people - 25 million
  • South East Asia still has 65 million people undernourished, however it has fallen from 13 - 7.5% over the last 25 years.
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The Millenium Development Goals

These consist of 8 goals to be acheived by 2015; 2 of which relate to hunger:

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty

  • Lowering the number of individuals living on $1.25 a day (Poverty Line)
  • North Africa is on track to meet it, with Tunisia already achieving the goal
  • Sub Saharan Africa is (sort-of) on track with some countries making progres
    • Nigeria
    • Zambia

Goal 8: A Global Partnership of Developement

  • Development can improve farming, production and job opportunities, which can make food more accesssible and secure.
  • This includes the use of Bilaterial Aid and Investment.
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Our Concerns about Food Supply

  • We are using goods from other countries - food is being sent to us rather being grown for the population.
  • Climate Change is making it hard to grow food:
    • Desertification
    • Less Predictable Precipitation
    • Rising Temperatures adjust food growing conditions and reduce yields
    • The food supply is of a lower quality
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Famine and Malnutrition

Famine is a short term, critical shortage of food, which is so severe that individuals are put at risk of death. Famine is widespread/regional.

Malnutrition is the stage before Famine.

Causes of Malnutrition:

  • On-going war - populations money used to pay debt from war.
  • Debt - money used to pay debt and not on shelter, water supply, education, food.
  • High Population Growth - more people to feed!
  • Global Warming - long term decline in water supplies, unpredictable weather, lower food production.

Countries with Sufficient Food Supply will not suffer from famine. Countries with Malnutrition could suffer Famine due to Triggers such as Desertification, Natural Disasters, Loss of Water Supply and Migration. These Triggers reduce the Food Supply.

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Food Supply and Security Varies Spacially - Index

International Food Policy Research Institute Index 2012 (IFRPRs)

  • Global Hunger Index
  • Shows change between 1990 – 2012 (not static)
  • Mostly good news
  • Many countries have seen their food insecurity increase, and go red.

Very Bad Food Insecurity: North Korea, Ivory Coast

Small decrease in food insecurity: India, Africa and Bangladesh  

Reduction of Food Insecurity by 50%:China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Mexico

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Why the decrease in Food Insecurity since 1990

Cote d’lvoire

  • Underweight children increased by 10% points between 1999 and 2007.
  • Children in conflicted areas had more health setbacks than children in non-conflicting countries, according to research.
  • The 1999 Military Coup and 2002 – 2007 Civil War increased hunger, for example the GHI in 2001 increased by 1.6 points.

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Child Underweight remains the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The GHI from 1990 – 2012 has worsened in the DRC.
  • Probably caused by conflict or due to lack of data to calculate the GHI, which has produced an inaccurate figure.
  • Fighting with rebel forces
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Why the increase in Food Insecurity since 1990


  • Suffers from Income Equality and the AIDS and HIV epidemic, which has encouraged hunger.
  • 2009 -> HIV reached 26%
  • GHI has improved ffrom the 1990s - 2001
  • Child has reduced since a peak in 2003.
  • Peaks of GHI caused by increases in undernourishment and rises in child mortality in 2002.

North Korea

  • North Korea is the only country out of the 4, which has improved its GHI.
  • Hunger occurred in 1995, but large scale food deliveries solved the problem temporarily.
  • The GHI rose between 1990 and 1996, despite humanitarian aid.
  • High Military Spending, a Weak Economy, Crop Failures and Agricultural Related Problems have hindered progress to reduce the GNI.
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Food Supply and Security Varies Spacially - Index

Maplecrofts Food Security Risk Index 2013

  • It is an annual snapshot
  • Newest Index available
  • Shows worse news than IFPR Index 2012


Extreme Risk: Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan

High Risk: Sub-Saharan Africa (Niger and Nigeria)

Low Risk: North America, Europe, Australasia and South Africa

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