Global hunger index: Does the world need arms not bread?
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2015-10-15 16:24:07

Global hunger index: Does the world need arms not bread?

index

 

India has significantly moved the dial on hunger in the past decade but still has serious rates of people suffering from a lack of food, according to a global ranking published this week.The world’s second-most-populous-country came 80th out of 104 countries ranked from the least to the most hungry, ahead of Pakistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria but behind Bangladesh, North Korea and Myanmar.The ranking measures the proportion of the population that consumesfewer than 1,800 kilocalories each a day–defined as undernourishment–as well as three indicators relating to childhood nutrition and life expectancy. India improved its global hunger index score to 29 in 2015 from 38.5 in 2005. A lower number means fewer people are going hungry. A staggering 52 developing countries, we are reminded, are suffering from “serious” or “alarming” levels of hunger. Hunger is defined by the researchers by four metrics, three of which take note of its effects on children like wasting, stunting and mortality rate. Of the top 10 countries most affected by hunger in 2015, eight belong to Africa, the two others being Afghanistan and Yemen. Pakistan being number eleven in the grading just manages to stay out of this group which faces the most precarious condition. India is positioned number 25.

According to the Index, South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara continue to experience the highest levels of hunger. 27 percent improvement has taken place in hunger levels in developing countries since 2000, the average varying from country to country. In the case of Pakistan it is only 4.4 percent while in the case of India 9.9 percent. South Asia thus remains in the “serious” category of countries facing hunger. Hunger bodes well neither for national economy nor for democracy. Those who are underfed are vulnerable to all types of diseases. Pakistan has a large reserve of youthful population which could have been an asset provided it was healthy and possessed the skills needed by the market. The absence of focus on health and education has turned the population into a liability. Failure to effectively pursue family planning programmes has multiplied the problems.The incident in Karachi where 13 slum dwellers including seven children died in a rock slide which hit their shanties underlines the apathy on the part of the successive governments towards the common man’s lot. People have to live in slums because city planning and provision of low cost housing do not happen to be among the priorities of the government. The government needs to revisit its priorities. Widespread poverty discredits democracy while it strengthens the extremist streak in the population.

 

pk.shafaqna.com

 

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