Prevalence of undernourishment: Pakistan among 3 highest countries in Asia

Associated Press of Pakistan September 12, 2019
  • Asian Development Bank reported Pakistan is among three Asian countries where  undernourishment is highest.
  • Undernourishment in 2017 were observed in Afghanistan (29.8%), Timor-Leste (24.9%), and Pakistan (20.3%).
  • 2.5% or below—in Australia; Azerbaijan; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Kazakhstan; Malaysia; New Zealand; and the Republic of Korea

ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank (ADB) has reported that Pakistan is among three Asian countries where rate of undernourishment is highest.

The highest rates of undernourishment in 2017 were observed in Afghanistan (29.8%), Timor-Leste (24.9%), and Pakistan (20.3%), the ADB reported in 50th edition of its annual statistical report, Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2019.

It said the prevalence of undernourishment in the total population was below 10.0% in 26 of the 37 reporting economies, compared with only 14 of 37 in 2000.

The prevalence of undernourishment was lowest—at a rate of 2.5% or below—in Australia; Azerbaijan; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Kazakhstan; Malaysia; New Zealand; and the Republic of Korea.

The report added that in spite of reductions in undernourishment in more than four-fifths of economies in Asia and the Pacific since 2000, hunger persists in the region.

According to the UN, the rates of reducing undernourishment in Asia and the Pacific have slowed significantly in recent years, risking progress toward the SDG target to eradicate hunger by 2030.

Investments in agriculture are needed to increase productivity and sustainability in food production systems.

Of the 37 regional economies with available data, 31 experienced a decline in the prevalence of undernourishment in the total population from 2000 to 2017.

The largest reductions during the review period occurred in Myanmar (37.7 percentage points), Mongolia (21.7 percentage points), and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (21.2 percentage points).

The prevalence of stunting in Pakistan witnessed a meager improvement since 2000 as the rate of stunting among children under the age of five years has fallen from 42% in 2000 to 37% in 2017.

In Asia, the prevalence of stunting has fallen since 2000 in more than 85% of developing member economies for which data are available Poor food security and severe malnutrition have led to millions of Asian and Pacific islander children being stunted (i.e., too short for their age).

The prevalence of stunting in children below the age of 5 years exceeded 25% in 15 of the 30 developing member economies with available data for 2016 (or another recent year).

The highest rates of stunting were found in Timor-Leste (50.9%), PNG (49.5%), and the Lao PDR (44.2%).

The prevalence of stunting in children below the age of 5 years fell in 26 of the 30 reporting economies that had two data points available for comparison (ranging from 2000 to 2008 and 2009 to 2016).

The three economies in which the prevalence of stunting increased over the review period were PNG (5.6 percentage points), Malaysia (3.5 percentage points), and Vanuatu (2.8 percentage points), while there was no change to this indicator in the Republic of Korea.

 

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