Hunger Current Affairs

Sweden commits record $370m aid to UN World Food Programme

Sweden has singed Strategic Partnership Agreement with United Nations for committing record $370 million dollars to UN World Food Programme. The contribution is for next four years i.e. 2018-2021. It is the biggest ever contribution made by donor within a WFP Strategic Partnership Agreement.

Significance

Sweden has been the largest donor of flexible and predictable funds to WFP for almost a decade.  The Swedish contribution comes at time of record need as the world is facing worst humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II with multiple large-scale hunger emergencies occurring across the planet. For the first time in decade, the number of hungry people in world is increasing and majority of them now live in countries affected by conflict. Ten of the 13 largest food crises on the planet are driven mainly by conflict.

World Food Programme (WFP)

The WEF is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. It works to help people who cannot produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families.

It was established in 1961 after the 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference. It is headquartered in Rome (Italy) and has more than 80 country offices around the world. It provides food assistance to an average of 80 million people in 75 countries each year.

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Global Hunger Index 2017: India ranks 100th among 119 nations

India ranked 100th position among 119 countries on Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2017 report released by Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). This year slipped by three positions as compared to 97th rank in 2016 GHI.

Global Hunger Index (GHI)

GHI is multidimensional measure that describes state of hunger situation on regional, national and global level. It is published annually by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) since 2006. It ranks countries on a 0 to 100-point scale calculated by taking into account four indicator parameters. Zero means best score (no hunger) and 100 is worst.

The four parameters are (i) Undernourished population (1/3rd weight), (ii) Child wasting (1/6th weight), (iii) Child stunting (1/6th weight) and (iii) Infant mortality rate (1/3rd weight). In this case stunting means deficiency in height in relation to age, reflects chronic undernutrition and wasting means low weight in relation to a child’s height, reflects acute undernutrition.

2017 GHI Highlights

India Related Facts: In 2017 GHI, India scored 31.4 and was placed in high end of “serious” category. India low ranking also influences South Asia’s regional score as three quarters of South Asia’s population reside in India.

India’s neighbours ranking are Nepal (72), Myanmar (77), Bangladesh (88), Sri Lanka (84) and China (29)—except Pakistan (106) and Afghanistan (107). Even North Korea (93) and Iraq (78) fared better in hunger parameters and GHI rankings,

More than 20% of Indian children under the age of five have lower weight in relation to their height and about 33% are too short in relation to their age. Despite India being world’s second largest food producer it has second highest under-nourished population in the world.

Africa hasworst score: The Central African Republic (CAR) has the highest GHI score and has been categorised as “extremely alarming”. It is followed by Chad, Sierra Leone, Madagascar and Zambia.

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