Doctors in Chad working long hours to deal with growing malnutrition cases, exacerbated by country's economic crisis. Ndjamena, Chad - Since the fall in the price of oil in 2015, Chad has been struggling to deal with an economic crisis. The main construction sites in the capital, Ndjamena, are abandoned, the market activities have suffered a slowdown and the salaries of state workers, including police and army officers, have been reduced as part of an austerity programme known locally as "the 16 measures". Chad's health sector has been particularly affected - the national health budget was cut in half between 2013 and 2017. According to a report by Amnesty International, doctors' salaries have decreased from 517,000 to 317,000 Central African francs a month ($913 to $560).
Droughts, harsh winters, climate change and geopolitical disorder have given rise to acute malnutrition worldwide, with nearly 795 million people typically living in developing countries suffering from hunger. But a startup company called FasoPro may have found the key to resolving the global food crisis crawling right underneath their feet: crunchy, chewy caterpillars. Kahitouo Hien, a University of California, Berkeley, graduate and caterpillar connoisseur, said he had been eating the insect since childhood before deciding to launch an entire business aimed at feeding the hungry with his favorite food source. Hien began harvesting caterpillars for his school's global social venture competition, a business innovation challenge focusing on social impact, and won the $80,000 prize and award for best social startup in 2012. By 2016, Hien made a fundamental change in how his caterpillars would be shipped to places around the world where food shortages are rampant.
The change has been even more dramatic in some areas. Stunting in Nepal declined from 57.1 percent in 2000 to 36 percent in 2017, the report found; in Lesotho the rate dropped from 52.7 percent to 33.4 percent. Regionally, in Asia the rate declined from 38.1 percent to 23.2 percent, and in Latin America and the Caribbean from 16.9 percent to 9.6 percent. In Africa the percentage of stunted children decreased from 38.2 percent to 30.3 percent, though due to population growth the actual number of stunted children in Africa increased during that time, from 50.6 million to 59 million.