Posts

Flags of Member States Flying at UN Headquarters: Uzbekistan
In the past, hunger in Uzbekistan showed staggering numbers. However, these rates have decreased exponentially since the early 2000s. Within the past 20 years, hunger rates peaked in 2002, where 19.8% of the population either could not afford or access a sufficient amount of nourishment necessary for survival.

The Connection Between Poverty and Hunger

Poverty drives hunger in Uzbekistan. For example, many people could not afford bread in 2005 due to the inflated price, but the rates have dropped by 14.5% since then. Moreover, many people did not even make sufficient wages to purchase a bag of flour each week to provide for their families.

Reducing Undernourishment

Globally, 805 million people experienced undernourishment in 2014. Of that number, 1.7 million lived in Uzbekistan. While these numbers may seem disheartening, there has been a turn for the better. From 2016 to 2017, there was a 0% increase in hunger rates in Uzbekistan. While there was not a reduction in hunger during that time, a 0% increase is still a victory showing that Uzbekistan is on the path to creating a country without hunger.

With these numbers in mind, it is important to highlight just how much progress there has been. Within the country, hunger in Uzbekistan decreased to 6.3% by 2017, which was the lowest it had been since 2000.

Many volunteers and organizations, such as Action Against Hunger, have provided aid to people in Uzbekistan including those that violence displaced in 2010. Action Against Hunger’s actions have directly affected the rates of undernourishment in the country. Here are some of the ways Action Against Hunger influenced the hunger rate in Uzbekistan.

3 Ways Action Against Hunger has Decreased Hunger in Uzbekistan

  1. Food Security: Action Against Hunger has workers and volunteers on the ground in countries all over the world. In the case of Uzbekistan, Action Against Hunger has been working to train local workers on farming and food sustainability. Additionally, it has been providing a work-for-cash program to help families pay for food each week.
  2. Water and Hygiene: With hunger comes the need for water. In providing and helping to secure the infrastructure in these communities, Action Against Hunger is providing the resources necessary to build and maintain sustainable water sources for those living in the country.
  3. Research: Research has allowed for Action Against Hunger to understand the leading factors influencing undernourishment in Uzbekistan’s communities. With this information, it has been able to find solutions to provide aid during even the most desolate of situations. Once Action Against Hunger completes its research, it goes into the advocacy stage. This is where the organization asks for others all over the world to support its work.

Hunger and malnutrition can come from many places but mostly stems from insecurity within the economy, poverty and job instability. With help, Uzbekistan should be able to eradicate these problems and increase food security. The fight to end hunger in Uzbekistan continues, but the numbers show that change surely is possible.

– Natalie Belford
Photo: UN Multimedia

Hunger in UzbekistanHunger in Uzbekistan remains a serious issue, yet it is not recognized as a national one.

Close to 75 percent of the working-class population in Uzbekistan live in rural areas, and thus the income of this stratum of the population typically remains low, which exacerbates the lack of food security. This level of poverty has its roots in Uzbekistan’s independence.

Both the domestic and foreign policy of Uzbekistan are inimical to any significant changes that would address the hunger that plagues the country. Since the main priority of such policies is to keep the ruling regime in power, securing food and combating hunger is simply not a huge priority.

Another cause of the lack of food security is the slow growth of the gross domestic product (GDP), which in recent years was as low as seven percent, which is not sufficient for the steadily increasing population.

Furthermore, the economy of Uzbekistan, in regards to agriculture, is largely confined to producing cotton. This lack of diversification exposes Uzbekistan to increased economic risk. This problem is exacerbated by rising food prices as well.

Despite all of these indicators painting a bleak picture of Uzbekistan in the long run, recent reports have shown a decrease in hunger. From 2000 to 2014 the number of undernourished Uzbeks was reduced to less than half of what they previously were. Currently, this number is at around 1.7 million. While much work has to be done, this is a great improvement.

Additionally, unlike the GDP, the rate of agricultural production increased gradually at about 6 percent every year from 2000 to 2007. Furthermore, wheat production grew nine-fold from 1991 to 2006. These stark improvements are largely a result of the isolationist approach Uzbekistan has adopted in terms of its foreign policy, which has both its pros and cons.

One of the downsides that the Uzbeks have experienced as a result of this foreign policy has already been mentioned: the aversion of the rigid regime to take chances that may benefit its population but would otherwise risk its own stability, such as lifting restrictions on trade. The pros of this are increased self-sufficiency that has spurred the growth in certain aspects of the agricultural sector.

There is much work that needs to be done in order to reduce hunger in Uzbekistan. The country has improved in some ways but further work is needed in order to develop a sustainable model that adequately addresses the needs of the citizenry.

– Mohammad Hasan Javed

Photo: Flickr

 


With a population of 32 million, Uzbekistan is one of the largest and fastest-growing countries in Central Asia and, as a result, it has faced a number of challenges regarding hunger and malnutrition. In 2016, the Global Hunger Index listed Uzbekistan as a country suffering from moderate hunger problems, citing 4.2 percent of the population as undernourished. Uzbekistan ranks 63rd on the 2016 index, just outside of the top 50 countries experiencing “alarming” hunger rates. This ranking comes as no surprise, but the nation has taken great strides toward addressing the underlying causes of hunger in Uzbekistan.

In the last decade, Uzbekistan has made monumental progress in battling its hunger issue. Compare the undernourished population of 4.2 percent in 2016 to 2013’s 5.5 percent — and 2008’s 9.4 percent. Since 1990, Uzbekistan has been one of the 26 countries to have successfully reduced hunger by more than half.

One of biggest reasons for these decreasing hunger rates is a decline in the amount of poverty in Uzbekistan thanks to sustained economic growth, educational opportunities and increased employment. The former Soviet Republic leads Central Asia with an economic growth rate of around eight percent annually since 2011. Prosperity in recent years even prompted the World Bank in 2011 to reclassify the country from a low-income to a lower middle-income nation.

A concentrated effort to increase wheat production has specifically attacked the issue of hunger in Uzbekistan. As the country continues to grow, greater demand for agricultural products like wheat and cattle has helped rural farmers feed their communities and contribute to solving the hunger problem.

The efforts of countries like Uzbekistan helped contribute to a 29 percent drop in hunger levels globally since 2000, according to the Global Health Index. The GHI’s main goal focuses on achieving zero hunger by 2030, a mark dependent upon further reform and the acceleration in hunger’s decline in Central Asia, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Nicholas Dugan

Photo: Flickr