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How bad is hunger in Asia?
Asia News Network - October 16, 2016
Besides China, Malaysia and Thailand are the two other countries which have been ranked highest in Asia with regard to keeping levels of hunger low – as defined by a number of metrics including child mortality.
Malaysia was ranked 44 and Thailand was ranked 51 in the Global Hunger Index, 2016 which is compiled by the International Food Policy Research Institute, an Washington-DC based research center, with Germany's Welthungerhilfe.
The GHI ranks countries on three equally weighted indicators: the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and the child mortality rate.
While China has come closest to controlling hunger, its southern neighbours Pakistan and India suffers the greatest level of hunger in the region.
India is ranked 97th, behind Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, among others, but ahead of Pakistan and three other Asian countries. Further, over 15% of Indian children aged below five and 10.5% of Pakistani children under five suffer child wasting or acute malnutrition.
Laos, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have also not been able to meet the challenge of eradicating hunger, as all three countries have fared poorly with rankings of 93, 90 and 84 respectively.
Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia, with rankings of 75, 72 and 72 respectively, have demonstrated a poor record of keeping hunger at bay.
If hunger continues to decrease at the same rate it has been falling since 1992, around 45 countries, including India and Pakistan will remain far short of the United Nations' goal to end hunger by that year.
Overall, the report said, South Asia, after sub-Saharan Africa, remains the hungriest region. In contrast, East and Southeast Asia represent low or moderate levels of hunger.