Special Report

Countries Where People Don’t Get Enough to Eat

Source: David Stanley from Nanaimo, Canada / Wikimedia Commons

10. Chad
> Pct. food insecure: 57.4%
> Projected pct. food insecure, 2028: 53.2%
> Total population: 12.3 million

Though Chad’s expanding oil sector contributed to economic growth, it also triggered several conflicts between Chad and neighboring Sudan. In addition, civil unrest also led to increased hunger in Chad — 57.4% of the population is food insecure. Unlike most countries on this list, food insecurity in Chad is not projected to improve by much. By 2028, 53.2% of the people in Chad will be food insecure.

Not having enough to eat can cause starvation and increase the likelihood of serious illness. In Chad, the death rate of 13 per every 1,000 people is one of the highest among all low- and middle-income countries.

Source: ranplett / Getty Images

9. Somalia
> Pct. food insecure: 61.5%
> Projected pct. food insecure, 2028: 46.8%
> Total population: 11.3 million

Somalia has been one of the most tumultuous places in the world for the past few decades. The country’s first formal parliament in years was installed in 2012, and the country had its first presidential election after more than 40 years.

While data is limited, the USDA estimates that 61.5% of the population consumes less than 2,100 calories per day. However, with a government installed and making progress against militant groups, food access in Somalia may improve in the next decade. By 2028, the food insecurity rate is projected to drop to 46.8%.

Source: Sisoje / Getty Images

8. Zambia
> Pct. food insecure: 63.3%
> Projected pct. food insecure, 2028: 46.5%
> Total population: 16.4 million

Of the 16.4 million residents of Zambia, 9.7 million live in a rural area. A majority of households depend on corn cultivation, a crop that is susceptible to drought. This year, the severity of the drought has the potential to cut corn output by 50%. Such events contributing to the country’s high food insecurity rate. As of 2017, 63.3% of Zambians have food insecurity.

Source: evenfh / Getty Images

7. Zimbabwe
> Pct. food insecure: 63.4%
> Projected pct. food insecure, 2028: 77.5%
> Total population: 14.0 million

About 63.4% of Zimbabwe’s population is food insecure, the seventh highest share of food insecurity among the 76 nations that have a history of receiving food aid from the United States. Unlike a majority of low- and middle-income countries considered, the USDA predicts the food insecurity rate in Zimbabwe will increase by over a dozen percentage points over the next decade. This is likely due to problems in Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector. The country has struggled with an enduring severe drought, which reduced the yield of crops.

Source: IlonaBudzbon / Getty Images

6. Liberia
> Pct. food insecure: 70.7%
> Projected pct. food insecure, 2028: 55.0%
> Total population: 4.8 million

The food insecurity rate in Liberia remained effectively the same between this year and last at 70.7%. Nearly half of the country’s population, or 2.3 million, lives in rural parts of the country, where poverty and food insecurity are most prevalent. Liberia depends on foreign aid and investment. Liberians rely heavily on fish for protein as livestock production is small scale and inadequate to feed the whole population.

Liberia also has the second largest food gap among the 76 countries that have historically received food aid from the United States. Liberians on average consume 714 calories less than the recommended 2,100 daily calories.

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