These Countries Have the Worst “Hidden Hunger”

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The Global Hunger Index released its annual report of micronutrient deficiency, otherwise known as “hidden hunger.” In all 16 countries have “alarming” levels of this undernourishment. Burundi, which tops the Global Hunger Index for the third year in a row, is followed by Eritrea, East Timor and Comoros. Some 805 million people around the world are still chronically undernourished, according to the report, despite progress in combating hunger – three years ago, the index recorded 26 countries with “alarming” or “extremely alarming” hunger levels. South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa face the highest levels of hunger. Countries showing the largest improvement since 1990 include Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chad, Ghana, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Thailand and Vietnam.” (Reuters

Trouble for Tanzania…”International donors have suspended nearly $500 million in budget support to Tanzania in response to claims that senior government officials siphoned off funds from the country’s central bank under the guise of energy contracts.” (Guardian

Today’s Quote of the Day is cause for concern:  I have never seen a health event threaten the very survival of societies and governments in already very poor countries.” — WHO Director Margaret Chan.  (NYT

And in brighter news…George Mitchell is on Mark’s Global Dispatches Podcast! He’s one of his generation’s greatest peacemakers (as in the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland) and tells Mark his life story.


Many Liberian health care workers on the frontline of the battle against Ebola ignored calls on Monday to strike over poor pay and working conditions, and most hospitals and clinics were operating normally, officials and charity workers said. (Reuters

As Liberia tries to end a months-long Ebola crisis, local and international media rights groups report an intensifying crackdown on journalists in the country. But some of those journalists say this is only a continuation of Liberia’s bad record on press freedom. (VOA

Women and children in South Sudan have been the victims of horrific sexual violence since the country plunged into conflict 10 months ago, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, said after a week-long visit. (VOA

One of Sudan’s main opposition parties will boycott elections set for April because a lack of democracy will not allow a fair vote, a senior party official said on Monday, diminishing the credibility of the ballot. (Reuters

Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo party and its presidential candidate look likely to win elections this week despite voters’ dissatisfaction with graft and inequality in one of Africa’s fastest growing economies that boasts abundant energy reserves. (Reuters

Madagascar’s former president has been arrested, just hours after he returned to the country following more than five years in exile. (VOA

Ugandan health officials said Monday that they are continuing to monitor five people feared to have contracted the Ebola-like Marburg virus, even though all suspected cases so far have tested negative. (AP

Somalia’s government remains riddled with corruption while Shabab Islamists are as deadly as ever, United Nations investigators warned in a damning report seen by AFP Monday. (AFP

Thousands of northerners who experienced human rights abuses during the occupation of Mali’s north are struggling to find redress amidst concerns that a climate of impunity is continuing and the government’s control in many areas of the north is at best shaky. (IRIN


International donors pledged $5.4bn towards the rebuilding of Gaza after the recent 50-day war, but 100,000 Palestinians will still be homeless in the territory as winter arrives. (Guardian

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is chastising Israel for allowing settlements to advance in east Jerusalem and calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for leadership to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. (VOA

Kurdish defenders held off Islamic State militants in Syria’s border town of Kobani, but the fighters struck with deadly bombings in Iraq, killing dozens of Kurds in the north and assassinating a provincial police commander in the west. (GlobalPost

Pledges of $2.7 billion for reconstructing the Gaza Strip may seem impressive, but huge challenges lie ahead as the Palestinian government had asked for more and its prime minister questioned Monday whether all of the money would actually arrive. (AP

United Nations aid convoys cannot reach vast areas of Syrian territory under Islamic State control, a senior U.N. official told Reuters, although the Damascus government is allowing better access to besieged areas elsewhere. (Reuters


Activists and supporters of Pakistani political parties October 12 took to streets of the southern port city of Karachi to protest against shelling on Pakistani border villages by neighbor India. (VOA

Three of the Philippines largest child rights organizations, Save the Children, Plan International, and World Vision, unite to push passage of House Bill 5062 or the “Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act,” which calls for a comprehensive plan to be put in place to protect the rights of children in disasters and emergencies.​

Hong Kong authorities were accused for the second time of hiring thugs after clashes at democracy protest site. (GlobalPost

The death toll from a powerful cyclone which battered India’s eastern coastline rose to 24 on Monday, as the storm weakened and moved inland, leaving a swathe of destruction and triggering fears heavy rains would bring flash floods. (Reuters

The Americas

A Texas health worker has contracted Ebola after treating a Liberian who died of the disease in Dallas last week, raising concern about how U.S. medical guidelines aimed at stopping the spread of the disease were breached. (Reuters

Severe drought has struck California for a third year. The lack of water is affecting farms, cities and small communities. California’s Central Valley is usually fertile. (VOA

Scientists here are warning Caribbean countries, where the fisheries sector is an important source of livelihoods and sustenance, that they should pay close attention to a new international report on ocean acidification. (IPS


The Priest, the Killers, and a Looming Genocide (The New Yorker

Visualizing how Syria’s war undermines health (Humanosphere

A risky business: Aid workers in danger (Devex

Understanding the World Bank’s Estimate of the Economic Damage of Ebola to West Africa (Center For Global Development

The Disturbing Expansion of the Military-Industrial Complex (IPS

Why the IMF’s poor forecasting matters (The Interpreter

“Should I go into international development?” (Lessons I Learned

What does the Ebola crisis mean for long-term progress in Sierra Leone and Liberia? (The Guardian

Leading global banks hop aboard infrastructure train (Humanosphere