Sri Lanka has ranked 84 out of 119 countries in the 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) this week, with child malnutrition increasing on the island. "We must provide immediate aid to those areas facing the most severe crises, such as famines, and construct policies at the global and national levels to address the structural issues that create persistent food insecurity", he said.
By Our Representative India has slipped in Global Hunger Index (GHI) by three points ranks - from 97th position to 100th among the 119 countries surveyed.
The report states that Asia's regional score is "strongly" influenced by India's performance as three-quarters of South Asia's population resides in India.
According to the GHI report, more than a fifth (21%) of children in India suffer from wasting (low weight for height)-up from 20% in 2005-2006.
Other than India, only three other countries, Djibouti, Sri Lanka and South Sudan have more than 20% of their children wasted.
But the country has made progress in other areas, the report said.
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"With a GHI score that is near the high end of the serious category, it is obvious that a high GDP growth rate alone is no guarantee of food and nutrition security for India's vast majority", said Nivedita Varshneya, India director of Welthungerhilfe, a non-profit which co-authored the GHI report with IFPRI. "The improvement on the child stunting rate shows that children are born in a better condition than before".
Similarly, a declining trend is recorded in the prevalence of undernourishment of people in India.
With respect to the fourth indicator - mortality rate of children below five years - data shows that India has a declining trend.
While countries like Chile, Cuba and Turkey have a GHI score of less than 5 and ranked the best among developing nations, nations like Chad and Central African Republic fare the worst with a score of 43.5 and 50.9, respectively. Of the 119 countries assessed in this year's report, on the GHI Severity Scale, one is in the extremely alarming range, 7 are in the alarming range, 44 in the serious range, and 24 in the moderate range. The data analysed for each country to arrive at the 2017 GHI score pertains to the period 2012-16.
Sri Lanka's Proportion of undernourished in the population declined to 22.1 percent in 2014-2016 period from 27.1 percent in the 2007-2009 period and prevalence of stunting in children under five years declined to 14.7 percent in 2012-2016 from 18.3 percent in 2008-2010.
Overall, undernourishment reduced to 13 percent compared to 18.2 percent in 2000.
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