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October 18, 2020

Pakistan has serious level of hunger, ranks 88th in 107 countries

Business

October 18, 2020

LAHORE: Pakistan lags far behind almost all countries in the region in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) – a tool that gauges undernourishment, stunting and weight of children to assign scores.

“In the 2020 Global Hunger Index, Pakistan ranks 88th out of 107 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2020 GHI scores,” said a report. “With a score of 24.6, Pakistan has a level of hunger that is serious.”

With a score of 24.6, Pakistan has a level of hunger that is categorised as serious. In comparison, Bangladesh ranks 75th out of the 107 countries with a score of 20.4, falling in the category of serious while Iran ranks 39th out of the 107 countries with a score of 7.9, having low category.

Sri Lanka ranks 64th with a score of 16.3, showing moderate level of hunger while Nepal ranks 73rd with a score of 19.5, having moderate level of hunger. Afghanistan ranks 99th with a score of 30.3, showing a serious level of hunger, according to the report, which was released on Friday.

India has failed to perform well as compared to Pakistan. India ranked 94th. The GHI is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. The index is a peer-reviewed annual report, jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels. The aim of the GHI is to trigger action to reduce hunger around the world.

GHI scores are calculated using a three-step process that draws on available data from various sources to capture the multidimensional nature of hunger. First, for each country, values are determined for four indicators including undernourishment, which illustrates the share of the population having insufficient caloric intake, child wasting that means the share of children under the age of five who have low weight for their height and child stunting. Lastly, GHI includes assessment about child mortality reflecting children under the age of five in a category of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments.

“Given the current trajectory, the goal of achieving zero hunger by 2030 will not be fully achieved,” said the report. “This likelihood is evident even before factoring in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is already reducing food and nutrition security around the world, with additional effects expected into the future.”

The governments were advised to ensure the right to adequate and nutritious food for all and to end hunger.

“We must not only reshape our food systems to become fair, healthy, resilient, and environmentally friendly but also integrate them into a broader political effort to maximise the health of humans, animals, and our planet,” said the report. “To support smallholder farmers in becoming sustainable and diversified producers, governments, donors, the private sector, and NGOs must seek to improve those farmers’ access to agricultural inputs and extension services, coupling local and indigenous agricultural knowledge with new technologies.”

Local and regional food markets should be strengthened, especially through support for farmers to be organised, fair farm-gate prices, and better links between rural and urban areas. Food should be priced not only by its weight or volume but also by its nutrient density, its freedom from contamination, and its contribution to ecosystem services and social justice.

“To achieve this, governments and stakeholders should educate the public about the importance of these attributes and require appropriate labeling,” said the report. “To curb the spread of agricultural pests and diseases, governments must promote sound biosecurity practices throughout value chains.”

All countries must promote, develop, and implement circular food economies—that is, economies that recycle resources and materials, regenerate natural systems, and eliminate waste and pollution.