India on track to achieve MDGs: IFPRI

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, October 12: | Updated: Oct 13 2007, 01:47am hrs
India and Ethiopia have made notable progress in reducing hunger and are very close to be on the track to achieve the target set by the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, according to a review done by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in conjunction with German Agro-Action and Concern Worldwide (GAACW).

IFPRI and GAACW have constructed a global hunger index target based on the United Nations MDGs. The index is slated to be released shortly for the second year in a row

According to IFPRI-GAACW review top 10 countries on the track to meet the global hunger index target are Cuba, Kuwait, Fiji, Peru, Uruguay, Egypt, Tunisia Djibouti, Syria and Lebanon.

The 10 countries that have experienced the greatest setbacks towards achieving the global hunger index target by 2015 are Congo, Burundi, Swaziland, Liberia, North Korea, the Comoros, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Guinea-Bissau and Venezuela.

Burundi and Congo have the highest levels of hunger followed by Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Liberia Niger, Yemen, Angola and the Comoros, almost all of which have been involved in violent conflicts in the past decade.

According to IFPRI-GAACW only two regions of the world - Latin America and the Caribbeans and East Africa and the Pacific are on the track to reach the MDGs targets relating to hunger and child mortality.

In Sub-Saharan Africa many countries are found particularly off-track for meeting the targets. Of the 42 countries ranked, 38 are off-track regarding child mortality, 35 are not on track when it comes to reducing child malnutrition and 27 are off-track to reduce the proportion of people who are calorie deficient.

According to the study team leader, Doris Wiesmann : Despite some negative setbacks, there is good news. Every region of the world is experiencing some progress. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Mozambique, Ghana and Malawai have made considerable progress towards reducing hunger.

The global hunger index is based on three indicators the proportion who are calorie deficient, the prevalence of underweight in children and under five mortality rate. The index ranks 118 countries for six different years to measure progress over time. It has been calculated for 1981, 1990, 1992, 2003 and 2004 The index does not include highly industrialized countries and some developing countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia where data are not available.