Developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the 2013 Global Food Security Index shows that Sub-Saharan African nations made progress this past year, with the top three most improved Sub-Saharan countries – Ethiopia, Botswana and Niger – rising an average of eight places in the index. Improvements were attributed to greater food availability and income growth. Of the 10 countries whose scores improved the most, five were in Sub-Saharan Africa, including two of the top three.
The Global Food Security Index considers the core issues of affordability, availability, and quality across a set of 107 countries. The index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative scoring model, constructed from 27 unique indicators, that measures these drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries.
Among this year’s report key findings:
- Developing countries made the greatest food security gains in the past year, with the biggest increases in Ethiopia, Botswana and the Dominican Republic.
- Overall food security was little changed from last year: the average score for all countries in the latest index was 53.5, virtually unchanged from 53.6 in the 2012 model. No region’s score improved dramatically, but Sub-Saharan Africa showed the biggest gain, climbing by just under one point.
- Political conflict had a negative impact on food security in Mali, Yemen and Syria during the past year: these three countries recorded some of the biggest declines in the index, dropping 14, seven and seven places, respectively.
- Falling national incomes hurt food security in some developed countries over the past year.
- Some emerging markets appear well positioned to respond to urbanisation and the implications for food security:Sierra Leone ranked at the top of this year’s new urbanisation indicator, which measures the capacity of governments to support the food needs of growing cities.
- Political stability and democratic reform are strongly tied to food security: Countries that experienced significant improvements in political stability and democratic rights in the past year, such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka, also improved their food security ranking. Myanmar rose five places overall, while Sri Lanka climbed by four.
- Dietary protein consumption increased in 62% of countries in the index.
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2013 Global Food Security Index, July 2013
The Economist Intelligence Unit