Hunger in Grenada is a recurring problem for the small Caribean island nation. However, in 2008, after a hit to the country’s economy, hunger once again became a major concern.
In 1997, the percent of children 0-5 years malnourished began at 4.3 percent and decreased to 2.8 percent in 1998.
Although these rates were low, during this time a large portion of Grenada’s population struggled with anemia, iron deficiency. The consumption of meat and meat products accounts for the largest proportion of daily iron intake. However, the poor are often not able to afford the prices of meat, resulting in widespread anemia among Grenada’s poorest.
In 2007, the caloric deficit rested at 250 and decreased to 10 since 2003. Additionally, the prevalence of undernourishment reached 18.7 percent in the same year. In 2008, Grenada’s unemployment and poverty reached an all-time high. Poverty levels reported in at 37.7 percent and unemployment rose to 24.9 percent.
To combat these ever-growing issues, Grenada joined the United Nations’ Zero Hunger Challenge Initiative (ZHCI) in 2013. To achieve their goal of ending malnutrition, food insecurity and hunger in Grenada, the program will need approximately US$11,300,000. The UN, FAO and the Grenada government donated some of this funding already. The program is set for 2015-2019.
After achieving some success, two primary schools and one secondary school implemented the ZHCI’s School’s Feeding Program and Health Community Program in 2015. With the implementation of these programs and commitment to the initiative to eradicate hunger in Grenada, the country hopes to reduce undernourishment rates by at least 2.2 percent by 2019.
With the recent drop in unemployment by 3.6 percent and the implementation of the ZHCI, hunger in Grenada is set to be cut down drastically in the coming years.
– Amira Wynn