Global Hunger Index: BD shows improvement, but situationstill considered as ‘Serious’
According to the 2018 Global Hunger Index (GHI), Bangladesh falls into theserious category.At 26.1, Bangladesh’s 2018 GHI scores is animprovementof 28% from 2000 when its GHI score of 36.0, considered alarming. Bangladesh has made commendable progress over time in its fight against hunger and undernutrition. Since 2000, its rates of undernourishment, child stunting, and child mortality have all declined. Despite the positive trend, it is child wasting, which is subject to seasonal variation, has fluctuated since 2000, and the latest data show that it is at a higher position and now stands at 14.3 percent compared to 12.5 percent in 2000.
Bangladesh is ranked 86th out of 119 countries for which GHI scores could be calculated for 2018 with a slight improvement from 2017’s ranking of 88. As per the current report, undernourishment for the country’s population is 15.2 percent and stunting of children under the age of five stands at 36.1 percent. The country’s steady decline in child stunting in recent decades has been a remarkable success and can be attributed to rising household wealth associated with pro-poor economic growth and gains in parental education, as well as health, sanitation, and demographic factors.
Although the country trend has improved over time, Bangladesh’s hunger and undernutrition situation remains troubling. Extreme poverty, climate change and disaster induced displacement and migration remain the painful realities for millions in Bangladesh. In addition, it hosts nearly a million stateless refugees which put a huge burden on an already over populated country.
“The Government should continue to promote inclusive growth. The need is to promote nutrition-sensitive agriculture, strengthen women’s food and nutrition security, and develop multi sectoral cooperation on food and nutrition security throughout Bangladesh”, said Philippe Dresrüsse, Country Representative, Welthungerhilfe, Bangladesh.
“Despite huge challenges, Bangladesh has made significant progress inreduction of hunger and undernutrition rate. The Government of Bangladesh should continue to build on its successes andmake concerted effortto ensure food and nutrition security for the extreme poor and most vulnerable people by bringing all the government ministries and departments, NGOs and Civil Society, and private sector together.” said A. K. M. Musha, Country Director of Concern Worldwide, Bangladesh.
Globally, the Central African Republic (CAR) has the highest score (reflecting the highest hunger level) of any country ranked in the report and is the sole country in the Index’s “extremely alarming” category. CAR’s 2018 score, 53.7, has increased sharply since 2010, reflecting the severe strain of the country’s civil war and high levels of population displacement.
Despite many areas where hunger and undernutrition are problematically high, the report shows that there has been progress in reducing hunger worldwide, with the global GHI score falling from 29.2 in 2000 to 20.9 in 2018.
The GHI, now in its 13th year, ranks countries based on four key indicators: undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting and child stunting. The 2018 report ranked 119 countries in the developing world, 52 of which have “extremely alarming”, “alarming” or “serious” hunger levels.