Bangladesh leads South Asia in fighting hunger – Ranks 13 among 29 vulnerable nations

Bangladesh leads South Asia in fighting hunger – Ranks 13 among 29 vulnerable nations

Bangladesh has ranked 13th among 29 vulnerable countries in terms of combating hunger by successfully reducing its rate over the last few years.

Scoring 41 points in the global scorecard on hunger situation, Bangladesh has outpaced its two neighbouring countries–India (22nd) and Nepal (19th).

Marking the World Food Day, ActionAid International yesterday published the scorecards in its UK based research titled ‘Who is Really Fighting Hunger.’

“Bangladesh has made a good progress in reducing the number of chronically food insecure citizens–from 40 million to 27 million–over the last decade,” said the research report.

It, however, said Bangladesh has the third highest number of hungry people in the world after India and China partly because of its large population.

The report also said that though Bangladesh has improved the status of nutrition of the under-five children in the last two decades, it still has a long way to go to combat malnutrition.

“Providing hot cooked school meals to its 20 million school-going children could potentially make a huge impact in this regard,” it said.

It lauded the government for its budgetary allocations for the absolute poor through increased safety net programmes, which include partial coverage of nutritional programmes, subsidised food and employment programmes.

In order to reduce the vulnerability of rural poor, the report suggested finding out a permanent solution to the annual monga (near famine situation).

“Bangladesh is trying to address the issue of hunger of its 150 million people with its meagre resources and in the last two decades it has succeeded to improve, to some extent, the health of the under-five children,” said ActionAid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir while talking about the issue.

Farah Kabir pointed out hunger as one of the root causes of poverty and underscored the need for increasing investment in sustainable agricultural development to address the two problems, said a press release.

“Any discussion on hunger and intervention must put the poor, marginalised section and women at the core of planning and investment,” she added.

She demanded the government ensure equitable distribution of food across the region at different times.

Brazil topped an anti-hunger scorecard followed by China where 58 million people have more to eat but India earned low marks in the ActionAid index, reports AFP.

ActionAid said 30 million more people in India, listed at number 22 after countries like Ethiopia and Lesotho, had slipped into the hungry category since the mid-1990s.

Less than nine percent of China’s population now go hungry with 58 million people no longer undernourished, edging the Asian giant into second place on the developing state table.

ActionAid also called on world leaders to fight hunger by supporting small farmers, protect rights to food, and tackle climate change.

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