Hunger Index 2021: Bangladesh’s status now ‘moderate’
Bangladesh has been ranked 76th in the Global Hunger Index 2021 among 116 qualifying countries, with a score of 19.1.
The country has slipped one notch from last year's 75th position.
Bangladesh, however, fared better than its South Asian neighbours Pakistan (92nd), India (101st), and Afghanistan (103rd), according to the report jointly published by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe.
This year, Bangladesh's level of hunger has dropped to "moderate" from "serious" for the first time as it achieved a Global Hunger Index (GHI) score of 19.1 points out of 100, said the report.
"Bangladesh has experienced an impressive decline in GHI scores since 2012, dropping from 28.6 points, considered serious, to 19.1 points, considered moderate…These improvements are underpinned by the government's firm commitment, determination, and action to tackle malnutrition as part of the country's path toward developed-country status by 2041," said the report.
Out of 100 points, 0 is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst. In practice, neither of these extremes is reached.
The GHI score is calculated on four indicators – undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality.
According to the report, Bangladesh improved in child stunting. In 2000, the child stunting -- the share of children under five with low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition -- was 51.1 percent, which has now come down to 28 percent.
The country's undernourished population -- the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake -- now stands at 9.7 percent, down from 15.7 percent in 2000.
On the other hand, the prevalence of child wasting is now 9.8 percent, down from 12.5 percent in 2000. Child wasting is the share of children under five having low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.
The country saw small progress in the under-five child mortality rate -- the mortality rate of children under five, partly reflecting the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments -- which currently stands at 3.1 percent, down from 8.7 percent in 2000.
Eighteen countries, including China, Brazil and Kuwait, shared the top rank with a GHI score of less than five, said the report that tracks hunger and malnutrition.
According to the index, three countries -- Somalia, Yemen and Central African Republic -- suffer from levels of hunger that are alarming.
Conflict, climate change, and the Covid-19 pandemic -- three of the most powerful and toxic forces driving hunger -- threaten to wipe out any progress that has been made against hunger in recent years, said the report.