Yusuf Keketoma Sandi
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 November 2017
If you are a voter and looking for any more reason why the APC should be voted out on 7th March 2018, then the latest 2017 Global Hunger Index has shown the scale of their incompetence.
This is not a report published by SLPP or any opposition Political Party in Sierra Leone. Rather, it is jointly published by three renowned international organisations: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
And the data from which the Global Hunger Index ranks countries around the world are not from the SLPP or any opposition Political Party, the data are from respected international agencies like Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, United Nations Children’s Fund, The World Health Organisation, The world Bank and The United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.
Since APC came to power, many of these donor agencies have poured millions of dollars supporting Government programmes, and the data are very credible.
Most embarrassingly, the 2017 Global Hunger Index has ranked Sierra Leone third from the bottom with a shocking score of 38.5, putting the country only above Chad – scoring 43.5 and Central African Republic scoring 50.9.
The scoring means that Sierra Leone is ranked at 117th out of 119 countries which puts us at the unenviable position of third hungriest country in the World.
If that was not shameful enough, the 2017 Global Hunger Index Report names Sierra Leone as one of eight countries suffering from extremely alarming or alarming levels of hunger. The other seven countries include Yemen, Central African Republic, Chad, Liberia, Madagascar, Sudan and Zambia.
However, despite these countries being grouped in this category, the level of hunger is still higher in Sierra Leone than all the other countries, except for Chad and Central African Republic.
The ranking of Sierra Leone by the 2017 Global Hunger Index is far worst when you compare Sierra Leone to other West African countries. With the score of 38.5, Sierra Leone ranks as the Hungriest Country in West Africa and the Mano River Union.
The level of hunger in Sierra Leone is higher than in Liberia, Guinea and even Gambia. Liberia ranks 112th with a score of 35.3; Guinea ranks 94th with a score of 28.6 and Gambia ranks 79th with a score of 23.2.
It seems in Sierra Leone, the more the APC Government shouts about “Prosperity” the hungrier the citizens become.
To understand how bad the 2017 Global Hunger Index is for Sierra Leone, you only need to compare this year’s ranking to the 2016 Global Hunger Index. As bad as the 2016 Global Hunger Index was, Sierra Leone was scored 35.0 and ranked 112th out of 118 countries, which put us seventh from the bottom.
In the 2016 Global Hunger Index, the level of hunger in Sierra Leone was lower than Yemen, Madagascar, Haiti, Zambia, Chad and Central African Republic.
In the 2017 Global Hunger Index, with the exception of Chad and Central African Republic, the level of hunger in Sierra Leone is now higher than in Yemen, Madagascar, Haiti and Zambia. From seventh we have now dropped to third bottom.
Under the APC, rather than things getting better, they are just getting worse. In a country which has the highest inflation in West Africa, gross economic mismanagement, austerity and widespread poverty, it would have been a miracle if the 2017 Global Hunger Index had ranked us any better than the bottom.
The Annual Global Hunger Index looks at three broad dimensions: inadequate food supply to the entire population, Child Mortality and Child Undernutrition.
There are also four component indicators used to calculate the Global Hunger Index scores – undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality – and on every indicator Sierra Leone has performed abysmally.
Interestingly, this has been the trend since APC came to power. When APC came to power in 2007, the first Global Hunger Index under the APC was published in 2008, which scored the country 44.5 and put Sierra Leone fifth from the bottom above four countries namely Zambia, Timor-Leste, Chad and Central African Republic.
Year after year, the level of hunger in Sierra Leone according to annual Global Hunger Index reports has been alarming; and almost ten years under the APC, Sierra Leone has dropped from fifth bottom to third bottom in the world ranking.
For instance, in the 2008 Global Hunger Index, the level of hunger in Timor-Leste was higher than Sierra Leone and that country was third from bottom, while Sierra Leone was two spaces ahead on fifth from bottom.
Compare that to 2017 Global Hunger Index, Timor-Leste has made much progress, climbing up to tenth from bottom, whilst Sierra Leone has retrogressed by dropping down to third from bottom.
Sadly, throughout the last ten years, Sierra Leone has consistently maintained the position of the country with the highest level of hunger in West Africa.
As we approach the March 7th 2018 presidential election, Sierra Leoneans cannot risk another five years of APC. With Samura Kamara as their presidential candidate, the APC wants to continue the AGENDA FOR HUNGER by ensuring Sierra Leone continues to be ranked as the hungriest nation in West Africa and continues to rank at the very bottom of the world.
Samura Kamara has been there for the last ten years and contributed to that AGENDA FOR HUNGER. Like Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio said in his widely-acclaimed Acceptance Speech for the Presidential Candidacy of the SLPP “Enough of this bad governance because the people deserve better”.