Nutrition targets 2025 or zero hunger by 2030 still a distant dream for India: Report
New Delhi, Dec 18: Though the overall picture in terms of food security and access has improved and there were lesser number of Indians who are malnourished and anaemic in 2017, the country still needs to do much more to meet its nutrition goals, as per 2018 Global Nutrition Report which was released on November 29 'Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition' conference in Bangkok, Thailand. The conference was jointly held by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
According to the report, India is far from achieving any of the nine nutrition goals set by the World Health Organization (WHO) by 2025. These goals include: reduction of child overweight, wasting and stunting, anaemia in women of reproductive age, obesity among men and women, etc., besides increasing exclusive breastfeeding. These nine goals were adopted by the member countries of the WHO in 2012 and 2013 to reduce all forms of malnutrition by the year 2025.
The latest report is the fifth such one and is compiled by GNR's Independent Expert Group which includes researchers, academics and government representatives.
India undoubtedly has shown improvement in reduction of child stunting but with over 46 million stunted children, the country is still home to almost 31 per cent of stunted children aged below five - making it topping the list. The global scenario is not too bright as only 94 out of 194 nations are on their way to achieve at least one of the nine global nutrition targets, according to the report.
"While [globally] there has been progress in reduction of stunting, there has been slow reduction of anaemia and underweight in women while overweight and obesity is getting worse," said Corinna Hawkes, co-chair of the report and Director of the Centre for Food Policy, at the report's release.
India still home to nearly 24% of malnourished people
In terms of malnourishment, India has reduced the number of malnourished people from 204.1 million in 2005-07 to 195.9 million in 2015-17, according to FAO. However, it still bears almost 24 per cent of the global burden of malnourishment and is home to the second-highest number (estimated) of people in the world after China, the FAO report added.
Zero hunger by 2030 a distant dream
According to an analysis by IndiaSpend, India will have to bring out 48,370 people out of hunger each day if it aims to achieve zero hunger by the year 2030. Between 2015-17, the country's rate of reduction was 3.9 million which was about only 10,685 people a day. Its rate of reduction was much better in 2006-08 (15.2 million) but even that meant the country could lift only 41,644 people out of hunger a day, which is much less than the prescribed figure.