Hungry India: Only seven states manage to address UN’s zero hunger goal; rest fail

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Published: January 4, 2020 5:26:50 PM

India has performed dismally on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with only seven Indian states successfully addressing “hunger and malnutrition”.

public distribution system, PDS, malnutrition, Nutritional Inefficiency, Food Fortification, World Health Organization, Food Safety Standards Authority of India, multiple micronutrient (MMN)More than one in every three children aged below five is stunted in India and 40% of children aged between 6-59 months are anaemic.

India has performed dismally on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with only seven Indian states successfully addressing “hunger and malnutrition”. The worst performers in the zero hunger goal were Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. Overall, India performed worse than last year with its score falling from 2018’s 48 to 38 in 2019, according to NITI Aayog’s report on Sustainable Development Goals 2019. The same is in line with the findings of Global Hunger Index 2019 which was released in October 2019. The SDG 2019 report also highlights special attention is needed towards achieving zero hunger goal. “Two goals — 2 (zero hunger) and 5 (gender equality) demand special attention, as the overall country score is below 50,” the report said. 

Also Read: Who’s feeding India’s children? Companies, people give 30 times more money to Akshaya Patra than govt

Despite India’s agricultural produce going up by six times in the last 70 years, food loss and wastage keep millions hungry. More than one in every three children aged below five is stunted in India and 40% of children aged between 6-59 months are anaemic. “It is important to emphasise that hunger is a problem not because there is not enough food for everyone… Food wastage and loss remain a major concern… Globally nearly 40% of the fruits and vegetables, and 30% of cereals that are produced are lost,” the report said.

However, some states and Union Territories have performed well in achieving the goal. “Goa and Chandigarh are the top-performing among States and UTs, respectively. Seven states and two UTs bagged a position in the category of Front Runners (with Index score higher than/equal to 65),” the report said. Besides Goa and Kerala, these states include mostly north-eastern states — Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. 

Talking about India’s hunger issue, Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice-chairman, Akshaya Patra, had earlier told Financial Express Online that the government needs to infuse more money in child nutrition to combat hunger. Akshaya Patra Foundation works with the government for Poshan Abhiyan or Child Nutrition program. 

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