GHI rates Nepal’s hunger as ‘serious’Nepal has made significant progress in reducing hunger in the last two and a half decades, but its hunger level still remains classified as ‘serious’.
Nepal has made significant progress in reducing hunger in the last two and a half decades, but its hunger level still remains classified as ‘serious’.
With 7.8 percent of the population ‘undernourished’, Nepal has been ranked 72nd out of 118 countries on the 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI) released recently by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The GHI considers a score above 50 as being extremely alarming, 35-49.9 alarming, 20-34.9 serious, 10-19.9 moderate and below 9.9 low. The report shows that Nepal’s GHI score of 43.1 in 1990 has been reduced to 21.9 in 2016. This implies that hunger levels in Nepal have diminished significantly. The GHI calculation does not include higher-income countries.
Among Saarc countries, Nepal is ahead of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh which were placed in the 107th, 97th and 90th positions respectively. Sri Lanka is also ranked in the 72nd position on the GHI.
The report said that since 2000, significant progress has been made in the fight against hunger. The 2000 GHI score was 30.0 for the developing world, while the 2016 GHI score stands at 21.3, representing a reduction of 29 percent.
Thus, while the GHI scores for the developing world-also referred to as the global GHI scores-for 2000 and 2016 are both in the serious category, the earlier score was closer to being categorized as alarming, while the later score is closer to the moderate category, the report said.
Underlying this improvement are reductions since 2000 in each of the GHI indicators-the prevalence of undernourishment, child stunting (low height for age), child wasting (low weight for height) and child mortality.
The report combines four hunger-related indicators-the proportion of undernourished in the population, the prevalence of wasting in children under five years, prevalence of stunting in children under five years and the mortality rate of children.
In Nepal’s context, the report shows 7.8 percent of the population to be undernourished.
The share of under-five children who are ‘wasted’ is 11.3 percent while the share of children who are ‘stunted’ under five years is 37.4 percent. The under-five mortality rate is 3.6 percent in Nepal, according to the report.
The data for under-nourishment is based on data from 2014-16, prevalence of wasting and prevalence of stunting in children under five years from 2011-15 and the under-five mortality rate from 2015.
The portion of undernourished population has dropped from 13.3 percent over a span of seven years. Likewise, prevalence of wasting in children less than five years has dropped from 12.7 percent and prevalence of stunting in children under five years has come down from 49.3 percent over a span of six years.
Similarly, the under-five mortality rate which was 5.1 percent in 2008 has dropped to 3.6 percent in 2015, according to the report.