In the last year, Bangladesh has made great progress in eradicating hunger and malnutrition. Bangladesh ranks 65th out of 108 countries in the global hunger index; Which was 7th last year. In other words, Bangladesh is 13 steps ahead of last year. Bangladesh has been making steady progress in eradicating hunger for several years. Bangladesh has been ahead of neighboring India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan in this index for several years. However, the overall level of hunger in Bangladesh is still at a ‘severe’ level.
This information has come up in the ‘World Hunger Index-2020’ released by the International Food Policy Research Institute on Friday. Not only progress in the index’s position, but also in all the four criteria used to determine the definition of hunger, the Global Hunger Index (GHI), Bangladesh has advanced compared to last time.
GHI is created by judging each country’s situation based on malnutrition rate, underweight infant mortality rate, underweight infant mortality rate, and under-five mortality rates.
Each country’s score is calculated based on 100 points. The best score on the index is zero. If the score increases, it should be understood that the situation in that country is getting worse in the state of hunger. And a low score means that the food and nutrition situation in that country is improving.
According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, Bangladesh has improved a lot in terms of score in the last year. The total score has been reduced from 25.7 last time to 20.4. And as a result, Bangladesh’s position in the overall index has jumped 13 steps.
According to the report, the score in Bangladesh was 52.2 in 1990, 50.3 in 1995, 38.1 in 2000, 30.06 in 2005, 30.3 in 2010, 28.3 in 2015, and 26.1 in 2016. In the year 26.5, in 2016, 28.1, in 2019, 25.06, and 2020 the score is 20.4.
According to the definition set by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, when a child’s daily nutritional intake is less than 1,600 kcal, it is defined as hunger.
The hunger index says that 13 percent of Bangladesh’s total population is malnourished; 9.6 percent of children under the age of five are underweight; Of those children, 28 percent have a lower age-to-age ratio, and 3 percent have an under-five mortality rate. Last year, the rates in these four cases were 14.6 percent, 14.4 percent, 36.2 percent, and 3.2 percent, respectively.
Bangladesh has been ahead of neighboring India (94th), Pakistan (8th), and Afghanistan (99th) in this index for the last few years; However, Nepal (63rd) and Sri Lanka (64th) are still lagging. Like last time, Sri Lanka is in the best position among the South Asian countries in the hunger index. And the most backward of the seven countries in war-torn Afghanistan. With Myanmar (7th) exception, the situation has improved in all the countries in the region.
According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, South Asian countries have made some progress in fighting hunger over the past year. However, seven countries are in Qatar’s top 40, where hunger is still a “serious” problem. Based on official data, the 2020 index was not affected by the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.
Hasina Rahman, Assistant Country Director of Concern Worldwide, said, “We fear that the poverty rate in Bangladesh could double this year due to the covid-19 epidemic. Apart from that, Bangladesh’s food and nutrition security are also at considerable risk as health, economic and climate hazards come together this year.
Therefore, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, if hunger eradication is to be achieved by 2030, in this difficult situation, the whole food system must be changed in a fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly manner.
According to this year’s index, 79 crore people worldwide are suffering from malnutrition. 144 million children are underweight according to their height. Four crores and 80 lakh children are suffering from severe malnutrition. Besides, 5.3 million children died before the age of five.
The World Hunger Index says hunger levels around the world are now at a tolerable level. However, it is not the same in all parts of the world. The level of hunger in a particular country, region, or community is at a critical level.
According to this index, the highest levels of hunger and malnutrition exist in the world’s southern Sahara and South Asia region. And the level of hunger in 11 countries around the world is ‘worrying.’ In three of these countries, hunger levels are at alarming levels. These are the moon, East Timor and Madagascar. Besides, the index temporarily states that hunger levels are going to be alarming in eight more countries. These are Burundi, the Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
According to the report, the world is not on the right track to meeting the target of bringing down the hunger level to zero. This is the second goal of sustainable development. However, if we continue at the current pace, it will not be possible to achieve this goal.