According to a new report on global hunger from the International Food Policy Research Institute and other aid groups, 29 countries have alarming levels of hunger, while over one billion people were hungry last year. The situation is characterized as “serious,” notes the Global Hunger Index, and most countries with “alarming” scores are in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In 1990, world leaders set the goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015, but that goal is far from accomplished, and children are especially vulnerable. The percentage of undernourished people went from 20 per cent in 1990-92 to 16 per cent in 2004-06, a sign of some improvement, and the United Nations thinks the number of hungry people might have fallen from one billion in 2009 to 925 million in 2010. But progress varies by region and country. The ten countries with the worst levels of hunger were the Democratic Republic of Congo (the worst off), Burundi, Eritrea, Chad, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Comoros, Madagascar and the Central African Republic.