Pakistan has been ranked as a country with ‘serious’ hunger level with 22 per cent of its population undernourished on the 2016 Global Hunger Index released recently. Placed 107 in a ranking of 118 developing countries, Pakistan performed worse than most of its South Asian neighbours including India and Bangladesh. On a 0-100 point scale (with 100 being the worst in hunger levels), Pakistan showed a marginal improvement with a score of 33.4, improving from 35.1 in 2008. At the current rate of decline, Pakistan will have ‘moderate’ to ‘alarming’ hunger scores in the year 2030, the authors of the index said. The hunger index ranks countries based on undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting (low weight for height) and child stunting (low height for age). The miserable performance of Pakistan on the Global Hunger Index is something that demands emergency action. However, in our country most issues pertaining to the general population hardly get any traction. According to the Pakistan’s Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13, around 45 percent of Children show evidence of chronic malnutrition or stunting which is the third highest percentage of stunted children in the world.
Successive governments have neglected Pakistan’s human resource. It shows the priority we give to our future generation who would eventually take the country forward. Children in our country continue to suffer due to disease, malnutrition and poverty but the grave issue seems to be very low on the governments list of priorities. Media has also been lax when it comes to highlighting such issues. The government, political leadership and media must realize the gravity of the situation and ensure that these issues are looked at on emergency grounds.
Pakistan’s miserable rating is alarming & something that cannot be ignored any longer.