The number of malnourished people decreases by 60 million in a decade in India: UN


The number of undernourished people in India has decreased by 60 million in more than a decade.

The United Nations:

The number of undernourished people in India has dropped by 60 million in more than a decade, according to a UN report which said that there were fewer stunted children but more obese adults in the country.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report released on Monday estimates that nearly 690 million people worldwide were undernourished (or hungry) in 2019, up 10 million from to 2018.

Report – considered the most reliable global study tracking progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition – says number of undernourished people in India fell from 249.4 million in 2004 -06 to 189.2 million in 2017-19.

In percentage terms, the prevalence of undernourishment in the total population of India rose from 21.7% in 2004-06 to 14% in 2017-19, he said.

“The two sub-regions with reductions in undernourishment – eastern and southern Asia – are dominated by the continent’s two largest economies – China and India.

“Despite very different conditions, histories and rates of progress, the reduction in hunger in the two countries is the result of long-term economic growth, a reduction in inequality and better access to goods and services basic, “he added.

The report is jointly prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Food Program World Health Organization (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

He further stated that the prevalence of stunting among children under 5 in India had increased from 47.8% in 2012 to 34.7% in 2019 or from 62 million in 2012 to 40.3 million in 2019.

More and more Indian adults became obese between 2012 and 2016, according to the report.

The number of obese adults (18 and over) increased from 25.2 million in 2012 to 34.3 million in 2016, from 3.1% to 3.9%.

The number of women of reproductive age (15-49) with anemia increased from 165.6 million in 2012 to 175.6 million in 2016.

The number of infants 0-5 months who were exclusively breastfed increased from 11.2 million in 2012 to 13.9 million in 2019.

The hungry are most numerous in Asia, but are growing the fastest in Africa.

Around the world, the report predicts that the COVID-19 pandemic could push more than 130 million more people into chronic hunger by the end of 2020.

In percentage terms, Africa is and is becoming the most severely affected region, with 19.1% of its population undernourished.

At the current rate in 2030, Africa will be home to more than half of the world‘s chronically hungry people.

COVID-19 intensifies the vulnerabilities and shortcomings of the world‘s food systems – understood as all activities and processes affecting the production, distribution and consumption of food.

“If it is too early to assess the full impact of the closures and other containment measures, the report estimates that at least 83 million more people, and possibly up to 132 million, could go hungry in 2020 because of the economic recession unleashed by COVID-19 “, he added, adding that the flip side casts even more doubt on the achievement of the sustainable development objective two, whose objective is to reach zero hunger.

According to the latest estimates, three billion or more people cannot afford healthy food.

In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, this is the case for 57% of the population – although no region, including North America and Europe, is spared.

In 2019, 191 million children under the age of five were stunted or wasted – too short or too thin. 38 million children under the age of 5 were overweight.

In adults, obesity has become a full-fledged global pandemic.

The report noted that, generally, cash transfer programs are seen as an appropriate instrument for increasing food diversity in well-connected urban or rural contexts, while in-kind transfers are more appropriate for remote areas, where market access is severely limited.

“In India, for example, the country’s targeted public distribution system represents the largest social protection program in the world, reaching 800 million people with subsidized cereals that can be purchased in more than 500,000 stores at fair prices across the country.”

Rural trade hubs in India have facilitated the link between smallholder farmers and rapidly growing urban markets.

In addition to obtaining food from farmers, these hubs provide services such as agricultural inputs and equipment, as well as access to credit.

Having food processing, packaging and cooling facilities in one place allows consumers to benefit from agglomeration savings and, overall, reduce transaction costs along the chain food supply.

This model in India has spawned rural supermarkets that provide cheaper staple foods, he added.


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