India was placed 97 on the index, Afghanistan 111 and China 29 with a low hunger level
Pakistan has been ranked as a country with “serious” hunger level with 22 per cent of its population undernourished on the 2016 Global Hunger Index. Pakistan performed worse than most of its South Asian neighbours in eliminating hunger.
On a 0-100 point scale (with 100 being the worst in hunger levels), Pakistan has a score of 33.4, improving only slightly from its score of 35.1 in 2008.
Several countries of South Asia, including Bangladesh who have lacked agriculture base, performed very well and improved their ranking drastically in recent years and surpassed Pakistan with a clear margin in the fight against hunger.
India was placed 97 on the index, Afghanistan 111 and China 29 with a “low” hunger level.
Except Pakistan and India — the worst performers in dealing with hunger, all neighbouring and regional nations such as China (29), Nepal (72), Myanmar (75), Sri Lanka (84) and Bangladesh (90) improved their respective rankings significantly.
The hunger index ranks countries based on undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting (low weight for height) and child stunting (low height for age).
Hunger levels in developing countries have fallen 29pc since 2000, but efforts to curb hunger must be accelerated in order to meet an international target to eradicate it by 2030, according to the index.
Hunger levels are “alarming” in seven countries, with Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and Zambia experiencing the worst levels. Nearly half of the population in CAR and Zambia, and one in three people in Chad, are undernourished.
Shenggen Fan, director general of the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), said in a statement, ‘Countries must accelerate the pace at which they are reducing hunger.’
‘Ending global hunger is certainly possible, but it’s up to all of us … (to) set the priorities right to ensure that governments, the private sector and civil society devote the time and resources necessary,’ Fan added.
Pakistan and India are among the top nuclear and weaponry powers of the world but at the front of the hunger and poverty, both states lacked clearly behind as compared to most of their neighboring states. Both states have been urged by different civil society groups to focus on their social issues instead of arms race.