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The Hungriest Country in the World

The 2018 Global Hunger Index was released today. Although I am not surprised by the published results, I am disappointed. Once again, the Central African Republic (CAR) has been ranked as the hungriest country on earth. CAR ranks 119th out of 119 qualifying countries. If you don’t know where CAR is, just look for the red country on the map below. In simple terms, red is bad and CAR is the only red country left on the map. I believe that it is very important for all of us to be aware of the extreme hunger challenges that are present in the children and families of this region so that we can do something to relieve the suffering. This year’s hunger levels are in the “extremely alarming” category.

CAR has not yet emerged from the violence that started in 2013, when crops were destroyed, men and women were killed, churches and mosques were burned, and families were devastated. In 2018, much of the country remains lawless. Around the world, 60% of people classified as hungry live in regions that are in conflict. The lack of law and order results in food insecurity, and CAR has both conflict and food insecurity today.

While Jonathan’s House can’t solve the hunger crisis in the entire country, we can make a significant impact in the area that we serve. So what has been our response to the crisis? Every school day, we feed the 445 children in our elementary school a nutritious lunch and a chewable children’s multivitamin. We know that most of our children aren’t eating well at all when they get home after school and this program has had a profound impact upon their lives. Since the program began, school enrollment has increased by 48% from 302 to 445 children. Absentee rates have declined. The children look and feel better. The cost per meal is $0.42, which includes food, labor, and firewood. It’s making a world of difference to every child in the program.

Here’s a photo from the early days of our school lunch program in late 2017. This was peanut butter sandwich day and the children loved it.

For everyone who has helped to make it possible, THANK YOU! If you’d like to donate, get more information, or get involved in the program, please visit:

You can also contact me anytime at the email address below. If you’re interested in helping the children of CAR, I’d love to hear from you.


Carter Strand

Jonathan’s House for Orphans

International Director- CAR

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