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'India shows improvement in tackling malnutrition'

The Index developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI indicates that scores have improved in South Asia.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 21:15 IST

India has shown improvement in tackling the problem of malnutrition, which continues to afflict Bangladesh and some countries of sub-Saharan Africa wracked by civil unrest, according to the latest Global Hunger Index.

The Index developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI indicates that scores have improved in South Asia and in most other parts of Asia since 1981, despite the fact that many countries in this region still are a "hotspot of malnutrition."

But in Africa several countries like Botswana and Namibia, have done worse than expected on the index, relative to their level of development, or gross national income per capita.

The hunger index for India has shown that from a score of 41.23 in 1981, it dropped to 32.73 but is holding steady at 25.73 for the years of 1997 and 2003. Bangladesh on the other hand would show its hunger index dropping from a score of 44.40 in 1981 to 28.27 in 2003.

Sri Lanka would also show a drop in its score from 24.90 in 1981 to 16.63 in 2003 and Pakistan, which had a score of 33.6 in 1981 dropped to 21.77 in 2003.

The Index has been calculated for 1981, 1992, 1997, and 2003. The latest round ranks 97 developing countries and 22 countries in transition.

The index does not include highly industrialised countries, as well some developing countries where data is not available, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.

Of the 12 countries with the highest levels of hunger nine have been affected by violent conflicts and ten of these in the worst category are in Sub Saharan Africa.