Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The state of hunger in Nepal

It is no better even after two decades, according to latest Global Hunger Index 2010. Nepal’s ranking is 56. The hunger level in Nepal is ALARMING. But, Nepal fares better than India and Bangladesh in ranking. Sri Lanka is relatively better than all other South Asian countries.

The hunger situation in Nepal is still the same. Now, I wonder whats up with all the aid money in battling hunger and increasing agriculture production? What has it done to address their own primary objectives? We need some accountability here. Is our strategy to fight against hunger fundamentally wrong? Are we just wasting resources and giving band-aid solutions that require structural changes in the way we do farming and respond to emergencies? We seriously need to think. That said, lets not wholly blame the aid agencies working at the frontlines to combat hunger. But, how about questioning their strategy in combating hunger? Is it time to change that now? Now, lets see how much difference USAID’s “Feed the Future” initiative will make?

GHI is calculated based on three equally weighted indicators: (i) The proportion of undernourished as a percentage of the population; (ii) the prevalence of underweight in children under the age of five; (iii) and the mortality rate of children under the age of five. As a group, there has been a decrease in hunger in both South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, the countries that have made the most progress in the fight against hunger since 1990 are Kuwait, Malaysia, Turkey, Mexico, Tunisia, Nicaragua, Ghana, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Peru. The losers are Congo DR, Comoros, Burundi, North Korea, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, The Gambia.