According to a report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Pakistan has hit rock bottom with a Global Hunger Index rating of 106.
Pakistan is faced with serious situation when it comes to malnutrition, with one of the lowest ranking among 119 developing countries in the Global Hunger Index, lagging behind even India and some states from Africa.
The Hunger Score
The GHI score is comprised of these four indicators:
- Proportion of undernourished in the population
- Prevalence of child mortality
- Prevalence of child stunting
- And prevalence of child wasting (low weight for a given height).
A GHI score of below 10 indicates a low prevalence of hunger, while a score greater than 50 is an indication of an alarming situation.
The hunger scores in Asia are as follows:
- Afghanistan, ranked 107, with a score of 33.3, stands with the lowest ranking in Asia
- Pakistan, stands with the second worse ranking score of 32.6
- And India, ranked 100, has the third highest score: 31.4
How is Pakistan Faring with This Situation?
The situation in Pakistan demands serious attention from the government.
The four indicators of GHI score in Pakistan have shown how serious the issue of malnutrition is in the country:
- About one-fifth of the country remains undernourished,
- Due to poor nutrition, 45% of children are facing the problem of impaired body or stunted growth, with this figure increasing from 40.3% in 2006 to 45% in 2010.
- Slightly above one out of every ten children, aged five or less, has a lower weight for their height. However this figure has seen a slight improvement during 2006-2010.
- Child mortality rate stands at 8.1%, an improvement from the previous 9.6% in 2006-10
Countries that fared better than Pakistan include:
Misuse Of SDGs Funds
With the situation in the country continually deteriorating, the question of Rs50 billion comes into light. The very same Rs50 billion that was meant to achieve the Prime Minister’s Global Sustainable Development Goals, but was instead spent to achieve political goals.
Rs 30 billion that were allocate for the PM’s Global SDGs Achievement Programme during fiscal year 2017-18 was spent instead on parliamentarians’ schemes like village electrification and provision of gas facilities.
“Let us admit the fact that the MDGs and SDGs funds are actually going to the ruling party’s members of the National Assembly for their development schemes,” admitted Senator Sherry Rehman on Thursday in a meeting of Public Accounts Committee while the PAC discussed a delay in the completion of the schemes initiated under the banner of the SDGs.
Situation In Pakistan Likely to Worsen
The report released by the Washington-based IFPRI on Thursday showed that the situation in Pakistan is likely to worsen with regard to the hunger problem faced by it.
The IFRI noted the gravity of the situation faced by the drought affected areas of Pakistan.
It however acknowledged that since 2016, the Government of Sindh has increased its nutrition outreach activities with the support of World Bank.