Home Health As Youths Face Food Insecurity Barriers: Dangers Loom …Several Risk ‘Poor Mental Health, Behavior, Bullying Victimization,’ Others

As Youths Face Food Insecurity Barriers: Dangers Loom …Several Risk ‘Poor Mental Health, Behavior, Bullying Victimization,’ Others

by newsmanager

By: Linda Gbartie

MONROVIA: The 2023 Global Hunger Index Report (GHI) on Liberia has revealed that food insecurity and hunger are formidable barriers facing the country’s youths during this critical period of their lives.

However, according to the Report, relevant data are sparse because major indicators of food insecurity and hunger are rarely broken down by age group.

Nevertheless, the report added that existing data confirmed that youth experience significant levels of food insecurity in Liberia and the world.

Data from school-base surveys in 95 countries including Liberia found that 25.5% of students age 11-14 years had experienced food insecurity in the previous 30 days, as had 30.0%of students aged 15-18 years.

On Wednesday, April, 17, 2024, the Alliance 2015 partners, Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide, jointly launched the 2023 GHI report under the theme: “The power of youth in shaping food systems in Liberia.” The launching program was held at Mamba Point Hotel in Monrovia.

The GHI is an annual peer review report that comprehensively measures and tracks hunger at global and national scales, utilizing four key indicators: undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting and child mortality.

The 2023 Edition marks four years of GHI launch in Liberia, highlighting the enduring commitment of Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide to combat hunger and malnutrition in the country.

The report was launched by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai under the theme: “The power of youth in shaping food systems in Liberia”.

However, the report findings painted a concerning picture, with Liberia ranking 117th out of 125 countries assessed in 2023, scoring 32.2% out of 100%.

The data also underscored the urgent need for concerted actions to address the nation’s persistent challenges with hunger and malnutrition.

Additionally, the report stated that “for the young people in Liberia and the world, food insecurity is associated with poorer outcomes in terms of nutrition, mental health, behavior, and bullying victimization.”

The report also highlighted that food insecurity and malnutrition jeopardize the life changes of youth because they are the emerging into adulthood in a content of inherently unequal and unsustainable food systems that fail to deliver food and nutrition security and that are highly vulnerable to climate change and environmental degradation.

“Beyond 2023 youth food systems, and a future of food sovereignty, these shortcomings are particularly problematic given the unique food and nutrition needs of the youth,” the report noted.

Meanwhile, the Alliance2015 partners, Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide has recommended that governments not only in Liberia must invest in youth capacities to be leaders in food systems transformation.

The Alliance2015 partners, Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide also called on governments to support and diversify agricultural production that integrates indigenous and traditional knowledge as well as modern technologies, mechanization, and irrigation to make farming more profitable and less laborious including enhancing equitable access to digital tools, such as weather forecasts and financial, advisory and market services.

“Government and donors should invest in diversified rural economies to improve social well-being, strengthen service delivery, and promote youth inclusion in food system transformation. Government must improve young people access to productive resources,” the GHI report recommended.

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