Guinea, officially the Republic of Guinea, is a country located on the West coast of Africa. The country is home to around 10.5 million people. Natural disasters, such as the Ebola epidemic and recurring floods, have left much of the population with food insecurity. Here are 10 facts about hunger in Guniea.
10 Facts About Hunger in Guinea
- Around 55 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
- More than 17 percent of the Guinean people do not have food security.
- This food insecurity can lead to malnutrition. Around 25.9 percent of the population suffers from chronic malnutrition, this number includes nearly 100,000 children under five.
- Guinea is prone to frequent natural disasters, which hurt food security. Flooding is particularly common and affects approximately 50,000 to 69,000 people each year.
- The majority of Guineans are subsistence farmers, which makes them especially vulnerable to these natural disasters.
- The 2014 Ebola outbreak made already vulnerable people even more susceptible to poverty and hunger in Guinea. Trading restrictions and a curfew limit the population’s ability to participate in economic activities.
- Guinea’s limited resources are strained further by the influx of thousands of refugees fleeing political instability in nearby countries.
- In addition to providing free school lunches, the World Food Programme gives take-home food supplies to girls enrolled in the final grade. This acts as an incentive for families to keep girls in school.
- High rates of poverty and hunger in Guinea has contributed to the country remaining low on the Human Development Index. Currently, Guinea ranks number 178 out of 187 countries.
- Despite the persisting poverty in Guinea, the average life expectancy has risen significantly, from 38 in 1980 to 54.5 in 2012.
While food insecurity remains high, the rise in average life expectancy as well as the presence of assistance programs in the country show promise in reducing the rampant hunger in Guinea.
– Alexi Worley